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Just tip of iceberg about Obamacare

October 2, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

While the attention was on the split of House vs. Senate vs. President Barack Obama on Tuesday, a far more momentous occasion than a government shutdown occurred.

The health care exchanges, the most visible and far-reaching symbols of Obamacare, kicked in.

Members of the national media corps made fools of themselves and the absurdity of the federal government being able to do anything efficiently by proving the exchange websites weren't working up to snuff. But, electronic glitches will be fixed.

The real issue is neither that millions were not able to access the sales sites Tuesday nor that millions tried.

The real issue lies in the still-to-be-determined impact on employment in the nation.

For while the government delayed for a year small employer health care requirements, it did not delay the requirement that individuals have to purchase insurance if they don't have it through their employers. And employers of 50 or more people will be required to provide insurance on workers with 30 or more hours a week of employment.

It already has led to declarations of reductions of work hours for workers who aren't among the best-paid in the nation.

For instance, Sea World parks have capped worker hours at 28, down from 32.

Many retailers have declared they will stop providing coverage for their part-time workers, thus reducing the standard of living for them by forcing them to pay out of pocket for coverage through the exchanges.

And the impact for large employers won't be felt until a year from now, when they're required to provide coverage to full timers or face a $2,000 per employee fine.

We'll note that while the government is shut down for its inability to compromise, Congress is still off on its own health care plan, not down in the trenches slogging through websites with the worker-class rabble.

A delay to consider the unintended consequences may be all that can be achieved, given the Senate's role as Obama's lapdog and Obama's declaration that he will accept nothing which tries to defund his economic-shifting health care system.

If a shutdown achieves that delay to really study what is beginning to happen, so be it.

But if all that happens is a vow to study without any real attempt to make change, then dysfunction, along with lower employment numbers, is about all we can expect from the United States.

 
 

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