Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

“Would you like a side of health care with that shake?”

Surprise: McDonald’s Franchisee: ‘Obamacare Will Negatively Hit Us Like Nothing Else’.

Here’s one thing you likely won’t find a McDonald’s franchise owner happy to ask his employees anytime soon: “Would you like a side of health care with that shake?”

That’s because some of the fast food chain’s franchisees say that the costs associated with President Obama’s health care reform law will cut deep into profits, according to a recent survey of 25 McDonald’s owners conducted by Janney Capital Markets obtained by The Huffington Post.

Of course there’s the counterpoint…

Others contend that these worries are overblown. A study last fall estimated that businesses with fewer than 100 employees can actually expect their costs to go down because of Obamacare. Besides that, most employers don’t appear overly concerned: Almost 90 percent say they would not cut employee hours in order to avoid paying for health insurance, a recent poll found.

I really don’t believe these people have done the research.


An item totaling 0.01 percent of the budget proves that Obamacare won’t work.

Obama’s Damaging Admission | National Review Online.

The president’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cuts Medicaid’s DSH payments, beginning with a $360 million cut in 2014. The theory went like this: When the PPACA begins reducing the number of uninsured, hospitals won’t need those subsidies. In his budget, however, President Obama proposes to increase Medicaid DSH payments by $360 million in 2014, effectively rescinding next year’s cut. This deceptively small item has far-reaching significance. With this proposal, President Obama has admitted that:

As they say… read the whole thing!


UnitedHealth to be “very selective” exchange user

Caution –  UnitedHealth to be “very selective” exchange user | LifeHealthPro. Expect to hear more of this.

“We will be very selective in where we participate and do not believe the exchanges will be a significant factor for us in our 2014 commercial market outlook,” Hemsley said.

Jeffer Alter, the head of UnitedHealth’s UnitedHealthcare employer and individual business, said the company is making exchange participation decisions on a market-by-market basis and expects to increase the number of exchanges it uses as the exchange program develops.

“It’s not just a 2014 event,” Alter said.

What’s the hurry in getting caught up in each state’s favorite mandates and uncertainties in the actual utilization rates?


Family Glitch: Affordable coverage for an employee does NOT mean affordable coverage for the family

ObamaCare’s “Family Glitch” Hurts the Middle Class.

Despite everyone’s assumption, dependents of full-time workers will not be automatically covered under ObamaCare. According to the IRS, employers will not be required to provide an affordable insurance plan that covers an employee’s family.

Instead, any individual plan that is below the 9.5 percent threshold qualifies as affordable. And because the individual plan now qualifies as “affordable” under ObamaCare, the IRS interpretation also disqualifies employees from getting federal subsidies to help cover the cost of insuring their families.

Wow! Let’s review, assuming a family with a single breadwinner who works for a business with 50 or more employees: Continue reading Family Glitch: Affordable coverage for an employee does NOT mean affordable coverage for the family


Not time for Obamacare obituary

Obamacare Has Its Problems, But It’s Basically On Track | Mother Jones.

I don’t expect the implementation of Obamacare to go smoothly. It’s big, it’s complex, it’s underfunded, and Republicans desperately want it to fail. This makes problems inevitable. Nevertheless, pouncing on every reported hitch as a harbinger of doom is taking schadenfreude too far. HHS has consistently claimed that they’ll be ready to go by October 1. Maybe that’s overoptimistic. But although it will probably take several years for Obamacare’s uptake rate to reach its goal, I’ll bet that by this time next year it will be up and running and basically doing its job. It’s a little early to be writing its obituary. (emphasis added – Ed)

Kevin Drum’s outlook may well be correct. Color me skeptical on the exchanges all being ready by October 1st date.


The Desperation of Obamacare Advocates

The PJ Tatler » The Desperation of Obamacare Advocates.

Few aspects of the Affordable Care Act are more critical to its success than affordability, but in recent weeks experts have predicted costs for some health plans could soar next year.

Now health law supporters are pushing back, noting close ties between the actuaries making the forecasts and an insurance industry that has been complaining about taxes and other factors it says will lead to rate shock for consumers.

“Most actuaries in this country — what percentage are employed by insurance companies?” Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, asked an actuary last week at a hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Who IS going to determine rates but actuaries? Why would the insurance companies want to come out with “bogus” rates. They already have to conform to to the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provisions of the affordable care act.