The October Surprise has arrived, but Democrats won’t like it at all. Boeing has announced to its nonunion employees a hike in their health care costs: deductibles and co-payments are going up, the first fruits of Obamacare, and only the first of many sticker shocks those employees will receive over the next few years.
How big is the first bite? AP reports:
Deductibles, the share of medical costs that employees pay annually before their plan kicks in, will go up to $300 for individuals, an increase of $100. For families, the new deductible will be $900, an increase of $300.
In addition, Boeing is instituting a copayment of 10 percent after the deductible has been met. The copayment will rise to 20 percent in 2012.
The hike in the deductible is a hit, but the copayment is big money, and the 20% copayment that kicks in next year will almost certainly devastate some families with high medical bills.
Remember the president’s “guarantee”: You could keep the insurance you had if you liked it. Unless the president meant that you could keep it an a much higher cost, the president’s “guarantee” –made over and over again– was an obvious lie when it was offered, and proof of that is arriving every day.
Again, this is just the first bite of Obamacare. “Looking ahead,” the St. Louis Business Journal reported a Boeing executive as explaining, “the company is working to manage its programs now so it doesn’t hit a threshold in 2018 that would trigger a 40% excise tax on the value of the health plans.”
This hit on Boeing employees because of Obamacare ought to lead every Republican candidate’s speech at every campaign stop today –more concrete, undeniable proof that Obamacare is going to punish most working Americans and eventually all Americans. Boeing employees sticker shock should be in every stump speech and every commercial.
Dino Rossi, the GOP Senate candidate in Washington State which is home to many Boeing employees, immediately moved to hold Patty Murray accountable for the rollout of Obamacare.
“This legislation was supposed to increase access and reduce costs, but it does neither – and even the President admitted he knew costs would increase,” Rossi’s statement read. “This is not the reform Washingtonians were promised, and Senator Murray’s bill has failed Boeing, its employees, and every Washington family.”
Exactly right, and a template for every candidate. Obamacare is a cost and quality nightmare, one chosen by Democrats and over the vigorous, sustained objections of the American people. The sort of massive costs being passed on to Boeing employees will be rolling out all across the country and for years to come unless the bill is repealed and replaced with one that abandons social engineering in favor of creatng larger, freer markets and imposing significant restraints onthe plaintiffs’ bar.
As Campaign 2010 heads into the stretch this story should focus it even more on the disaster of the last two years frenzy of left-wing fairy tales dressed up in 2,000 page unread bills. Only a massive, shuddering defeat will push the Democrats in the Senate facing their own campaigns in 2012 to agree to repeal and only the prospect of certain defeat will persuade President Obama to sign it.
But it has got to be done, and every campaign should focus on that fact over the next 14 days. The Hill reported yesterday that almost half of likely voters view Obamacare unfavorably, and that number will rise steadily, indeed dramatically, as word spreads of the real costs and consequences of the bill.