Waxman’s Unintended Consequences Reveal Intended Consequences
No more employer-provided health care for you.
Shortly after the boondoggle known as the health care bill was passed, corporations discovered that the bill had a lot of detrimental factors to it, which, as Nancy Pelosi infamously said, we couldn’t find out until the bill was passed. As such, upon its passage, corporations began taking write-downs due to the elimination, by the new law, of many deductions they had previously been allowed to take.
This didn’t sit well with Representative Waxman, being utterly ignorant in the ways of business, and it got his rather unfortunate nose out of joint. He decided to use strong arm tactics, in his position as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and demanded various things from corporations, including confidential memos. Egregious enough as that was, he didn’t stop there. Unfortunately for him and his fellow Democrats, there were unintended consequences of his strong arm tactics. They ended up revealing the intended consequences of the Health Care Bill: No more employer-provided health care for you.
Waxman was angry that corporations were performing analysis, as they have a duty to do for their stockholders and so that they can, you know, remain financially feasible and not go out of business. That concept is foreign to the current crop of Democrats. Profits are evil! Instead, they believe that corporations are beholden to The State ™ and those beliefs led him to this:
But Waxman didn’t simply request documents related to the write down issue. He wanted every document the companies created that discussed what the bill would do to their most uncontrollable expense: healthcare costs.
The request yielded 1,100 pages of documents from four major employers: AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar and Deere (DE, Fortune 500). No sooner did the Democrats on the Energy Committee read them than they abruptly cancelled the hearings. On April 14, the Committee’s majority staff issued a memo stating that the write downs were “proper and in accordance with SEC rules.” The committee also stated that the memos took a generally sunny view of the new legislation. The documents, said the Democrats’ memo, show that “the overall impact of health reform on large employers could be beneficial.”
Nowhere in the five-page report did the majority staff mention that not one, but all four companies, were weighing the costs and benefits of dropping their coverage.
In his utter audacity and abuse of power, paired with his woeful ignorance and incompetence, Waxman ended up revealing that the health care bill is designed so that the government can fully take over the entire health care market. So much for that oft-repeated “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise of Obama’s. I, of course, use the term “promise” loosely, as that is how Obama plays with the truth.
For many corporations, it will now be in their best interests and financially preferable to drop employer-provided coverage, pay the penalty and create scores of newly uninsured. Guess where those newly unisured will go? Into one of the “exchanges”, a pre-cursor to a single-payer, government-covered system.
A document prepared for Verizon by consulting firm Hewitt Resources stated, “Even though the proposed assessments [on companies that do not provide health care] are material, they are modest when compared to the average cost of health care,” and that to avoid costs and regulations, “employers may consider exiting the health care market and send employees to the Exchanges.” (Under the new bill, employees who lose their coverage will purchase health care through state-run exchanges.)
Kenneth Huhn, vice president of labor relations at Deere, said in an internal email that his company should look at the alternatives to providing health benefits, which “would amount to denying coverage and just paying the penalty,” and that he felt he already had the ability to make this change under his company’s labor agreement. Caterpillar felt it would have to give “serious consideration” to the penalty option.
Huh. That doesn’t sound like “you can keep your plan” to me. Oh, and that whole For The 26 Year Old Children ™ deal? It makes it far costlier. It’s a ridiculous premise to begin with — if my daughter expects me to pay for her health insurance at age 26, I’ll have failed as a mother. Further, by insanely claiming that 26 year old adults are still children, Obama and the Democrats have punished all working parents.
Both Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500) and Verizon believe the requirement to allow dependents to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26 will prove costly. Caterpillar puts the added expense at $20 million a year.
All of the above was conveniently left out of the Committee’s report. It must have just slipped their minds and they forgot to mention it. Nope. It’s because Democrats lie. Including lies of omission. You see, not only will you lose your employer-based health care, but the resulting increase in government paid health care will cause federal health care costs to rise. You get to bend over and cough not once, but twice!
What does it mean for health care reform if the employer-sponsored regime collapses? By Fortune’s reckoning, each person who’s dropped would cost the government an average of around $2,100 after deducting the extra taxes collected on their additional pay. So if 50% of people covered by company plans get dumped, federal health care costs will rise by $160 billion a year in 2016, in addition to the $93 billion in subsidies already forecast by the CBO. Of course, as we’ve seen throughout the health care reform process, it’s impossible to know for certain what the unintended consequences of these actions will be.
I beg to differ with one part. They aren’t unintended consequences; they were intended. They knew this. It was the entire plan, no matter how often they lied about it and corruptly tried to hide the facts. Because it was never about cost savings or health care itself, was it? It was about the government and increasing it’s power. Not only at all costs, but at our cost, sadly.