Democrats have failed to deliver on yet another promise in their health care law – providing affordable health insurance to small businesses and their employees. As the New York Timesreports, the Administration announced yesterday that not only will they delay the small business health insurance marketplace until 2015, but employers will not be able to provide employees a choice of plans. Instead, the Obama Administration has determined that employees will have just one plan to “choose” from.
The announcement is yet another blow to employers and employees of small businesses who have long struggled to find affordable insurance in a marketplace that is short on choice and competition. As one small business owner stated, “We would like to see different insurance carriers available to each of our 12 employees, who range in age from 21 to 62. You would have more competition, more downward pressure on rates, and employees would be more likely to get exactly what they wanted.”
This latest piece of bad news is just one of a number of challenges the rest of America is facing as they come to grips with ObamaCare. Here are a few more:
32 percent: The increase in the cost of covering people in the individual market as a result of ObamaCare, as estimated by the American Society of Actuaries.
61: The number of pages applicants are required to complete in order to apply for ObamaCare health care exchange coverage. There are 226 questions. The application asks for the name of the insured 23 times. There are 25 questions about income. There are 12 different ways to define income, 16 questions about current and former employers and 28 questions about tax filing status/filing history.
Zero: The amount of details provided by the Obama Administration on the marketing materials needed to inform and enroll individuals in the 33 states where the federal marketplace will provide coverage. According to Kaiser Health News, “persuading millions of people to buy insurance, even those eligible for subsidies, is still expected to be a very tough sell. … ‘We have reason to be worried because six months before the start of open enrollment, most members of the general public have no idea how the marketplaces will affect them,’ Gionfriddo said.”
Third-World Experience: What Henry Chao, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official who is overseeing the technology for the Exchanges, hopes to exceed as his goal for the Exchanges, saying recently he is “getting pretty nervous” and has downgraded his expectations to “make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”
Rising premiums, new mandates, missed deadlines – by all accounts, ObamaCare’s challenges are more than just “operational.” And it leaves you wondering, what’s next?