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Kiss your health care plan goodbye

Posted by Richard on May 8, 2010

After Obamacare was signed into law, several major corporations took well-publicized charges (as required by SEC rules) because of the anticipated revenue loss due to elimination of a tax deduction. This angered Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and other Socialist Democrats. They demanded that the companies turn over all Obamacare-related internal documents and explain themselves at Congressional hearings.

Oddly enough, however, after the Socialist Democrats received the documents, they promptly canceled the hearings and declared that there was nothing to see. Why? 

According to Fortune, it's because the internal documents from AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere, and Verizon revealed the dirty secret of Obamacare — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" was a lie (emphasis added): 

Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill's critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

That would dismantle the employer-based system that has reigned since World War II. It would also seem to contradict President Obama's statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them. And as we'll see, it would hugely magnify the projected costs for the bill, which controls deficits only by assuming that America's employers would remain the backbone of the nation's health care system.

In 2009, it cost AT&T $2.4 billion to provide health care coverage for its active employees. The alternative cost of paying the penalties for not providing coverage: $0.6 billion. It's hard to ignore math like that. AT&T could give its workers a nice raise to compensate them for dropping health care and still come out ahead.

And the numbers will likely get worse, as all four companies predicted significantly higher costs in the future due to Obamacare's new taxes, the expansion of coverage to "children" up to age 26, and other new mandates. 

Instead of dumping their health care benefits completely, many companies may find it economically and politically more palatable to offer only the basic government "pool" plan.

In any case, as many of us insisted at the time, you can kiss your current health care plan goodbye. And as at least some of us have argued all along, that's not going to be an unintended consequence — it's by design. The ultimate goal of the Socialist Democrats has always been "single payer," and Obamacare implements their stealth plan to destroy the private health care industry and eventually leave us with a "public option" as the only option.

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