5 days ago
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
EMPLOYERS AND FEAR MONGERING
While I admit I have not read the entirety of the Affordable Health Care Act, I have done some reading and research into the provisions of it relating to businesses. I am still trying to find out why so many businesses believe that they will no longer be able to afford to provide insurance to their employees and why they think "Obamacare" is going to make their rates go up.
I read on Huffington Post about a CEO who, when handing out bonuses to his employees, admonished them to vote for Romney or next year there would be lower pay and higher taxes, plus he would pass the health care increase on to them:
Richard Lacks, CEO of Michigan-based Lacks Enterprises, a car-part manufacturer, is urging his employees to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Not doing so, he warns, could lead to higher taxes and lower pay.
"It is important that in November you vote to improve your standard of living and that will be through smaller government and less government," Lacks wrote as part of a letter that also announced a bonus for the company's 2,300 employees, according to the report. A number of progressive economists warn, however, that suddenly slashing government spending could plunge the economy into another recession.
More specifically, Lacks warned that Obamacare may raise the company's health insurance costs, which he said he would pass on to employees.
Nearly two-thirds of employers expect higher health benefit costs as a result of Obamacare, according to a recent survey.
This seems to be an employer trend; forcing employees to attend rallies and threatening them to vote in the interest of "the company" or else. And the concerns about voter fraud are about picture ID?
I have tried to get a straight answer from a number of sources about the concerns business owners have about the coming insurance requirements. I have gotten no new information which supports these fears. Insurance premiums have been going up at a rate of about 10% a year for the past 6 years without the new options, this year, the rates only went up about 7%. It would appear that the insurance companies are already aware of the competition the new plan will provide and slowing their greedy rate hikes a bit. For an employer who subsidizes employee premiums, that is good news.
But paying any part of the employee plan is not required - and providing a plan is required only if an employer has 50 or more employees. My company has 5 employees. We have a health care plan and the company pays a generous 75% of the employee's premium. (My last employer only paid 25%.)
An insurance broker sent an e-mail to my company with dire sounding warnings about potential increases in insurance plans if Obama was elected. I e-mailed back and forth with him and finally, finally got him to admit that the only issue for small businesses was that those which offer insurance were at an advantage in attracting good employees - which is true now. He had a hard time admitting that the only cost to an employer offering a plan to their employees was some admin time. No other requirement exists but his marketing campaign still goes on, spreading fear and mis-information.