Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eight Business ObamaCare Penalty Escapes

We cannot escape history.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965)

Firms Try To Escape Health Penalties.

Anna Mathews and Julie Jargon, title of WSJ front page article, WSJ, October 22, 2014.

When the history of ObamaCare is written, it will record that American businesses sought multiple ways to escape the $2000 penalty on businesses.

The penalties were supposed to start this year, but for political reasons, the Obama administration delayed them until after the November midterm elections for firms that employ 100 people or more.

Small businesses, which employ over 90% of Americans, say the health law penalties retard employment of full-time workers and cut profitability, especially for firms with primarily low-wage workers.

There are basically eight ways to avoid health law penalties.

• One, hire fewer full-time workers.

• Two, hire more part-time workers, working less than 30 hours a week, and not offer health care benefits.

• Three, push full-time workers into Medicaid, which state and federal governments jointly fund, and for which the employer pays no penalty.

• Four, offer bare bones, or “skinny” plans, that cover preventive care but exclude major benefits like hospital care.

• Five, hire part-time workers when full-time workers leave.

• Six, offer workers Health Savings Accounts plans with high deductibles which encourage workers to pay out-of-pocket to meet deductiblea.

• Seven, stop enrollment in plans of spouses, families, and domestic partners.

. Eight, don't expand.

Some cynics say the Medicaid switch is part of the ObamaCare strategy to use Medicaid expansion as a prelude to a universal single payer system.

Others say shunting patients into Medicaid is shifting people into a substandard care system, in which delays are legendary and in which only 45% of doctors are now accepting Medicaid patients (Jeffrey Singer, MD, “ ObamaCare Shunts My Patients into Medicaid, “ WSJ, October 21, 2014).

Ultimately, patients will learn their costs are increasing NS their care is suffering , albeit in the name of increased “health care coverage.”

In the end, the Medicaid shift may backfire on employers and government.

As Abraham Lincoln explained, “ If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time’ you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

(Doctor Reece, author of over 3600 Medinnovation blogs over the last 7 years, with over 2.1 million readership views, is available for speaking engagements on the future of health reform. For more information, call 1-860-395-1501 or write

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