Monday, May 10, 2010

Health Insurance Consequences; No-Fly Lists; and Our 401(k)s

The Examiner writes:  In a stunning revelation Wednesday, several top U.S. corporations are seriously considering dropping employee health insurance coverage in light of what they see as the inevitable consequence of ObamaCare--skyrocketing costs. The companies state that after their legal experts poured over the thousands of pages in the new law, it will cost them less to pay the fines for not providing healthcare coverage for employees than continuing to provide employer-paid health insurance benefits. As a side-note to the announcement, the companies maintain that ObamaCare will result in a dramatic increase in expenses for providing employee coverage, with added costs skyrocketing to multi-billions of dollars. According to Business Record: Additionally, the penalties to businesses for not offering coverage are less expensive than the cost of providing insurance, she said. "But for those that aren't providing coverage now, this is a huge burden to them. And for employers that have a lot of employees working 30 hours (the threshold to be considered full- time), you may have a lot of businesses cutting them back to 29 hours." 

National Review reports: "Of course, as Fortune’s Shawn Tully points out, that will mean far higher costs to the public than those projected by the Congressional Budget Office and far more disruption and instability than voters were promised: Remember “if you like your plan you can keep it”? Well, not if your employer is given a strong incentive to end it. It turns out the many critics who argued that exactly this would happen weren’t just pumping out fog after all. And in an extra bit of irony, the corporate memos outlining all this became public because Henry Waxman ordered the companies to turn over their internal health-care memos in preparation for a hearing at which he was going to berate them for reporting the added costs that Obamacare would impose on them. Once his staff actually saw the memos, the hearing was cancelled.

Second, it turns out that the massive bill contained a hidden change in the tax law that will require companies to submit IRS 1099 forms not only for contract workers (as is the case now) but also for any individual or company from which they purchase more than $600 in goods or services in a year. That’s millions of new forms to file and send to vendors and the IRS, and lots of work and expense gathering names and taxpayer ID numbers from every vendor and store a business deals with.
As the fog clears, the case for repeal gets stronger and stronger.
Because it is so important, here again, from Human Events, is the news regarding our governments wishes to take from us our 401(k)s:  In February, the White House released its “Annual Report on the Middle Class” containing new regulations favored by Big Labor including a bailout of critically underfunded union pension plans through “retirement security” options.
The radical solution most favored by Big Labor is the seizure of private 401(k) plans for government disbursement -- which lets them off the hook for their collapsing retirement scheme.  And, of course, the Obama administration is eager to accommodate their buddies.
Vice President Joe Biden floated the idea, called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs), in the February “Middle Class” report. 
In conjunction with the report’s release, the Obama administration jointly issued through the Departments of Labor and Treasury a “Request for Information” regarding the “annuitization” of 401(k) plans through “Lifetime Income Options” in the form of a notice to the public of proposed issuance of rules and regulations. (pdf)House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and a group of House Republicans are mounting an effort to fight back. [Think it can't happen?  It should worry us that they are even thinking about it!]

And I leave you with this quote from Al Sharpton:  "We Won’t Have True Social Justice Until Everything Is ‘Equal in Everybody’s House."