If you are a Republican, and consider yourself to have strong core Republican values, there is only one course of action this election season: borrow your local university president’s Prius, drive it slowly and considerately (carpooling with fellow Repubs, if possible) to the decrepit high school gym and/or fallout shelter, and vote nothing but Democrat.
With elections quickly approaching, most people are planning to cast their votes along their own party lines without question. Certainly, this worked for Germany, from 1933 right up until about April, 1945. But for voters who are “economic” Republicans (those who believe that corporations create jobs, Wall Street successes are fantastic for the economy, and that employers are on the hook for far too much), they may want to rethink their strategy and vote Democrat across the board.
Doubt it? Well, Thomas, just look at the last past 6 years and see if it fits the big picture or not.
It would seem that the media has done a pretty fantastic job at not pointing out the hard truths that come with the Affordable Care Act (a law passed by Democrats), and have been negligent in discussing the possible outcomes of it as well.
Think about this: The Democrats passed a bill stating that every person must “purchase” health coverage or else face a monetary penalty which could quite possibly be passed onto their children. As of 2014, the Treasury Department began garnishing either Social Security benefits or tax refunds from children whose parents owed the federal government in some form or another for more than 3 decades.
The one phrase that ran over and over in my head as I cogitated upon this: indentured servitude. In the sake of journalistic integrity, I looked up the definition of indentured servitude in order to confirm my suspicions. It turns out that indentured servitude is actually not the same, but still… Indentured servitude.
What does this mean? One could argue that the “private companies” offering and administering these health plans stand to make some easy money, seeing as everyone in the country has to buy what they sell or else. Isn’t freedom great?
The other benefit for these types of firms and those who enjoy the gains of the Stock Market, especially off the backs of the workers, is that the ACA built in a nice little care package for them too.
Not only does everyone have to have health insurance, but come 2015, everyone (according to pages 45-46 of the ACA), has to have at least 11 types of benefits, which include Maternity Care and Pediatric Care (including dental/vision) or their plans will not be deemed credible.
Ultimately, that 64 year old couple will have to carry two types of coverage which they will most likely never need or use, lest they will face the wrath of the federal government because their health coverage won’t be considered credible. The icing on the cake? The premiums that Mort and Doris pay for these benefits that they’ll never use will be a nice little recurring revenue stream.
Again, great news for health care corporations and Wall Street, but the hits aren’t just for them alone as the ACA added some other nice little caveats for employers too.
Just look at the recent announcement by WalMart stating that they, like Traders Joe’s and Target, would not allow 30,000 part-time employees to have access to its available health insurance plan. And when they announced this, some in the media even went so far as to say that this was a “good thing”. Apple pie a la mode is a good thing. A ‘63 split window Vette is a good thing. As far as announcements go, Walmart’s was not really a good thing, especially for those 30,000 employees who will find out the hard way that will be taxed more next year.
But, why would this be considered a “good thing” for some in the media? Because it allows employees to now be qualified to receive health coverage through the Exchange where they may be eligible to receive close to a 95% reduction in premiums, as they may qualify for subsidies given by the federal government.
How could a respectable Republican not say that this is a good thing? A large corporation that trades on Wall Street gets the opportunity to take away a benefit from its employees, thus keeping more revenue for itself while subsequently placing the burden of their original costs on the backs of other working Americans. And the media thanks them.
That is absolute rapture for those who are fiscal Republicans.
But it doesn’t stop there, as the ACA also allows corporations to save over $1.4 trillion each year as long as they are comfortable with possibly sacrificing close to $298 billion dollars and their employees’ health coverage benefits.
One of the less reported facts about the ACA is that employers have to provide access to health benefits to employees or else face a $2,000 fine per employee blocked. But when math is put into motion, it is easily realized that if every employer cut health coverage to every single person, the overall savings would be over $1.1 TRILLION.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2013 employers covered roughly 149 million workers in terms of health benefits. On average, employers subsidized between 71% to 82% of the overall costs of their employee health coverage, which equated to over $1.4 trillion, or roughly the equivalent of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ payroll.
Now, if employers decide to just stop providing health benefits and accepted that penalty of $2,000 per employee, the total bill would equal about $298 billion (149 million x $2,000). And don’t forget that out of that 149 million people covered, some of them are dependents of employees, and employers won’t be penalized for not providing health coverage for them.
The question now remains: would you pay $298 billion to save $1.1 trillion?
And again, the hits don’t stop there, because it would appear that the ACA, on page 135, has given employers an even larger out, so they would be likely to take it. To quote the ACA: “if an employer has at least 1 full-time employee enrolled in a qualified health plan, then there is hereby imposed on the employer an assessable payment equal to the product of the applicable payment amount and the number of individuals employed by the employer as full-time employees during such month.”
This means that if the employer has just one employee on its health plan, then every employee must be given the same opportunity to receive the same type of health coverage, or else the employer will be fined per employee denied access. But what if the employer just happens to decide to not provide any health benefits at all?
That may become somewhat of a public relations nightmare and a path that most employers may not want to go down right away. But again, we are talking about the ACA here: the gift that keeps on giving, especially for employers, Big Pharma and Wall Street.
In order for employers to meet the requirements that are mandated through the ACA, all they would need to do according to page 134 of the ACA, is the following:
It would seem that for a Republican who wanted to see corporations save more money, Wall Street tick further up, and employers relieve themselves of the burden of providing health benefits for employees, then they would check that box beside the politician with a D after their name.
As for those who are uncomfortable with all of this, there may not really be a solution at all, as not one single Republican politician has come up with a credible plan to repeal this law…It’s like politicians on both sides of the aisle work for someone other than us.