July 3, 2013

Un-ringing a bell

The White House announced yesterday that they are 'delaying' the employer mandate portion of Obamacare:
The law requires companies that employ 50 or more workers to offer coverage or face fines. The Treasury Department and the White House said that, based on complaints by employers that the system for reporting the coverage was too onerous, they would simplify that system and give employers an additional year to comply. 
The mandate's implementation deadline is now 2015.  In the interest of transparency, the White House should have just said "after the mid-term elections".
And while some of us may have some hope that this delay will lead to further concessions, changes, delays, and maybe even repeal - much of the damage to the end consumer is done.
As I sit here, my husband's company just sent their annual open enrollment information - with a cover letter (drafted last week) that blames the cost increases on Obamacare.
At my place of business, I was intimately involved in our new health care plan selection, and spent hours with our broker, learning the ins, outs, and costs of today's coverage, as well as what to expect in future years.
You see, insurance companies issue their renewal rates months in advance.  And those rates have skyrocketed since the health care law was passed.  Each implementation deadline has served as little more than another excuse for the companies to explain away rate increases.
Delaying the employer mandate, no matter what ultimately happens, just gives big insurance another money grab opportunity.
The best hope I have, after hearing one of those 'experts' on the radio suggest it, is that a medical black market will evolve, with patients and doctors working outside of the system, reverting to individually negotiated pricing and payment.  
Heck, if my doctor is willing to take a chicken and some garden-fresh produce in return for an exam and diagnosis, why should Obama care?

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