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Thread: Congress wakes up to Obamacare :-)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default Congress wakes up to Obamacare :-)

    You gotta love this ... Congress (and their aides) have finally learned what is in Obamacare! There was an amendment to the law (Kudos to Grassley for this one)

    Lawmakers and aides on both sides of the aisle are acutely aware of the problems with the provision. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have discussed fixes to the provision. Boehner, according to House GOP sources, believes that Reid must take the lead on crafting a solution. Since Republicans opposed the bill, Boehner does not feel responsible to lead the effort to make changes.


    The Affordable Care Act — signed into law in 2010 — contained a provision known as the Grassley Amendment, which said the government can only offer members of Congress and their staff plans that are “created” in the bill or “offered through an exchange” — unless the bill is amended.


    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/0...#ixzz2W9OFBsYo
    So what has Congress suddenly discovered? That their premiums are going to go through the roof!
    Currently, aides and lawmakers receive their health care under the generous Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. The government subsidizes upward of 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans. In 2014, most Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are expected to be put onto the exchanges, and there has been no guidance whether the government will subsidize those premiums. This is expected to cause a steep spike in health insurance costs.


    Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.
    “If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”

    Really, Mr. Larson? And what the heck does he think it's going to do to everybody else in the country? Duh?

    This goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

    For everyone who is in favor of term limits ... Obamacare may be the answer

    There is a catch22 though ... if they retire they get to keep their present plan. Dang! Grassley didn't go quite far enough in his amendment.


    Last edited by Gerry Clinchy; 06-13-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    You gotta love this ... Congress (and their aides) have finally learned what is in Obamacare! There was an amendment to the law (Kudos to Grassley for this one)


    So what has Congress suddenly discovered? That their premiums are going to go through the roof!


    Really, Mr. Larson? And what the heck does he think it's going to do to everybody else in the country? Duh?


    Everybody else? We still plan to pay 100% of the premiums for our employees.
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    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Everybody else? We still plan to pay 100% of the premiums for our employees.
    Planning to pay and continuing to pay are different things, Once your employer sees how much OC increases their costs, they will probably have a change of heart.
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    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Everybody else? We still plan to pay 100% of the premiums for our employees.
    Buzz,

    Your employer is the exception not the rule.

    I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with regards to the changes that are coming.

    Tom
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    Senior Member luvmylabs23139's Avatar
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    The self employed who currently have insurance are really gonna get screwed. If you did not have your current plan before a certain date in 2010 regardless of whether you had insurance you CANNOT keep your plan if it does not conform to BUMFACE DICTATORS IDEAS. We guess our premiums will double and yes cost us more per month than our mortgage (we have no escrows).
    This is nothing more than punishing hard working responsible people. We have a high deductable, but we chose and planned for that when we made the change after running numbers. We simply banked the difference between the old plan and the new plan premiums which was a lot until we had 2 years of total out of pocket covered( deductable and coinsurance).
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Everybody else? We still plan to pay 100% of the premiums for our employees.
    Unless a union or employer has a waiver, there is a glitch in this.

    I mentioned in another thread (and provided a link) that there is a limit on how much an employer is allowed to pay for an employee, something around 9% of compensation. So, if there is a lower paid employee with family coverage, the employee may be compelled to kick into his coverage. If premiums increase sufficiently then those employees are going to be paying something for their coverage ... that they didn't have to pay before. Nobody quite knows how much this may turn out to be. The employer might be compelled to opt for a cheaper plan to protect those lower-paid employees from an undue financial burden. As I understand it, subsidies do not apply to those who have employer coverage. I could be wrong on that.

    Actually, one of the problems with ACA seems to be that nobody quite understands all its provisions. They've got 6 more months to work it out.


    Also, there is the penalty for coverage that is "too good." I think the employer has to pay that. Obviously, if those benefits only accrue to highly skilled employees the employer can feel that it is worth the cost.

    If nothing changes, the end goal is likely to be single-payer ... which Obama stated long ago, but that it would probably have to be done in stages.
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    I have no idea if this fits in this thread or not but I have been on the phone today trying to get my test strips for my glucose meter. Our current mail order pharmacy can no longer fill my prescription for them after this time. I will now need to get a list of mail order Pharmacies who are permitted to fill that prescription. My understanding is that any local pharmacy will be permitted to do this ( now ). I could not get through to ask medicare for that list. The Rx numbers were available for me or any local pharmacy of my choice. I will not try to explain everything that I was told. I tried to explain to Wally world pharmacy and they told me to call the mail order place back because the lady I had talked to at the mail order pharmacy did not know what she was talking about. After at least 5 phone calls and at least 5 different people I gave up. Wally world will not get to fill my new prescription for test strips ! That seems the way this is going to have to be handled which is crazy. The contract that the current mail order pharmacy has now does not permit them to sell the test strips. Anyone know if this is a contract with medicare ? I did not ask that question today but since I am now on medicare ( and our private health insurance ) I'm guessing that is the little problem.
    charly

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Buzz I found this today ... but there is no link or description of where in the bill this penalty for employers appearsl

    Also if any policy offered by the company amounts to more than 9.5% of an employee’s income, the company has to pay $3,000 for that employee.
    Thus, it would appear even when an employer is willing to pay an employee's premium, they may not be able to do so. It would depend on the cost of the plan & the employee's compensation. If premiums were to increase dramatically, they might have some serious problems with this 9.5% cap. The lower end of the pay scale is the one least able to afford the premiums; while more highly compensated employees may be able to stay under the cap of 9.5%.

    The employee with employer-provided coverage is not eligible for an exchange. So, if the employer pays for the employee's coverage, but the employee has to pick up the additional for family coverage, the family coverage might be unaffordable.

    So, there could be a situation where the employer stops offering coverage in order to help his employees afford coverage (through an exchange).

    Lots of glitches in this bill.

    One wonders who actually wrote the bill. Seems likely that it was staffers, not the Congress critters themselves. Was it a "composite" of many proposals over an extended period of time? That seems likely since coming up with a bill this complex in the time they did might have led them to cherry-pick bits and pieces from various proposals. That could explain why some of the items in the bill do not seem to "gel" with other parts.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Rose's Mom's Avatar
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    In the sumer of 09 I put my minor daughter on her own plan - as long as the premiums are paid and the compay stays in business she ill have her own policy.
    I fearthat this is the firs step towards nationalized healthcare nd designed to fail from the start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Everybody else? We still plan to pay 100% of the premiums for our employees.
    Buzz your co. may pay 100% of the premium but the individual tax on the co. health ins. may be as much as the premium for some. I posted that the a co is witholding the tax based on weekly hourly wage of a friend of mine. He has tried to find out how it is calculated but the co says that it is only doing what the IRS has advised its accountants to do. So individual out of pocket tax increase may be as great for an employee as the actual premium.

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