“Some people like to drive a Ford and not a Ferrari.” Those words were spoken by Representative Blackburn during the testimony of Kathleen Sebelius to Congress. But guess what – you will also be penalized for driving that Ferrari.
You think our health insurance plan won’t change because you don’t have one of those icky “substandard” plans? Think again. That particular shoe will be dropping in 2018. Sure that seems like a long way off, but it comes quickly, agencies are already making changes and you need to know that NO ONE is really exempt from this nightmare.
We all know Obama lied his face off saying if we like our plans we can keep them. But the Democrat’s excuse for him this week was that those plans just weren’t good enough so they have decided you didn’t really like them and you’ll be getting something better. But wait – you can’t have a plan that’s “too good” in their eyes either. You see, there’s the “Cadillac Plan” tax. If your plan is worth over $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family, it is considered one of these plans. Oh, their excuse is that it covers SO well that you aren’t careful about going to the doctor so you drive up the costs of medical care and because you have it so good you should have to subsidize everyone else.
But wait, you say, your plan costs less than that, you’re safe. Really? You try to be fiscally responsible. You have a Flexible Spending Account or a Health Savings Account where you put money into it to help cover your medical costs. You deliberately chose a plan with a higher deductible so that you could save money. Silly you, that will now be used against you. That adds to the value of your plan. For instance if your plan is worth $9600 you think you’re safe.
With your FSA or HSA your employer contributes $50 a month to the savings and you choose to contribute $100 a month for an additional $1800 per year and now add that to the $9600 and oops, you’re now over that $10,200 cap by $1200. Sure, YOU don’t have to pay the penalty yourself – your employer or the insurance company, depending on your plan, NOW gets to pay a 40% penalty on the amount above that cap for giving you GOOD coverage. That means they would pay a $480 penalty for each employee who does this. How long will they continue to do that? They simply won’t.
And the really ironic part of this is, you know who has these plans? Union workers. As in all state employees in the State of Washington. As in me. Don’t get me wrong – one reason I have stayed in state employment for so many years is because of the benefits like medical coverage, so obviously I LIKE MY PLAN – you know, that one I’m supposed to be able to keep?
But the “Cadillac Tax” is one reason unions are starting to back away from this plan – you know, the one they supported so strongly in the first place. The one they helped get passed and thought they were oh-so-smart because their buddy Obama would do right by them. Sadly, when it comes time to re-negotiate our contracts, the unions will go after the taxpayers in Washington to make them pay for it rather than make the Democrats change it.
They will demand more from the taxpayers so their members don’t have to pay the costs. Which means EITHER something new will need to be taxed in order to pay for it OR some other program will have to be cut and the union always lobbies against ANY program cut that may lay off employees and reduce the ranks of the union membership. So I guarantee you that the union will fight tooth-and-nail for a new tax. Then the working poor will be paying a tax to help pay the penalty that is supposed to help pay for the medical for that very same working poor. Sure, that makes sense.
And of course, part of this plan was to help subsidize all the new enrollees onto Medicaid. Do these people ever think anything through? Most employers will simply change their plans to avoid paying the penalty, pure and simple. There goes the idea of using all that money to help subsidize the freebies.
Oh, the Democrats will blame the greedy insurance company and your evil employer and of course, the Republicans. And you, because you were selfish for having a better insurance plan than other people.
Employers are constantly demonized for not treating their workers good enough, WalMart gets bashed all the time about it. But now, thanks to Obamacare, employers are being punished for treating their employees TOO GOOD. Mediocre America has arrived.