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Affordable Health Care Act expensive, causes problems to arise among employees

Well, it had to happen. Last week, Wal-Mart announced it was eliminating health insurance coverage for 30,000 part-time employees.

The reason? Cost.

It seems as though they put pencil to paper [or cursor to spreadsheet] and discovered that health insurance this year will cost them $500 million more than expected.

That’s $500 million more, not just $500 million. And that’s just one company.

Wal-Mart is also raising premiums by 20 percent for those in its most popular health care plan.

The average Wal-Mart hourly worker earns $11.81 per hour; the increase works out to about an extra $10 per two-week pay period.

Nationwide, private employers paid about around $446 billion in 2012 for health insurance and expect to pay $483 billion this year.

About 57 percent of employers will begin or expand high-deductible lower-premium plans. About 42 percent will increase the employee share.

Wal-Mart joins Target, Home Depot and Trader Joe’s in eliminating employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week from health coverage.

They can now do this because there’s a legal alternative: the Affordable Health Care Act.

This is the legislation that a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives summarized by saying, “We have to pass it so that you can find out what’s in it.”

What’s in it? It’s a prime example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Costs are not going down.

When this masterpiece of social engineering folly was debated, there were those who predicted this would happen.

Everyone knew— they just knew— that it was the right thing to do, because health insurance was a natural God-given right, along with pure water, diversity mandates and birth control pills.

Well, isn’t it?

So now we’re reaping the whirlwind.

Today’s students will be tomorrow’s employees and some will find themselves working for an employer who has no health plan and who, by government mandate, will find themselves shopping on a government-sponsored exchange and purchasing a plan with provisions dictated by the government.

They might find some comfort in the fact that some of the costs will be paid by the government, but don’t be misled.

In fact, the government pays for nothing— not health care or missiles or food stamps.

The source of all this bounty is the American taxpayer. And there simply isn’t enough taxpayer money to cover all our needs, let alone our wants.

As we implement the Nanny State, three things are becoming apparent.

One: we can’t afford it.

Two: there are alternatives, but they will be painful and will rely on individual self-reliance, diligence and hard work— the same factors that built this nation.

And three: we can’t afford to wait much longer to decide.

The bill is coming due.

Respond to Phil at

[email protected]

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