Rove Labels Obamacare 'Unaffordable Careless Act'

Image: Rove Labels Obamacare 'Unaffordable Careless Act'

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 11:57 AM

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The Affordable Care Act has several unintended consequences, and they're all negative, says Republican strategist Karl Rove.

More part-time and fewer full-time jobs are one of those consequences, he writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, under the headline "Here Comes the Unaffordable Careless Act."

Obamacare requires companies with at least 50 workers to give health insurance to any of them who works more than 30 hours a week or pay a fine, George W. Bush's former senior adviser points out.

"Not surprisingly, the number of hourly employees working 30-34 hours a week dropped by an average of 146,500 a month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," Rove says. "The number working 25-29 hours rose by 119,000 a month."

The lack of hours can particularly hurt single working mothers and younger workers, Rove says.

Meanwhile, the 50-employee threshold will serve to keep businesses from growing beyond that size, he says.

"Here the U.S. is following in the footsteps of France and other countries with sclerotic economies," Rove writes.

Obamacare also will damage businesses with self-funded health plans, he claims. These companies serve as their own insurer, gathering premiums and paying claims filed by their workers. A total of 61 percent of workers are in self-funded plans, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

"More companies have an incentive to choose self-funding because the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs self-funded plans, not the Affordable Care Act," Rove states.

"ERISA allows self-funded plans to charge premiums based on risk (unlike under Obamacare), allows these plans to offer a wider menu of options and lets them avoid such expensive provisions as Obamacare's new tax on insurance policies."

But Obamacare supporters don't like the success of these programs in curbing premium increases and managing costs, Rove says. Delaware, New York, and Oregon already forbid small- and mid-size companies from using self-insurance plans, he says.

"Administrators of self-funded plans also worry that new Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will ignore ERISA and issue regulations that erode the attractiveness of self-funded plans and push more companies' health policies into Obamacare's morass."

In addition to all these problems, the amount of uninsured Americans won't drop below 30 million in the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Rove says. "So much for Obamacare's promise of 'universal' coverage."

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