Unfortunately, facing the increased costs of Obamacare, businesses confront a negative incentive to cut part-time employees’ hours to less than 30 per week and keep total employment to less than 50 people to avoid Obamacare’s employer insurance mandate.
Because of implementation problems, Obama delayed the employer mandate for one year, until Jan. 1, 2015. But it is still hanging over the heads of employers and employees.
As for the individual mandate, the government directive requiring individuals and families to purchase health insurance, that’s a different story altogether. Obama has rejected Republican requests to delay the individual mandate just as he did the employer mandate, and the rush of public interest in the health insurance exchanges that opened for business this week demonstrates the level of interest in seeing what this new marketplace has to offer.
Under Obamacare, Medicaid rolls will be dramatically expanded for lower-income individuals. Middle- and higher-income earners can choose from a variety of insurance options available on the exchanges, and their costs will be determined by their individual circumstances. People will either like it, not like it or hate it, depending on the size of their bill.
Other than filing income taxes each year, it’s hard to imagine a government program that will affect more people in a more personal way than Obamacare. Obama and the Democrats are betting that people will love it and reward them with their votes for years to come. Republicans see it as a looming disaster.
They can’t both be right, and we’ll have a better idea who is in due time.