Hardly a week passes without new reports on more negative consequences of President Obama’s expensive, unpopular health care law.
On Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel reported, “Universal Orlando plans to stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees beginning next year, a move the resort says has been forced by the federal government’s health-care overhaul. The giant theme-park resort, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, began informing employees this month that it will offer health-insurance to part-timers ‘only until December 31, 2013.’ The reason: Universal currently offers part-time workers a limited insurance plan that has low premiums but also caps the payout of benefits. . . . Those types of insurance plans — sometimes referred to as ‘mini-med’ plans — will no longer be permitted under the federal Affordable Care Act. . . . Universal is one of the largest employers in Central Florida, with approximately 17,000 employees.”
The Sentinel also notes, “Other large employers are grappling with the same issue as Universal. A spokesman for Orlando-based Darden Restaurants said Tuesday its limited-coverage plans will ‘go away after this year,’ as well. ‘We’d like to have the option to continue offering them, since they are popular with our part-time employees, but the ACA doesn’t offer that type of flexibility,’ spokesman Rich Jeffers said.”
This is yet another example of how Obamacare fails to live up to the promises the president and Democrats made repeatedly about it as they were pushing it through Congress. Selling his health care legislation in a speech at the White House in 2009, President Obama said, “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: if you like your plan, you’ll be able to keep it.” He also assured, “I won’t sign a bill that somehow would make it tougher for people to keep their health insurance.” And Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) assured later that year, “People would not be required to change health plans.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported over the weekend, “Many young, healthy Americans could soon see a jump in their health insurance costs, and insurance companies are saying: It’s not our fault. The nation’s insurers are engaged in an all-out, last-ditch effort to shield themselves from blame for what they predict will be rate increases on policies they must unveil this spring to comply with President Obama’s health-care law. Insurers point to several reasons that premiums will rise. They will soon be required to offer more-comprehensive coverage than many currently provide. Also, their costs will increase because they will be barred from rejecting the sick, and they will no longer be allowed to charge older customers sharply higher premiums than younger ones. . . . Aetna chief executive Mark T. Bertolini invoked [“rate shock”] at his company’s recent annual investor conference, cautioning that premiums for plans sold to individuals could rise as much as 50 percent on average and could more than double for particular groups such as the young and healthy.”
Again, the president promised that “[a]ll this is going to lower premiums. It’s going to make healthcare more affordable.” And Vice President Joe Biden assured GQ in 2010, “Yeah. And … [people] are starting to find out now … that what they’re told is simply not true. Their premiums haven’t gone up.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month, “I could stand here and tell you that Republicans warned about most of these things until we were hoarse. That we saw it all coming and said so: the higher costs, the higher premiums, the tax hikes, the lost jobs, and the potential for millions to lose their plans. The President dismissed all that, and he got his legislative win. The question is, what’s he going to do to help folks now that our predictions are coming true?”