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The Verdict Is In: Americans’ Health Plans are in Jeopardy

July 30, 2010 — The Prescription Pad   

President Obama and Democrats’ grand experiment with Americans’ health care is already backfiring just mere months after becoming law.  A survey of 459 employers by Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of employee benefits, finds that 1 in 5 employers are “seriously” evaluating dropping health benefits for their employees.  Furthermore, 1 in 2 small businesses are bracing for higher health care premiums as a result of the law.  Sunit Patel, senior vice president of Fidelity’s Benefits Consulting services warns, “Over the long run, health care reform could lead to significant changes to an employee’s benefits well beyond health care coverage.” 

This is latest in a series of troubling trends that demonstrate whether you get health care from your employer or on your own, the plan you have is threatened by the Democrats’ new health law.  And health care is not the only thing workers stand to lose.  Business leaders have warned that wages, jobs and economic growth are also on the line.  Below are additional examples of how the new health care overhaul will prevent Americans from being able to keep the plan they have and like and the law’s threat to Americans’ economic security:  

  • As a result of the Democrats’ health care law, residents in Virginia have already lost access to one health care plan and now many residents in Maine could lose theirs as well.  For example, Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance has written HHS Secretary Sebelius requesting a waiver from Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements on the basis that complying with the Democrats’ new health law, “may disrupt our individual health insurance market.” 
     
  • Within the new regulations that will govern employer-provided health coverage is the startling estimate that by 2013, under the most likely scenario, the Obama Administration predicts that 87 million Americans (1 out of 2 Americans with employer coverage) will no longer be able to retain the health plan they have and like.  According to that same regulation, this number could be as high 7 out of 10 employers that provide health insurane to their employees being forced to change health plans.  
     
  • Fortune.com reported that after reviewing internal company documents, four major U.S. employers (AT&T, Verizon, Deere and Caterpillar) are considering “dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers.”  These companies currently offer health benefits to well over 2.3 million employees, retirees and their dependents — a figure which exceeds the population of 15 states as well as the District of Columbia.  Fortune.com correctly points out that this “would dismantle the employer-based system” and “would seem to contradict President Obama’s statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them.”
       
  • The Business Roundtable (BRT) and The Business Council, representing American companies with more than 12 million employees and comprising nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets, found that Democrats’ health overhaul, “does little to change the underlying problems of our delivery system, which are the primary drivers of the unsustainable cost trends of employer provided care.”  As a result, employers are, “delay[ing] business decisions regarding expansions and dampen[ing] new hiring.” 
     
  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which represents more than 350,000 small businesses, stated the Democrats’ health overhaul “could have some adverse consequences on employee wages…could lead to workers – especially lower-wage workers – seeing stagnant wages for a longer period of time.”

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