Friday, July 05, 2013

Obamacare delays employer mandate: progressives criticize imbalances in Obamacare; GOP refuses to accept "socialism" still

Ruth Marcus, taking some hints from progressive-liberal Wonkblog editor Ezra Klein in the Washington Post, opines today “The real hurdles in Obamacare”, on p. A17, link here

One basic problem is that the individual mandate doesn’t have a lot of teeth.  The “invincibles” (except when on bicycles or motorcycles or behind the wheel, sometimes) may not sign up, because the penalties are low.  And the employer mandate is rather an add-on, like suspenders.  Klein is right in that there are better ways to define compliance barriers than the number of employers. 

I wonder.  If I hire a tech savvy college “kid” as a contractor to help me with my upcoming video (I just might have to some day), should I have any responsibility for this?  He or she is probably still on the parents’ policy under Obamacare.  But I would “care” enough to want to think he or she has insurance.  I don’t have the scale to provide it.

Unions and trade groups often arrange insurance, like in Hollywood, which is one reason why production outside their organizations gets perceived as threatening.

If you are a “kid”, don’t think you’re “invincible”!  I have one friend, a pianist who is also a bicycle enthusiast.  Can you imagine how a collision with an auto could affect his career?   Fortunately, I know he’s pretty careful and very skilled on the bike – but every time I drive around my own neighborhood, I see plenty of kids who aren’t (riding the wrong way). 

On balance, there are plenty of good reasons everyone should have health insurance.  It’s not just socialism.  Republicans who object to Obamacare should ask themselves, if they object to the “healthy” helping pay the premiums of the “unhealthy”, and value human life, who will pay for the care.  Extended families?
The Obama Administration has the mandate on employers for a year (MSNBC story here).

IT consulting companies have been doing a lot of hiring to set up the exchanges by 2014 and help employers with the mandate.  I hope the slowdown doesn’t also slow IT hiring again. 

Picture: A bar in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC.  Do you know what the 18th Amendment did?  

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