GOP renews its war on ‘ObamaCare’ and American workers

ObamacareTea-Publicans in Congress renewed their war on the Affordable Care Act aka “ObamaCare” this week, this time focusing their ire on workers with employer sponsored health insurance plans.

The evil GOP bastards’ plan is to kick American workers off their employer sponsored health insurance plans by amending the “full-time hours” requirement, which will force many workers onto their state’s Medicaid program, and others will be left uninsured, shit out of luck. This will increase the cost of “ObamaCare” while adding to the federal deficit.

Why do Tea-Publicans hate America?

Joan McCarter reports at Daily Kos, CBO: Republican Obamacare bill would increase deficit and uninsured rate:

The “Save American Workers Act,” Republicans attempt to make it easier for employers to exploit their workers, gets a vote in the House this week. The bill is another attack on Obamacare, a “fix” that would change the definition of full-time work in the bill from 30 hours per week to 40. The employer mandate in the law says that employers with 50 or more workers has to either provide insurance to 95 percent of their full-time employees or pay a fine. Republicans like to pretend that this means bosses will cut their workers’ hours, and they’ll fix that when in reality their bill will allow employers to get 39.5 hour work weeks out of their employees without having to shell out for benefits. It wouldn’t just hurt workers, though. The Congressional Budget Office says it would create a $53 billion hit to the deficit and increase the uninsured rate.

The agency thinks that 1 million fewer people would get health insurance at work: an employer might decide not to offer coverage to someone who works 35 hours per week, for example, because they no longer face a penalty.Some of these people would just be out of luck — a bit fewer than 500,000 people, CBO says, would end up uninsured. More would end up on government programs: between 500,000 and 1 million people would join Medicaid or enroll through the exchanges (maybe with a federal subsidy, if they earn less than 400 percent of the poverty line) after losing their employer coverage.

As a result, CBO estimates that the federal government would end up spending $53.2 billion more on the Affordable Care Act.

Remember when the deficit was the only thing that (supposedly) mattered to Republicans?

The White House issued a veto threat (let the year of the veto commence), saying the bill “would shift costs to taxpayers, put workers’ hours at risk, and disrupt health insurance coverage.” For Republicans, that’s a feature rather than a bug.

This comes at a time when the evidence shows that “ObamaCare” is working as intended to reduce the rate of uninsured. Joan McCarter continues, Gallup: Uninsured rate still sinking:

The uninsured rate continues its historic decline under Obamacare, according to the latest Gallup survey. Gallup began surveying on insurance in 2008. Last spring, following the first enrollments in Obamacare, the uninsured rate fell below the 2008, pre-Great Recession levels. It’s fallen even further after the second enrollment period opened last November.

Graph showing decline in uninsured rate to 12.9 percent in fourth quarter of 2014, from a high of 18 percent in 2012.

The uninsured rate among U.S. adults for the fourth quarter of 2014 averaged 12.9%. This is down slightly from 13.4% in the third quarter of 2014 and down significantly from 17.1% a year ago. The uninsured rate has dropped 4.2 percentage points since the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for Americans to have health insurance went into effect one year ago.[…] The 12.9% who lacked health insurance in the fourth quarter is the lowest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since beginning to track the measure daily in 2008. The 2015 open enrollment period began in the fourth quarter on Nov. 15 and will close on Feb. 15.

Let’s put some political context to those numbers in light of the King v. Burwell challenge the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this spring. According to the administration, 87 percent of those enrollees got some level of subsidy for their insurance. In Mississippi, a whopping 95 percent of enrollees get the financial assistance that the King case jeopardizes. In raw numbers, as estimated by our buddy Charles Gaba, that’s between 5 and 6 million people who would lose the subsidy and most likely their insurance.

When Republicans talk about repeal, when they hope out loud that the Supreme Court will kill the law for them, this is what they’re talking about. Taking insurance away from as many as six million people.

The Tea-Publican Health Care Plan: “Perhaps they should die and decrease the surplus population.” “More for me!”

One response to “GOP renews its war on ‘ObamaCare’ and American workers

  1. The deficit has never mattered to Republicans. When Bill Clinton left office, there was a projected federal budget surplus of $5.6 trillion over 10 years. If we had just gone on as planned, the entire national debt would have been retired by about 2012. Instead, Bush and Republicans immediately passed huge tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy, started an illegal war on Iraq that will end up costing $2 trillion, and passed a Medicare Part D drug coverage bill without revenue. So, no, Republicans don’t care and never have about the deficit.
    What they do care about is taxes, or not having to pay them. See Doug Ducey recent comments for more of the same.
    I suggested years ago that we name the national debt after Pete Domenici. He was chair of the Senate Budget Committee in both 1981, when Reaganomics first started large federal deficits, and again in 2001, when Bushanomics destroyed our fiscal house again.