No kidding? Although higher health care insurance premiums are mostly the result of higher costs at the provider level, AARP – who endorsed the Democrat’s health care legislation – admits part of the new premium increases are the direct result of Obamacare. On top of that, they are increasing deductibles and co-pays specifically to avoid a possible hit by the 40 percent “Cadillac” health care tax taking effect in 2018.
Hope and change for AARP employees! From a totally unfazed Associated Press, with my emphasis in bold.
In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs.
And AARP adds that it’s changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law. Aerospace giant Boeing also has cited the tax in asking its workers to pay more. Shifting costs to employees lowers the value of a health care plan and acts like an escape hatch from the tax.
“Most plan co-pays and deductibles have been modified,” Jennifer Hodges, AARP’s director of compensation and benefits, wrote employees in an Oct. 25 e-mail. “Plan value changes were necessary not only from a cost management standpoint but also to ensure that AARP’s plans fall below the threshold for high-cost group plans under health care reform.”
AARP officials said medical inflation is the main reason employee costs will be going up. The health care law is “a small part,” said David Certner, legislative affairs director.
Although the tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans doesn’t take effect for years, employers are already beginning to assess their potential exposure because it is hefty: at 40 percent of the value above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family plan. The tax is intended as a savings measure, to prod employers and workers into more cost-efficient plans.
Like we’ve been saying all along … the health care legislation passed by the Democrat Congress and signed by President Obama had nothing in it at all to lower the cost of health care or health care insurance. Nothing.
Update: Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s blog picked up the story.
Here’s a related flashback. In August of last year an AARP representative was in Dallas trying to convince dues-paying members why they should support the Democrats’ health care plan. It didn’t go well, and the skeptics were correct: