I sent the following letter to our representatives in congress. I ask you to look at your own healthcare costs for 2015 and send a letter describing your situation, as well. I am sure you all are facing similar plights. This is exactly what they want people to do–run to the exchange.
Also, for your convenience I have put the new policies below the letter.
As the owner of a small business (a marketing consulting and planning firm with ten employees located in Waterloo, Iowa), I was recently planning for 2015 and one of my first orders of business was to find out what my obligations were going to be for our corporate health insurance plan.
I called our health insurance carrier and asked for our 2015 rates. She promptly emailed them to me for my review with an explanation. The explanation read in part, “…your new plan must be ACA compliant by law…keep in mind that you are now seeing the full impact the Affordable Care Act will have on your group…”. Nothing I could have done would have prepared me for the attached document I was about to open. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but our rates WENT UP 53%!!!! It is hard enough to own a business without this new burden, but now our government thinks that this sort of policy will help Americans? Each of our employees on average will be paying an additional $212.95 per month! How can the American worker afford that? How can a small business afford a match per employee of that magnitude? This is the solution our government has labeled affordable care?
This new system NOW is not only affecting “BIG BUSINESS,” it is now having a major impact on the working class! To put it in perspective, our new rates will take over 15% off our bottom line! I thought the 7.6% we already pay for Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid per employee was significant! Now our company will have to contribute less OR raise our rates to our loyal customers OR both.
The troubling issue for us is that we are discovering that not EVERYONE’S insurance will skyrocket like ours did. You see our group is young and healthy, so we are punished! Our rates were typically lower because we were in lower risk categories in the past. Breaks for those categories have disappeared under the new act, forcing us, and many small companies like us, to pay more for coverage that we will never use.
It appears that we are not alone. I have talked to numerous other small businesses, and they are facing similar increases in their health insurance premiums for their employees as well.
This one-size-fits-all solution clearly does not fit all. The Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable, and is coming in at an unacceptable price tag for my employees, my business, and my customers.
I ask you to look into all available options to turn this around and bring real, affordable healthcare to the hardworking American people.
An American Tax-Paying Business Owner
The reasons for the increase are the following new policies:
1) The elimination of health status, claims history and gender in the determination of premiums.
a. So, if you employee primarily workers under the age of 35 with a history of few claims, it won’t reduce your rates any longer. If your staff is mostly male, or females of post-child-bearing age, you won’t get a break in rates any longer. As you can see in our situation, our employees are being asked to pay $372 MORE per month because of situations like these.
2) Aged based premiums are now capped at a factor of 3:1 for participants from 20-64. It used to be 7:1.
3) Removal of ALL pre-existing conditions (Actually, I do see merit in this.)
4) The addition of 10 Essential health Benefits to ALL plans. This includes maternity, substance abuse and mental health among others.
a. Maternity coverage has to be offered and paid for, even if you have a staff of all single men and/or women out of child-bearing age.
5) New Taxes and Fees.
a. 4 to 7% So, if your premiums are $42,000 per year, how much? $1680 to $2940
b. $63 per covered life per month So, if you have ten people covered, how much per year? $7560
c. $2 per covered life per month So, if you have ten people covered, how much per year? $240
6) The elimination of ANY SUBJECTIVE DISCRETION in the determination of premiums.
Congressman Allen West’s “Field of Dreams” speech in Temecula California before the November election.
The Farm Bill comes up every 5 years. The policy makers say the Farm Bill is about helping farms. NOT TRUE.
This bill was hammered through the Senate with flying colors, full of pork, and with no meaningful cuts. The House will be debating this bill soon. The bulk of the bill does not help small farms, it is basically welfare in disguise, and needs serious change.
Eighty percent of the monies from this farm bill go to food stamps and nutritional programs, the rest to pork-like corporate welfare. The money goes more to support special interests than it does small farmers; it goes to the biggest and best who know their way around Washington.
I believe they need to re-think the USDA programs or let them expire. We have so many over-lapping programs so this seems a good time for our congress to make serious reforms and cut billions in waste.
You can read the bill HERE. What do you think?
There’s an article on TownHall.com that talks about the status of complacency churches in America seem to be taking. It’s a frank and direct commentary by Doug Giles that suggests Christians would “rather live as government slaves than live and die as free men.”
Churches are increasingly coming under attack from the left and now it appears they are the subject of scrutiny from the rebel right. Rather than get into a religious flame war by citing my personal opinions, why don’t you read the article and let me know what you think.
You can read the full article here.