Is ObamaCare beginning to fall apart? According to Fox News’ Jim Angle, the answer is yes. What’s more, he reports, Democrats are willingly participating in its undoing.
Problem number one for the healthcare law is that the federal government is far behind schedule in developing insurance exchanges for small businesses — so far behind that the exchanges have been delayed an entire year.
“Lots of small businesses struggle with providing insurance for their workers so this was supposed to facilitate it and make it easier for small business to do this,” Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center told Angle. “It was a huge portion of the sale job. When they passed the law in 2010 there were many senators and members of Congress who were saying ‘I am doing this because it’s going to help small businesses.’”
If so, it’s not going to help them until 2015 at the earliest. In the meantime, what was supposed to be a variety of coverage options for small-business employees will now be just one choice — which, of course, isn’t a choice at all. This “could mean they can’t shop for insurance that includes their current providers,” Angle notes. So much for President Barack Obama’s promise that people who like their insurance plans will be able to keep them under his healthcare law.
On top of that, state insurance exchanges, which are supposed to make it easier for people to purchase coverage on the individual market, are scheduled to open in 2014. Since many small businesses are exempt from ObamaCare’s employer mandate because they have fewer than 50 employees, Angle writes, “analysts now fear many might just stop trying [to insure their employees] and let workers go on the … state exchanges.”
That assumes that the state exchanges will be up and running next January. States have not exactly rushed to set them up. In fact, more than half — 26, to be exact — have chosen not to do so, placing the burden of establishing their exchanges squarely on Uncle Sam.
Because so many states have opted out of creating their own exchanges, “it is looking increasingly as if the Administration has painted itself into a corner,” columnist Joseph Totah maintains. The Obama administration, he says, “is having tremendous difficulties creating the massive information technology backbone required for their insurance exchanges to work. Current estimates are that they are running at least three months behind an already tight time schedule just trying to write software. That’s hanging up everyone waiting on the Feds to come up with their solution, because the states still have to make it work.”
The second major problem for ObamaCare is the new 2.3-percent excise tax on medical devices. The tax was supposed to help pay for the law’s insurance subsidies, but it is proving so onerous that even Democrats want to repeal it.
It would be bad enough if the tax were on the profits from device sales. This one, however, is “a tax on gross sales — meaning it adds up to a much bigger percentage of a company’s profits,” according to Angle. In fact, because the tax is levied on gross sales rather than profits, “many companies will owe more in taxes than they generate from their operations,” Mark Perry of DailyMarkets.com avers. “The result will be devastating to innovation, patient care and job creation.”
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