Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ObamaCare Magic


Well, if nothing else, the man in the White House is consistent.

Another BIG announcement impacting employers / employees across the U.S. and the announcement is made...  While Congress is gone, Americans are preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July, President Obama is thinking about returning from Africa and...  Egypt is preparing to implode.

Yup, time to make the after-hours, pre-holiday announcement and watch to see if ANYONE gorging on hot dogs, iced tea, and apple pie notices...

Huh?  What's that?  You don't know what I'm talking about?  Oops, sorry, that's because you're NOT supposed to know what's going on in your government.  It's safer for you not to know - if you know what I mean.  Because when something's for the 'Greater Good' you need to know that there are many, many things, greater than yourself. 

Please be aware that if you continue, and keep reading, you'll be doing what this Administration doesn't necessarily want you to do: 

a.  Being Informed,
b.  Getting Informed and finally,
c.  Informing others

Why might they not want you to know what's going on? 

BASIC RULE OF LIFE #73:  When there's going to be spectacular Train Wreck, the best viewing location it is far up on a hill watching from the comfort of a folding chair with an amber-colored beverage in hand.  (This is vastly preferable to being ON one of the aforementioned trains going 60 MPH head long towards a second train - heading straight for you.) 

Unfortunately, for you, me, and MOST other Americans, your seat on the Federally-subsidized "Hell-Bent Express" is reserved!

The personable (and pleasantly dressed) IRS agent manning the ticket window reaches out and deposits your ticket into your open, trembling hand.  In the distance, somewhere on the platform, the conductor in a starched brown uniform shouts, "All aboard!" 

This means you.  Yeah, get on the train. 

No.  Seriously. 

Get on the freaking the train or they'll put you on it. 

It's for your own good.  You'll see.  It's always for YOUR own good.  

Even if it...  Kills you.


  

July 2, 2013, 08:30pm, The Huffington Post:  Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed For One Year

Employers who don't provide health insurance will be spared penalties of up to $3,000 per worker until 2015, a one-year delay of a major component of President Barack Obama's health care reform law, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.


Under Obamacare, companies with at least 50 full-time employees are required to provide qualifying health benefits to workers or face financial penalties called "shared responsibility payments." The provision of the law aims to shore up and strengthen the system that provides health benefits to most covered Americans. Under regulatory guidance to be published next week, the Obama administration will free companies from this mandate and from rules that they report information about their health benefits to the federal government next year.

"During this 2014 transition period, we strongly encourage employers to maintain or expand health coverage," Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department, said in a statement. The change does not affect people who will buy health insurance on their own or small businesses that will buy coverage through the law's health insurance exchanges.

More than half of Americans, 170 million people, are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, according the census data. Of companies with at least 50 workers, 94 percent already offer health benefits, a survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows. The one-year delay of the penalties won't have a meaningful effect on jobs being the leading source of health care coverage, said Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
...

"The fact is, employers have been offering coverage voluntarily for how many years now. They didn't drop it before the law was passed. They offered it for business reasons," Fronstin said. "I don't think you'll see a mass exodus because of this."

Postponing enforcement of the "employer responsibility" mandate also isn't likely to result in significantly fewer people gaining health coverage because of Obamacare next year, said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

"The practical effect on how people will get covered is really small," Levitt said. "It might mean ever-so-slightly fewer people gaining insurance, but it'll be a very small number because the vast majority of larger employers already offer coverage." The Congressional Budget Office projected only a modest increase in job-based health benefits because of the law, he said.

...

"This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the 'train wreck' will only get worse," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms.'

The administration's move on the employer penalties follows a recent Government Accountability Office report suggesting the law's health insurance exchanges for individuals who don't get coverage at work and for small companies may not be ready for the six-month enrollment period that begins Oct. 1. In April, the administration also delayed part of the law intended to provide small-business workers with more health insurance choices.

These negative developments for the implementation of the health care reform law shouldn't been viewed as major warning signs, however, Levitt said. "I don't think people should read too much into this in terms of how ready the administration is to implement the rest of the law, but I think some people will draw those conclusions. I think it's more of an issue of perception than an issue of reality."

POINT OF CLARIFICATION:  Hey, Mr. Levitt, "Perception" IS "Reality" if you're the guy "Perceiving" it...

Example:


Yeah, the guy in the suit?  His perception rocks - reality, conversely, 'rocks' not so much. 

Okay, so if you follow the Administration's storyline, they're doing this 'delay' of the employer mandate so that 'larger employers' will have time to 'get their stuff together' prior to the full and udder (it's a cow thing, just go with it) roll-out of ObamaCare in 2014. 

The funny thing is that this deferral effectively pushes back OC's (ObamaCare's) deployment until AFTER the 2014 elections.  


Huh, I wonder why that is?

My perception is that this is being done purely for political reasons, as Democrats don't want a leadership 'blood letting' following the full implementation of ObamaCare in 2014. 

My perception is that since no Republicans voted for this legislation, Democrats are hoping a 12-month deferral will give them several more years to oppose Republican reforms (when, and if they every actually happen) and pass bad additional flawed legislation similar to our current Immigration Bill. 

My Perception is that there are no longer two parties in America - there those people who love America's as it WAS, and those who want to bend it to what they want it to BE.

My Reality is that I'd better get to work... 

Lest someone Perceive that I don't care any more and I become another of the takers, vs. the 'giving' kind-of-guy that I am.

Oh, and regarding the 'cut-&-pasted' photo that begins this post, I perceive that this Administration having the 'Ultimate Power' to do a major sleight of hand (as done late yesterday afternoon) is a lot like having many, many, BIG name stars in a major Hollywood motion picture on which you spent a LOT of other-people's money. 

Yeah, the movie gets made, but what happens when no one is interested in paying to see it?


But when you've got the only theater in town, and you can FORCE people to go, yeah, now you're on to something...

Happy Independence Day America! 

You know, it's odd, but I don't feel quite that we're quite as Independent as we used to be...





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