Examining the ‘Obamacosts’ of Obamacare

by Jim Geraghty

The RNC unveiled a new web site, “Obamacosts,” explaining the costs and consequences of implementing Obamacare.

This Peoria, Ill., television news report quotes weight-loss-clinic business owner Kurtis Freidag saying, “Some of the people that have been full time, we’re definitely going to need to make them a part-time employee, or we’d be forced to offer everyone benefits, or pay a penalty. . . . If we did offer benefits, we would, without question, have to take a price increase.”

The New York Times recently wrote about the law’s impact on California’s agriculture workers:

Insurance brokers and health providers familiar with California’s $43.5 billion agricultural industry estimate that meeting the law’s minimum health plan requirement will cost about $1 per hour per employee worked in the field…

Farm labor contractors generally rely on a 2 percent profit, and they say they will have to pass the added health care costs required by the law on to growers…

On a recent morning, Jose Romero pulled weeds from a row of lush tomato plants. Mr. Romero, 36, arrived at the field around 5 a.m. and worked until sunset. Like many of the other workers in the tomato field, he was surprised to learn that his employer, Mr. Herrin at Sunrise Farm Labor, would have to offer him health coverage, and that he could be asked to contribute up to 9.5 percent of his wages to cover the costs.

“We eat, we pay rent and no more,” Mr. Romero said in Spanish. “The salary that they give you here, to pay insurance for the family, it wouldn’t be enough.”

There seems to be widespread agreement among agricultural employers, insurance brokers and health plans in California that low-wage farmworkers cannot be asked to pay health insurance premiums. “He’s making $8 to $9 an hour, and you’re asking him to pay for something that’s he’s not going to use?” Mr. Herrin said.

We’re going to help the farm workers by taking 76 to 85 cents per hour out of their pockets?

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.