Obamacare Costs Skyrocket

Policymakers are still recovering from yesterday’s shocking admission by the Administration that it can’t implement Obamacare’s employer mandate without destroying jobs.

The announced one-year delay in enforcement brings with it an immediate revenue loss. But by further encouraging firms to drop coverage now—allowing businesses to privatize gains and socialize losses—the change could cause federal spending on Obamacare exchange subsidies to soar.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May that the employer mandate would raise $10 billion in revenue in its first year. (Because the employer mandate is a tax penalty, firms will pay the penalties the following year—penalties for 2014 will be paid in 2015; penalties for 2015 will be paid in 2016, etc.) That $10 billion in employer mandate revenue projected for fiscal year 2015 will almost certainly disappear.

Then there’s the separate question of whether, when, and how employers will drop their health insurance plans and dump their workers on the exchanges. Here’s what we know on that front:

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Affordable Waiver

We haven’t heard much lately about all those Obamacare waivers that have been granted.

We all remember the waivers given to companies & unions that couldn’t afford Obama’s “Affordable Care Act”.

Friday marks the last time HHS (Health & Human Services) will have to update the total number of waivers, putting to rest a recurring political firestorm.

The department had been updating its waiver totals every month, prompting monthly attacks from the GOP, posted by Sam Baker of The Hill.

All told, 1,231 companies applied for and received waivers from the law’s restrictions on annual benefit caps.

The law requires plans to gradually raise their benefit limits, and all annual limits will become illegal in 2014. Companies that received waivers can keep their caps intact until 2014.

Republicans say the need for waivers proves that the healthcare law is unworkable. HHS argues that the waivers show the law provides flexibility.

I wasn’t aware waiver & flexible were synonymous, so I looked them up & son of gun, they’re not.

Flexible: susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptable

Waiver: an intentional relinquishment of some right, interest, or the like.

So flexibility means to modify & waiver means to drop all together. Hmmm.

Let’s see just how “flexible” our government has been.

The Daily Caller reports the documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

By contrast, private employers with a total of 69,813 employees, many of whom work for small businesses, were granted waivers.

That’s pretty flexible. So flexible it seems, they bent over backwards, for some. Must be double jointed.