Scotch Plains Resident Points out Shortcomings of the Health Care Reform Act
Thursday, October 18, 2012 • 2:26pm
To the Editor:
I sent the below letter to the indicated Senators and Congressman. When I get a response, I will forward this to you as well. You may want to share it with your readers.
Scotch Plains, NJ
Dear Senators Lautenberg/Senator Menendez/ Congressman Lance & Congressman Holt:
I am deeply concerned that as a result of the Health Care Reform, which three of you signed, it will cause a loss of private insurance and will eventually cost the individual tax payer significantly more money than it does now. This would be applicable to anyone who has company paid for medical insurance, poor, middle class and millionaires alike.
My logic goes like this, in accordance with various articles in the media that all people must have health care and companies with 50 employees and over must provide health care to its employees. Should the company not offer health care the companies are taxed some $2,000 per person over 30 employees?
Taking into consideration, baby boomers that are not 65 years old, do not have or will lose their company provided health care, not on Medicare, and have private health care available through various carriers may be impacted. Presently the cost is between $4,500 for only catastrophic insurance to $15,000 for full coverage in the private market. This naturally is only for one person and does not count a spouse. Some employers are presently paying in excess of $25,000 a year for a husband’s and wife’s insurance, with some of the cost being picked up by the employee. During the first debate President Obama mentioned that they expect that health care reform would drive these rates down some 18%.
It would appear to me that the companies would gladly pay the $2,000 penalty. Let the employee worry about picking up their own health care coverage for what could be $12,000 or more for a single person policy, $24,000 for a husband and wife. In addition, companies would no longer have to employee health care professionals; this would be another cost savings and remove a potential source of liability.
I do understand from a recent Money Magazine article, that one would be eligible for a Tax Credit as long as a family income is not over four (4) times the national poverty level. This amounts to some $58,840 for a husband and wife.
Should they have in excess of this income, than the result is that a couple would be fully responsible for the full cost of their coverage which could be in excess of $24,000! Senators and Congressman who in NJ can afford to live on $58,840? It would appear that the middle class, that you always claim to be fighting for, would be greatly impacted.
Before any of you say that this will not happen, I understand that 1,200 exemptions have been already granted, the parent company for the Olive Garden and Red Lobster is looking at cutting staff and/or reducing hours such to have more part time employees who are not eligible for health care reform, and the media reported that some 10% of companies may drop their employee medical coverage, with another 10% considering it. All this with a year and half before full implementation.
My fear, is that to deny this potential makes one wonder if elected officials are in tune with the real world who are responsible for a Profit and Lost of an institution (i.e. company) rather than government who has unlimited funds do to the ability to tax.
I can foresee futures were only the ones that will have employer paid medical coverage would be Unions, private but mostly ones in the public sector. Does this sound like the pension situation we have now? Many of us have lost our pensions and have been provided 401K’s in their place. We see that their value dropped due to the stock market, while the tax payers are left holding the bag for these public sector pensions.
Then possibly to add injury to insult I have heard it said that Congress has exempted itself from the requirements of the Health Care Reform Bill.
Please respond as to where my facts or logic are in error.
I have included Representative Holt, since come January due to redistricting he will replace Congressman Lance as our representative. Congressman Holt, you may delay a response to January, but you will be asked the question again at that time. Why wait to respond?
Leave it to be said, I look forward to your responses. In the mean time I will forward this letter to the media and other interested parties. Feel free to respond to me and these media sources. I am sure that the tax payers would find your responses very informative and perhaps dispel rumors or confirm our worst fears.
Albert J. Muller
Scotch Plains, NJ