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Just A Speed Bump In Obamacare?

Updated on December 16, 2011

Expected or Not

The question I will pose to you is whether you would rather be underwhelmed or overwhelmed. It's a pretty well known fact that many companies have put some healthcare plans on the paring table and yielded the ax after Obamacare was passed. It's about as popular with the business world as it is with the population in general. Was the result expected? If not by the wise sages who crafted this tax and fee laden fiasco, it should have been.

I reported on the Early Retirement Reinsurance Plan (ERRP) previously somewhere back when, but I didn't go back to take a gander this time as I knew the subject already. At that writing I questioned why US taxpayers were picking up the tab so that anyone can enjoy a perk when they retired early rather than continue the daily slog most of us have to continue to endure. The program was designed, and actually implemented at the time of the bills passage, to pay for 80% of the cost of health insurance for these fortunate ones at our expense. You see this was one of the first things corporations yielded the meat ax to concerning Obamacare.

The magic act included a fund of $5 billion to tide these fortunate ones over until the full force of public exchanges charged over the horizon in 2014. Need I remind that this is but the end of the year of our Lord 2011? But something has happened along this slippery slope and it will be interesting to see how those same wise sages on Capitol Hill, who never seem to expect the expected, react to their obvious blunder. You see on New Year's Eve of this year the fund will be exhausted and bankrupt, again at the tax payer's expense. One writer has suggested that when the public exchanges actually take effect, if they ever actually do take effect, that we should all have the National Debt Clock pulled up so we can witness just how wrong those wise sages who walk the hallowed halls of Congress have been and will continue to be as long as we let them continue to warm those seat cushions.

So how was that tub of money drained so quickly? Why will there be nothing but a dirty ring around the porcelain two years ahead of schedule? Remember the United Auto Workers (UAW)? Yes, the same band who were responsible for the catastrophe of the auto bailouts by their already astronomical legacy costs who received ownership of General Motors (Government Motors some call it) at the tax payer's expense once again. There seems to be no end to their greed as they were the first in the ERRP line. Ponying up behind them were big businesses, state governments and public employee unions. They drained that sucker dry in no time flat.

Probably the only people who will find this to be a surprise are the people who think Obamacare is the best thing since sliced bread. Was it intended to fail? If so, then ask yourself why it was intended to fail. So then we get to the question if you would rather be underwhelmed or overwhelmed when the rest of Obamacare rears its ugly mug. If just a select group of the "favored" can drain $5 billion in goodies two years early then I suggest you think about the unintended consequences which the wise sages of Obamacare, crafted behind closed doors, never seemed to have saw coming. Or maybe they did see it coming and were just being the political hacks they are famous for being.

Me? I'd rather be underwhelmed by something any day of the week. The fix was in, as usual, and it was a failure as usual. Designed failure seems to be the language of the day in those hallowed halls. Maybe they should start thinking about "We, the People..." rather than speculate what they can do for their special interests to fatten up their reelection coffers so they can continue the trend.

As Always,

The Frog Prince


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    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Changes are already taking place in advance of the law and it is not a pretty picture. I am not sure we will be able to undo the damage.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Underwhelmed, yes. I agree with you 100%. I work in the healthcare industry, and have seen first hand the changes that have been made... It's frustrating beyond belief.

      Great hub!

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      Love the way you drill down to the nuts and bolts. Even a blond could get this. Kudos Ghost..UP and interesting!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Ghost - You may be onto something. The individual mandate is what they counted on to prop up the whole fraudulent bill.

      And here you aren't even a blond and caught that!

      The Frog

    • profile image

      Ghost32 6 years ago

      I doubt the absence of the severability clause was a "slip". More likely, it was deliberately done that way so that the Pork-gressives (led by Obama) could say, "Hey, you've GOT to support this individual mandate because otherwise the whole thing will FAIL!"


    • profile image

      Stu 6 years ago

      Hi Frog,

      It's really just another nail in the coffin for business investment in America. I read an interesting article at the Human Events web site this morning, which contained quotes from CEO's of major corporations, many of whom were founders from decades ago. While these corporations today are major enterprises, they all started out as small businesses. The common theme was that with today's regulatory overhead, they never could have founded the businesses, because regulatory compliance costs are too much for small businesses to handle.

      I think ObamaCare, which will raise the cost of insurance as lower income and unemployed people will have to be subsidized, will make hiring even more costly than it already is. This will clearly slow the pace of job creation at home, and accelerate the pace of offshoring jobs.


    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Yes, it will overturn Obamacare in its entirety. They failed, in their haste, to slip the legal sever ability clause into the bill. Whoops. Bad legal counsel I reckon.

      The Frog

    • politicalzealot profile image

      politicalzealot 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      You think SCOTUS will completely overturn Obamacare? I do believe they might strike down the individual mandate, but a complete overturn is highly unlikely IMO.

      The whole case relies on Wickard v Filburn. As recently as 2005, Wickard was cited by Justice Scalia, one of the most conservative judges. Justice Scalia said in his opinion on Gonzales v Raich, "Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce."

      It's not a large leap to apply that rationale to the individual mandate. Even so, I think SCOTUS will overturn that part of Obamacare but not the whole thing. That action will force legislative change because a new funding mechanism would have to be put in place.

      Either way, in my view it is win win. We needed change. We're getting it whether we like it or not.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      PZ - Going bankrupt this month means it will be eliminated and at a cost of $5 billion of our money so people can ease on back into early retirement.

      The SCOTUS will beat the Republicans to the draw before 2012. Stay tuned.

      The Frog

    • politicalzealot profile image

      politicalzealot 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      The healthcare bill as passed was full of things that need revision and/or elimination. I have not heard anything about this specific program, but from what I can gather, it probably fits in the 'elimination' category.

      Overall though, healthcare reform as passed was a good thing. I know you will not agree with that statement, but if it was not passed nothing would be happening on that front. The status quo was not acceptable with healthcare costs rising year after year, well above the rise in salaries and inflation.

      Republicans will find out after the 2012 elections whether or not they will be able to repeal and replace Obamacare. I do not think the GOP will be able to repeal and replace it, but I do think changes can and will be made to Obamacare, which will make it much more palatable for everyone.

    • The Frog Princess profile image

      The Frog Princess 6 years ago from Florence area of the Great Pee Dee of South Carolina

      And to pay for this once again our payroll taxes will take a new turn in 2012. Yes, Obamie wants more tax dollars from us to help cover "We the People (new meaning to we the people is support your government)." The joke falls on us again as usual and the only way to change these bad jokes is Vote in 2012.

      voted up as you always keep us up-to-date.