To The Editor:
“How Georgians Pay for Obamacare” is a fitting sequel to Patsy Harris’ column last week. She virtuously lauds many provisions of Obamacare while ignoring a critical component: “Who pays for it?” Even I, as a Republican, took with a grain of salt many predictions of conservative pundits that Obamacare would be funded at the expense of current health plan participants and expansion of current government programs. They warned of higher costs to the commercial insurance industry, to be passed on to patients, and, expansion of current government services that would be funded by taxes. Well, they were right! My 2014 benefits enrollment handbook points out two taxes imposed on my company. They, in turn, will significantly increase premiums by 30 percent and decrease coverage by 50 percent! One levy is a 40 percent excise tax paid by employers on the value of medical plan coverage meeting a government-prescribed threshold. The second is a “reinsurance fee” paid per covered individual to provide funding to insurers who incur high claim costs for enrollees inside and outside the Health Insurance Marketplace. Therefore, a “peek behind the curtain” reveals the “Miracle” of Obamacare isn’t due to the inherent savings realized by the plan design, as Democrats would claim, but, is funded by higher premiums and reduced coverage for current participants and imposition of new taxes on employers. Likewise, all employees owe it to themselves to inquire about the dramatic escalation in their healthcare costs in 2014 and beyond. They might discover, as I did, we are paying for Obamacare!
Dan Newton Madison via email