Ah, yes – five years ago, the battle cry was Affordable Health Insurance for all the po’ folks who can’t afford it! And now…..
It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but Obama’s health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.
That might seem strange since the law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer “affordable” coverage or face fines.
But what’s reasonable? Because of a wrinkle in the law, companies can meet their legal obligations by offering policies that would be too expensive for many low-wage workers. For the employee, it’s like a mirage — attractive but out of reach.
By the way – policies that young, healthy, low-wage earners could afford are outlawed – too bare-bones for the Nannies-That-Be.
The law is complicated, but essentially companies with 50 or more full-time workers are required to offer coverage that meets certain basic standards and costs no more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s income. Failure to do so means fines for the employer.
Who can chop 10% off the top of their paycheck these days?
… (Full-time work is defined as 30 or more hours a week, on average.)
And there is why hours are so tough to get – some places used to have 32 hours as full-time, some had 33 or 36 – and employees got used to seeing 30, 32, or 35-hour paychecks.
But now Bo has decided full-time will be 30 hours… I see a lot of 29-hour workweeks ahead….
Or – companies that have a heart can schedule 20 hours at regular times…. so an employee can go out an find a second job, and dovetail the hours of their two jobs, in order to pay their rent.
But do the math from the worker’s side: For an employee making $21,000 a year, 9.5 percent of their income could mean premiums as high as $1,995 and the insurance would still be “considered” affordable.
Even a premium of $1,000 — close to the current average for employee-only coverage — could be unaffordable for someone stretching earnings in the low $20,000’s.
And the kicker:
Another thing to keep in mind: premiums wouldn’t be the only expense for employees. For a basic plan…
– that would be the only kind a low wage-earner could envision purchasing –
… they could also face an annual deductible amounting to $3,000 or so, before insurance starts paying.
All of which I said back before this became “Law”. It is amusing that Nancy Pelosi still does not deign to notice this aspect of the bill she “passed, so she could see what’s in it.”
I don’t know anyone making, oh, say, $17,000 – the general amount a fairly full-time Wally World employee might make – who would be able to carve out $2000 for a fee every year, whether he used it or not. Of course, “whether he used it or not” is really moot, because there will be a HEFTY deductible each year, adding to the cost our low-wage earner will need to chisel out of his meager earnings.
So, $1000 – $2000 each year to pay for everyone ELSE’S health care….. and then pay for your own health care to boot, up to $2000 – $3000 in any given year, EVERY YEAR.
Yeah, that’s Affordable.
UPDATE: a Commenter at Hot Air left this:
Actual post from a Prog on Craig’s List:
‘What Obamacare did for me:
I thought it would be great, free health insurance, then I got a job. Boss says 28 hours a week is all they are offering now because over 30 requires insurance. Great, 30% pay cut right off the bat. But it gets better. My 28 hour week gives me about $18,000 a year which is too much for any government insurance.
Thanks, Obama. I wonder how many people like me turn 27 and find out YOU SCREWED US?’