In the years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, aka Obamacare, experts have argued over what the sweeping changes will mean to the average American. Now, only a few months away from the main launch, corporations like Wal-Mart are moving quickly to revamp their employee benefits programs to limit their exposure. In the process, they’re proving what many critics of Obamacare have long claimed – Americans will receive less healthcare for their dollar.
The propaganda begins
Almost immediately after the state of California released its Obamacare-mandated healthcare insurance exchange, the Obama administration proclaimed that the result is now quantifiable – monthly premium costs have come down for policyholders. But outlets like Forbes are insisting the exact opposite – that the ‘exchanges’ are more expensive.
The key to proving which side is right involves delving into the specifics of each plan – the ‘before and after’. Democrats and their supporters insist the monthly premiums Americans will pay by participating in the California exchange are lower than before. While that may be true, deductibles are higher, co-pays for services are higher, and desperately-needed prescriptions, devices and services have been replaced by cheaper and less-helpful versions or eliminated all together. In other words, it would appear Americans are paying less but receiving much, much less.
To listen to Republican activists like Forbes Magazine, the California health insurance exchange is actually more expensive. However, their formula doesn’t appear to compare apples to apples or oranges to oranges. Instead, they simply take ‘the three lowest-priced plans’ in the Obamacare exchanges and compare them to the three lowest-priced plans from one particular internet-based healthcare company today. The internet insurance is cheaper than the exchange, but nowhere do researchers compare what exactly each plan offers. They simply compare the prices between Obamacare’s cheapest plan versus the cheapest plan currently available to all Americans online.
Millions losing insurance
One change that has become clear in the run-up to the full implementation of Obamacare on January 1, 2014 is that going forward, there will be many more people on welfare or using government-managed exchanges, and many fewer utilizing employer-sponsored health insurance. Recent changes by one single corporation – Wal-Mart – guarantee that fact. The nation’s largest non-government employer has already announced it is dropping many of its 1.4 million US workers from its health insurance plans.
The Affordable Care Act requires large corporations to provide company-sponsored health insurance options to their employees. But the law doesn’t require those options to be good. Already, corporations are forcing their employees to pay most or all of the monthly premiums. And higher deductibles and lower payout limits are insuring that individual Americans and their dependents will pay much more of the costs than they used to.
The most profitable course of action, as Wal-Mart is proving, is to drop employee insurance all together. To do that however, Wal-Mart must make part-time employees out of its current full-time employees. And at the end of 2012, that’s exactly what the company announced it was going to do. Those changes are now being felt across the country.
An account from Breitbart.com cites a December review of Wal-Mart’s newly-released employee insurance policy changes. ‘Labor and health care experts portrayed Walmart’s decision to exclude workers from its medical plans as an attempt to limit costs while taking advantage of the national health care reform known as Obamacare,’ the report reads, ‘Among the key features of Obamacare is an expansion of Medicaid, the taxpayer-financed health insurance program for poor people. Many of the Walmart workers who might be dropped from the company’s health care plans earn so little that they would qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, these experts said.’
It’s already been widely documented that for more than a decade, Wal-Mart has used extensive printed materials, instructional videos, and HR supervisors to help its employees apply for Medicaid. The company’s pay rates are so low, most of its employees actually live below the poverty level and already qualify for welfare assistance.
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