Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Politicians Are Despised

About five weeks ago I did a post titled "No Exchanges, No Obamacare" which explained that if states refused to create the insurance exchanges called for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) the federal government would have to set them up and this they're not equipped to do. A reader whose job it is to understand and help implement this monstrosity at her workplace writes to explain some of the implications. She writes:
My view on "Obamacare" is this: If the members of Congress were too busy or too good to actually sit down and educate themselves on PPACA, then how can they expect the states to comply? I wish I had a job that allowed me to rush through my daily tasks, not bother to pay any attention to what I was doing, and certainly not be concerned with the consequences of my actions. Unfortunately my job requires that I spend countless hours educating myself on PPACA.

I have attended numerous seminars, participated in a number of meetings with our benefits broker, and drafted many employee communications, all to ensure that my company is in compliance with PPACA's myriad of requirements. And we are just scratching the surface here.

Do I believe that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable healthcare? Sure I do. Do I believe that employers should be penalized for not offering such quality, affordable healthcare (the "pay or play" option)? Not so much. If a small business cannot afford to offer its employees healthcare coverage now, how will they be able to afford to pay into the exchange? I expect PPACA may drive many small companies out of business.

And for those employers who can afford to either offer the coverage or pay into the exchange, the additional cost of compliance has been and will continue to be significant. Further, we are now restricted as to the changes we can make to our benefit plans and are required to allow such things as covering dependent children up to age 26, regardless of marital status and (for the moment) availability of other coverage. While I did say I was in favor of access to affordable healthcare for all Americans, having to provide coverage for Joe Employee's married dependent child is just ridiculous.

As for the states that are refusing to set-up an exchange, I say bravo. Again, shame on Congress for not taking their time on this to anticipate the various problems that passing PPACA would create. I myself would not be upset in the least if this resulted in Obamacare's demise. My only issue is that I could never recoup all of the hours spent on education and compliance. But I guess Congress wouldn't lose sleep over that.
It is a disgrace that the Democrats would pass a bill that places enormous burdens of time and cost on employers who must ferret out all of the bill's nooks and crannys when these politicians couldn't be bothered to take the time themselves to read the bill to find out what was in it.