Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout, Obamacare impact on jobs Public Health and Prevention Fund and their reelection
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposes numerous tax hikes that transfer more than $500 billion over 10 years—and more in the future—from hardworking American families and businesses to Congress for spending on new entitlements and subsidies. In addition, higher tax rates on working and investing will discourage economic growth both now and in the future, further lowering the standard of living.”…Heritage Foundation
“However … health insurance rates and benefit coverage plan costs have continued to increase. As a result of those increases, county employees have experienced a pay decrease that has grown larger each year.”…Guilford County Interim Manager Sharisse Fuller
“Can we stop calling ObamaCare the Affordable Care Act now?”…Guilford College student
From the NY Times April 25, 2013.
“Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout”
“Democratic senators, at a caucus meeting with White House officials, expressed concerns on Thursday about how the Obama administration was carrying out the health care law they adopted three years ago.
Democrats in both houses of Congress said some members of their party were getting nervous that they could pay a political price if the rollout of the law was messy or if premiums went up significantly.
President Obama’s new chief of staff, Denis R. McDonough, fielded questions on the issue for more than an hour at a lunch with Democratic senators.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, who is up for re-election next year, said, “We are hearing from a lot of small businesses in New Hampshire that do not know how to comply with the law.”
In addition, Mrs. Shaheen said, “restaurants that employ people for about 30 hours a week are trying to figure out whether it would be in their interest to reduce the hours” of those workers, so the restaurants could avoid the law’s requirement to offer health coverage to full-time employees.
The White House officials “acknowledged that these are real concerns, and that we’ve got to do more to address them,” Mrs. Shaheen said.
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on health care, said he was extremely upset with Mr. Obama’s decision to take money from public health prevention programs and use it to publicize the new law, which creates insurance marketplaces in every state.
“I am greatly disappointed — beyond upset — that the administration chose to help pay for the Affordable Care Act in fiscal year 2013 by raiding the Public Health and Prevention Fund,” Mr. Harkin said.
The administration said it had transferred $332 million from the prevention fund to pay for “education and outreach” activities publicizing the new insurance markets, or exchanges.
To express his displeasure, Mr. Harkin has blocked Senate action on Mr. Obama’s nominee to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn B. Tavenner. By putting a “hold” on the nomination, aides said, Mr. Harkin hopes to draw the White House into negotiations on the future of the prevention fund, which he has championed.”
“Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, said he told White House officials on Thursday that he was concerned about big rate increases being sought by the largest health insurer in his state. The company, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, has sought increases averaging 25 percent for individual insurance policies that will be sold in the state insurance exchange, and it is seeking increases of about 15 percent for small businesses. The company said the higher premiums reflected costs of complying with the new law.”