Obamacare May Increase Costs for 11 Million Workers

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 12:56 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Republicans are citing new evidence in their claims that Obamacare is endangering the economy and hurting many workers.

In response to a new report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that found 11 million small business employees could see their premiums rise under the new law, House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Monday, "This is another punch in the gut for Americans already struggling in the president's economy," Fox News reports.

The report, released Friday, said higher rates could result from the healthcare law's requirement that premiums cannot be based on age, making them higher for younger workers and lower for older ones, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It concluded that about 65 percent of small businesses, covering 11 million people, would see an increase in insurance premiums, compared to about 35 percent of employers who would see a decrease for plans — about 6 million people.

"It's clear why the administration sought to delay and de-emphasize the release of this report. It undermines the central promise of the president's healthcare law: affordable coverage," Boehner said in his statement.

"These 11 million people who will see their premiums spike are 11 million more reasons to repeal this law and start over with common sense reform that will make care more affordable, not more costly."

Still, it is difficult to determine just how costly the projected increases will be, and the report didn't consider other parts of the law, such as tax credits for small businesses offering coverage, the Journal reported.

"The open question is if people notice if the increases are only a few percentage points," Joshua Archambault, a senior fellow for the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability, told the newspaper, adding that the impact will likely vary from state to state.

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