In another must-read fact check piece on the health care bill today, the AP writes, “Zach Hoffman was confident his small business would qualify for a new tax cut in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law. But when he ran the numbers, Hoffman discovered that his office furniture company wouldn’t get any assistance with the $79,200 it pays annually in premiums for its 24 employees. ‘It leaves you with this feeling of a bait-and-switch,’ he said.”
In a speech touting the his $2.6 trillion health care takeover at the beginning of April, President Obama said, “Starting Now, small business owners that provide health care for their workers can sit down at the end of the week, they can look at their expenses, and they can begin calculating how much money they’re going to save.” But when Zack Hoffman did just that, the AP points out, Hoffman found that “to get the most out of the new federal credit… he’d have to cut his work force to 10 employees and slash their wages.”
The AP explains, “Lost in the fine print: The credit drops off sharply once a company gets above 10 workers and $25,000 average annual wages. It’s an example of how the early provisions of the health care law can create winners and losers among groups lawmakers intended to help—people with health problems, families with young adult children and small businesses. Because of the law’s complexity, not everyone in a broadly similar situation will benefit.”
So we’ve now added yet another news story explaining that what Republicans warned would be the consequences of the Democrats’ massive, unpopular health care law are coming to pass. Last week, we learned from the CBO that the bill will cost $115 billion more than the original projections and from the Health and Human Services Department that “[l]etting young adults stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 will nudge premiums nearly 1 percent higher for employer plans,” according to another AP story. Earlier this month, CNNMoney reported, “An all-but-overlooked provision of the health reform law is threatening to swamp U.S. businesses with a flood of new tax paperwork.” And Fortune Magazine reported that thanks to the law, major companies are considering dumping their health care plans. A month after the bill was signed, it was reported 4 million Americans will be paying higher taxes and 2,500 people would lose their jobs because of the new law. And on and on.
All of these things were true before the bill was passed and signed into law. Republicans warned about all these consequences. But where was the press coverage of all of these problems when it could have made a difference? Maybe this was what Democrats were afraid of in their rush to pass these bills. Over and over, Democrats would unveil a new version of their expensive bill and then rush it to a vote on a weekend or at night or during a snowstorm without adequate time for many to read the bill, let alone for studies of it. But that doesn’t excuse the lack of reporting, since almost all of these new reports contradict repeated claims by Democrats and the Obama administration about that bill.
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today, “Speaker Pelosi told Americans we had to pass the health care bill so we could know what was in it. Now that Americans are learning what was buried in the fine print, they’re rightly upset. They see that small businesses are denied the help they were promised, while facing new job-killing taxes and government mandates. And they’ve learned that health care costs will go up, not down, as the administration and Democrats in Congress promised. Mr. President, Americans want this bill repealed and replaced with something that will work for people like Zach Hoffman and all of our nation’s job creators and small businesses.”