Health, HEALTH/FOOD

Companies Seek To Abandon Workers On The Pretext Of Obamacare

Photo Credit: Wikipedia -  Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House.

As the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) October start date draws nigh, more and more   companies seem to be abandoning their workers on the premise of increased cost because of the new law.

Consequently, many workers are now forced to fend for themselves by buying insurance in the open market.

Now, in an attempt to debunk one of the myths that businesses will suffer under the Obamacare, the government website, whitehouse.gov, states, “Health insurance reform lowers costs for American businesses – especially small businesses – who are struggling to remain profitable and competitive under the status quo. The independent Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the bill would lower health insurance premiums for the same insurance plan by up to 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for large businesses, and estimates indicate that reform could save businesses $2,000 per person in health costs.”

If, however, the foregoing is true, it begs the question, why are so many companies refusing to offer insurance to workers, reducing work hours, offloading workers from insurance plans and laying off workers?

In fact, today, these are some of the headlines that readily greet one in the media:

Trader Joe’s To Drop Health Coverage For Part-Time Workers Under Obamacare: Memo

Delta Air Lines: Next Year, Our Health Care Costs Will Increase By ‘Nearly $100 Million’

Obamacare Putting Millions Of Part-Time Workers At Risk Of  Seeing Cut Hours: Study

Obamacare Medical Device Tax Causes One Company to Lay Off Over 1,000 People

Georgia Healthcare Company to Lay Off Over 100 Because of Obamacare

Indiana University Lays Off 50 Workers Because of Obamacare

UPS To Drop 15,000 Spouses From Insurance, Cites Obamacare

Judging from the foregoing headlines, one would be hard pressed to avoid the Chicken Little – sky is falling syndrome.

The truth is the Affordable Care Act has received little or no support by the leadership of the Republican Party even though the bill was signed into law by President Obama, approved by the Supreme Court, endorsed by the American electorate by virtue of their reelection of President Obama for a second term.

The fact is this is a bill that is rooted within the ideas of the Republican Party and modeled on the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, which from all indication is working perfectly well for the people of that state.

So, why is there such strong opposition to a bill that seeks to provide healthcare for all Americans? Is it because of the historical significance of the bill and the fact that it is brought into law by the Democratic Party? Is it because a certain class still holds the view that President Obama should not be in the White House? Is it a quest to see the President fail or to stop his agenda at all cost? Is it because it does not serve the interest of the Republican Party? Is it because business value money and profit over people?

It certainly boggles the mind to think that people who are voted into office as leaders would claim the best healthcare and insurance for themselves but yet would seek to deprive or prevent even a trickle to the average American.

Moreover, it is reprehensible to note that companies that stand to gain the most from a healthy, motivated, and productive workforce would rather drop insurance coverage for their workers in the interest of profit rather than to allow them to maintain their current health insurance plan  at the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.

Given the existing scenario, the government through its website has rightly declared, “There’s a lot of misinformation out there. For too long, too many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies. President Obama’s health reform law gives hard working families the security they deserve. The Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable, lowers health care costs, gives Americans more freedom and control in their health care choices and improves the quality of care.”

For a country that is the most powerful on earth and boasts American ‘exceptionalism,’ there are far too many of its people without health insurance and far too few paying for it.

The Affordable Care Act seeks to address the imbalance through collective responsibility and the question is what is so wrong with the health insurance for all?

Finally, why should the Republican seek to defund it by shutting down the government?

By Davy Desmond, The Readers Bureau, Senior Fellow