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The True Costs and Consequences of Obamacare

Friday, May 21, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Today’s Politico carries word that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will soon try to rush through the “doctors’ fix” –the long anticipated reversal of the pay cut for doctors on which the budget of Obamacare was balanced.

The price tag of the “fix” is $20 billion a year –which will no doubt grow in future years, so the cost of Obamcare is already $200 billion out of whack over ten years despite all the claims made when the bill was jammed through the House.

But that is not all. There’s another $2.4 billion per year for hospitals in the new bill –another $24 billion to be added to the tab for Obamacare.

All of this was known –and denied by Obamacare boosters– at the time of the jam down. And this is just the first wave of the costs of reality catching up with the rhetoric of “bending the cost curve” nonsense that was on the lips of every Obamacare proponent.

Other consequences loom. John Goodman writes in today’s Wall Street Journal about the calculations now being done in every corporate office in America:

Millions of American workers could discover that they no longer have employer-provided health insurance as ObamaCare is phased in. That’s because employers are quickly discovering that it may be cheaper to pay fines to the government than to insure workers.

AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere and Verizon have all made internal calculations, according the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to determine how much could be saved by a) dropping their employer-provided insurance, b) paying a fine of $2,000 per employee, and c) leaving their employees with the option of buying highly-subsidized insurance in the newly created health-insurance exchange.

AT&T, for example, paid $2.4 billion last year to cover medical costs for its 283,000 active employees. If the company dropped its health plan and paid an annual penalty for each uninsured worker, the fines would total almost $600 million. But that would leave AT&T with a tidy profit of $1.8 billion.

Read the whole thing. The consequences of Obamacare will roll out across the economy over the next year even as the hidden costs are revealed and piled on top of the soaring deficit.

All of this can be fixed and the next Congress will have to do so, but it was also completely avoidable had the MSM simply done its job and explained the inevitable consequences and the real math of Obamacare at the time it was being debated.

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