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Obamacare: Bad for business and your health

One of the main reasons the economy is not recovering is because of the healthcare law. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare is not what the doctor ordered or what the people wanted. Every single poll ever conducted since its inception has shown more Americans in favor of its repeal than against it. The bill is a staggering 2,074 pages of hidden fees, oppressive taxes, and job killing regulations. To give you an idea of just how large this bill is keep in mind that Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace is only 1,440 pages.

According to a recent study from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Obamacare will make it harder to recruit and pay highly qualified workers. Businesses will have to weigh the risk/reward ratio on whether or not they can afford to expand their businesses past 49 employees. Imagine that. A government law that actually punishes a business from growing? Once a business has 50 or more total employees the Obamacare mandate provisions kick in. Many small businesses will be forced to make critical decisions. Should they continue to offer health insurance for their employees or should they pay the fine instead?

The businesses that decide not to expand and remain under 49 employees do not have to offer health insurance. Dropping the insurance for their employees won’t change the fact that those employees will still get fined for not having insurance. Obamacare has already been proven to be bad for business and will continue to cost small businesses more in production, labor, and manufacturing expenditures. Roughly74% of small businesses have said the main reason they are not hiring is because of the law. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the healthcare law will lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by the end of this decade alone.

In a cruel and ironic twist, Obamacare will also disproportionately affect the people it was designed to help the most; the poor. According to a recent joint study by Harvard and the University of Chicago, the workers most affected by Obamacare will be younger workers, minorities, and entry level or labor heavy workers. This is the exact group of people who can least afford to pay anymore for their health insurance. Instead of hiring and training new cashiers, receptionists, and customer service representatives small businesses will be forced to cut costs. They will develop new techniques such as automated kiosks and scanning machines instead of live workers. The end result will be fewer jobs for the people that need them the most. So when the poor get sick and suffer health problems from the added stress of not being able to find a job they can take comfort in the fact that they will be taken care of with government run healthcare.

Here are a few examples of what type of decisions job creators are now asking themselves.

John Schnatter, CEO of Papa Johns Pizza said Obamacare will force him to raise his prices between 11 and 14 cents per slice. Under the law, the company which is the third largest pizza chain in the United States will have to offer healthcare coverage to its more than 16,500 total employees or be subjected to a fine. In order to offset the additional costs associated with the law many businesses like Papa Johns are passing the costs on to their customers by increasing their prices.

Here is a quote from Judy Nichols, a small business owner, “I have two options. The cost for providing health insurance per-worker per-year is approximately $4,000. I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could not expand my business and keep my number of employees under 50 so the mandate does not apply. It unfortunately is a no win situation for me. Obamacare will cost me between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars per year in new taxes. Many businesses owners, including myself are leaning towards dropping the coverage and paying the fine.”

Even a committed liberal like Jim Cramer of CNBC admitted that Obamacare will hurt most businesses. On his Mad Money show he said this, “What I’m telling you is that most of the business leaders that I have spoken with have a real fear of Obamacare. They don’t want to hire, this is part of the underground economy that is going to develop, because nobody wants to put people on the books. People have to recognize that this issue is front and center to every CEO I speak to. They tell me it is less expensive and less burdensome to hire and place workers in other countries. As a result of the law a lot more businesses will set up operations in China, India, or even Mexico.”

On July 16th, 2009 at a rally in Holmdel, New Jersey President Obama said something that we now know is not entirely true. In an attempt to solidify more support for his healthcare bill the President said this. “Let me be clear. If you have health insurance that you like, a doctor that you trust, you can keep your current plan.”

First off, we have learned these last four years that when the President starts a sentence with let me be clear it usually means he is not. His proclamation that you can keep the insurance you have is in many ways the political equivalent of former President Bill Clinton’s ambiguous statement ‘it depends on what the definition of is is.”

The Affordable Care Act, which is the epitome of an oxymoron, was never intended to be anything but a single payer system. The President and the Democrats knew if they could just get their foot through the healthcare door that over time it would become a single payer system through attrition. The law was purposely designed to be so cumbersome, so complicated, and so expensive for businesses that they would get frustrated and just stop offering insurance and pay the fine. Most independent studies have concluded that nearly 70% of privately insured carriers will eventually end up on the government plan.

Another potentionally dangerous stipulation included in Obamacare is known as the Independent Panel Advisory Board. This controversial provision of the bill creates a 15 member panel of unelected bureaucrats in charge of controlling costs. These officials are appointed by the President, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Minority Leader.

Once the board members have been chosen they must be confirmed by the Senate and are appointed for a term of six years. Perhaps what is most chilling about these appointees is the fact that they do not even have to have a medical background! And if this wasn’t enough, they will also be paid a salary of $165,300 per year.

The President and the Democrats insist this panel is not allowed to ration care. There is language in the bill that specifically forbids it. But lets be honest here, they are paid to control costs.

Suppose you have two equally infirm patients. One patient is 25 years younger than the other. Both patients need a life saving operation that would immediately improve their long term health and quality of life. The board realizes that if they authorize both operations it will put them over their proposed budget. Do you really think they’re going to authorize the older patient for the operation? Not a chance. They would instead more likely try to justify their decision by saying to patient A that he/she has had a longer life than patient B. It is time to discuss other means of treatment such as end of life practices and pain management for patient A instead of authorizing a budget busting life saving operation.

Since when is it ever acceptable for the government to play the role of God? What if that was your mother or father? How would you feel?

This is the insidious part of Obamacare that many Americans have a major problem with. Healthcare decisions should only be between the patient, the family, and the doctor. Healthcare decisions should never be between the patient, the family, the doctor, and some unqualified, unelected, government bean counter.

If Obamacare is fully implemented in America our country and our healthcare will never be the same. If you think healthcare is expensive now just wait until it is free and run by the government. Our premiums will sky rocket because there will be less competition. The overall quality of the healthcare we come to expect will also diminish over time. There will also be a shortage of good doctors and specialists as many will leave the profession. What is the best way to ruin the greatest healthcare system in the world? Hand it over to the government to run.
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