The Corner

Obamacare Train Wreck Rolls On

Obamacare is, despite the president’s claims to the contrary, proving to be as disastrous as its critics predicted.  

The law’s mandate for employers requires them to provide health care for all employees who work more than 30 hours per week. Now NBC News reports that employers around the country are choosing simply to cut workers’ hours below the 30-hour threshold because they cannot afford to provide insurance for their employees. And employees are not happy about it. Joseph Hansen, the president of the 1.2 million member strong United Food and Commercial Workers union, complains that the law will have a “tremendous impact” on workers. He joined other labor leaders in a letter to Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill; they warned that Obamacare as it’s currently written would “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the middle class.”

The price of premiums for individuals is not looking much better. President Obama last week told reporters that coverage would be available through the exchanges “at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market” — even without federal tax credits. FactCheck’s Lori Robertson gently says the president “overpromised” in making that claim. According to Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though a “vast majority of uninsured will see lower costs,” a third of them will actually see higher premiums than what they can currently get.

Which is probably why the exchanges are being forced to work overtime to get people enrolled, and why the Department of Health and Human Services has engaged a public-relations firm to stage a multi-million dollar public relations campaign to promote enrollment. The latest act of desperation, according to Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, comes in the form of a $375,000 grant from Washington, D.C.’s health-insurance exchange to Planned Parenthood in the hope that the organization can help sign people up. The grant was one of 35 to groups such as local churches and health-care and community organizations. All told, the grants totaled $6.4 million.

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