Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Obamacare:  If It’s for Them,  It’s OK,  If It’s for Them and Us, It’s Not OK
So it’s us v them
Over and over again.
Song Lyrics,  Us V Them

You hear it over and again.   Obamacare should cover all Americans. It’s a right.  It’s a moral imperative. It’s being a civilized nation.  It’s the compassionate thing to do.   We must do it for them.  It’s the right thing to do.  It’s the only thing to do. It’s universal coverage – even it if busts the budget.
As it turns out, however, it’s not one for all, or all for one.  It’s what in it for "us."
“Us” are 11 million government workers covered by FEHP (Federal Employee Health Plan) with a wide selection of health plans,    10 million  union workers with top-of-the line health plans,   1100 or so political allies who receive waivers who say they can’t afford Obamacare,  small businesses  with 50 or more employees seeking financial relief from $2000 penalties for each uncovered worker, and congressional lawmakers who learn their staff  may desert them if they are forced to  buy Obamacare coverage.
 Obamacare may be OK for “them”, most Americans, but not for “us” who like the plans and doctors we have   
The moral, perhaps I should say the morale for the “us” crowd,  is: We are not an either/or society – government-endorsed v  private plans.  We want multiple options, and we want full-time jobs.
Here is how Kaiser Health News reports the dilemmas facing organizations who want to retain the status quo, many of  Obamacare allies, and how they are confronting the problem. 
"Lawmakers' Aides Fret Over Requirement To Buy Obamacare Coverage" (Kaiser Health News, July 30, 2013)

The New York Times explores how congressional staffs are anxious about a health law provision requiring them to buy coverage in online insurance markets because the fderal government may no longer pay a share of their premiums. Meanwhile, The Hill reports on a request to audit Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage.
The New York Times:Wrinkle In Health Law Vexes Lawmakers' Aides”

As President Obama barnstorms the country promoting his health care law, one audience very close to home is growing increasingly anxious about the financial implications of the new coverage: members of Congress and their personal staffs (Pear, 7/29).
CQ HealthBeat:  Definition Of Full-Time Worker Continues To Roil Health Care Law”

White Castle might stop making full-time hires because of costs associated with requirements in the health care overhaul, an executive with the hamburger chain recently told a House panel. The testimony from Jamie Richardson was one of the latest examples of an employer citing the law’s definition of a full-time employee as a major problem, and highlighted an ongoing debate over whether a revision is needed (Attias, 7/29).

The Hill:Watchdog Requests IRS Review Of Group That Is Promoting ObamaCare”

A watchdog group is asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of an organization crucial in helping to promote ObamaCare. Cause of Action has asked the IRS to investigate Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage options under the healthcare law (Baker, 7/29).

Contra Costa Times: "Half Of Affordable Care Act Call Center Jobs Will Be Part-Time"

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president's Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup. Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits -- a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time (Gafni, 7/25).
Fox News: “Workers At ObamaCare Call Center Angry After Being Offered Jobs Without Health Benefits”
A soon-to-be-opened call center meant to help teach the public about ObamaCare is under fire for offering many of its new employees part-time positions — in turn denying them benefits under the very law they are helping to implement. The Contra Costa Times reports the call center, which is set to be opened Oct. 1, attracted about 7,000 applicants for 200 jobs after the county won the right to operate it earlier this year. Many workers and local politicians say they believed that the majority of the positions at the center would be full-time with benefits (7/29).
These news items raises questions;  Is Obamacare turning us into a part-time nation?   Should federal workers and Congessional staffs be exempt form Obamacare?  It is fair  workers for the Obamacare sign-up campaign  be denied benefits?  Who should receive Obamacare waivers form the health law?
Tweet:   Should  government workers, union members, Obama campaign employees, small business with low wage workers be exempt from  Obamacare?



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