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  • Obamacare Subsidizes Health Benefits for State and Local Government Retirees

    It’s no secret that Obamacare is chock full of favors for big labor. One example is the new law’s excise tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans, which won’t apply to collectively bargained health plans when it goes into effect.

    It doesn’t end there. Obamacare also created the Early Retirement Reinsurance Program, which subsidizes employer-sponsored health benefits for early retirees and their families. The program will cover 80 percent of health expenses between $15,000 and $90,000, and was intended to encourage employers to maintain coverage for the age group between 55 and 65, who can face difficulties purchasing insurance in the individual market absent an employer-sponsored plan. According to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius:

    The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is helping to control health care costs and protect coverage for early retirees and their families … This program is providing critical financial relief to help states, private employers and other organizations preserve access to affordable health coverage for millions of Americans.

    But which Americans is it talking about? Workers with access to early retiree health benefits are most likely to be employed by state and local governments and unionized employers. The Kaiser Employee Health Benefits 2010 survey showed that 87 percent of state and local governments and 41 percent of large firms with union workers offer these benefits. Among those firms that do offer retiree health benefits, 93 percent extend them to early retirees.

    In contrast, only 21 percent of large firms without union workers offer these benefits. Just 3 percent of small firms offer retiree health benefits.

    So it’s clear who is benefiting from the ERRP. The program started reimbursing plans soon after the enactment of Obamacare, and in 2010 it paid out $535 million to plans sponsored by approximately 5,500 employers. The majority of spending was on state and local government employees, who represented 47 percent of ERRP sponsors. They received $298 million, or 56 percent of total spending on the program. Non-government union sponsors represented an additional 10 percent of participants.

    Government workers already receive significantly more generous benefits than do non-union employees in the private sector. Government workers’ benefits are paid for by taxpayers, and as the country has witnessed in Wisconsin, scaling back those benefits to reflect what employees receive in the private sector is beyond difficult. Now Obamacare takes taxes paid by all Americans to subsidize the benefits of those who already earn above-market compensation. This is reverse redistribution of wealth.

    As Heritage labor expert James Sherk puts it, “As President, Obama has made it clear that he only objected to particular special interests getting handouts. Obama happily gives some liberal special interests loopholes and exemptions from the laws that affect everyone else.”

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Obamacare Subsidizes Health Benefits for State and Local Government Retirees

    1. Bobbie says:

      What's helping people in the private sector, Kathleen? You know, the able bodied ones that don't have government favoring them that you are also constituent to? The ones that pay out of pocket expenses that government has promised wouldn't be effected and would reduce prescription costs? Now increased by TWENTY DOLLARS A PIECE!!!???

      Some people have conditions that are chronic and life threatening. How is it fair out of pocket costs INCREASED a total of $100 a month MORE since 12-31 while government members continue to be protected by government.

      The only survival is daily prescription medication. Why do democrats want our ability to be responsible to provide for ourselves, stolen from us? We repeatedly tell you we want to do for ourselves while you force government on us! Ignoring the increasing costs put on us! Why do you want people with chronic illnesses to be further burdened by government design? What kind of people are you, Kathleen Sebelis? What are you doing for the sickly in the private sector besides raiising their costs to cushion your favorites for less or no costs? Why do you deceive the public? Why do you discriminate? Why do you have bias? YOU'RE A SOCIALIST NOT AMERICAN AND A THREAT TO MY HEALTH!

      The next time I fill out a medical form, where it says responsible party I'll put your name, Kathleen and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. You're so anxious to take my life from me, I'll personally address it to you.

    2. Pingback: Obamacare Subsidizes Health Benefits for State and Local … | Major Health Issues

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    4. Carolyn Menichetti says:

      As with most everything the top dog does, this stinks also! I just pray that the Republicans will find increased vigor to fight with every means at their disposal for America! She is in a battle for her life – and, as with the Titanic, when She (America) goes down, we all go! Lord help us!!

    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Gosh! Isn't unlimited corruption wonderful? What a Change! What a Fundamental Transformation of Government, pay offs that are beyond your wildist imaginings! But fact is, that was the "Change" Obama intended! Note that the Billionaires got a 25% pay raise last year, and you stupid Americans wonder where your 401K money went? Americans are losing their homes but the Plutocrats are doing great!

      I'd like to know why the Billionaires in Mexico refuse to help their own people? Truth is the Democrats are in the pockets of the Billionaires and not the Republicans! Just look at the reverse Redestribution of wealth that Katheryn points up. What do you know! It really is a Pseudo Democratic Plutocracy! The American People? Henry the Horse from Animal Farm, "I will work harder!" say the Americans but we are bound for the glue factory no matter what Obama promises. He is a scorpion! He is just doing what scorpions do!

      Things sure are Changing! I will be shocked if anything Changes for the better!

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    7. Diana Brown, Illinoi says:

      I am so disgusted by the Predident's policy of redistribution of wealth. People who work hard for their money are suffering while these Union employees get all the benefits. We need to stop these Union Thugs immediately. We need free market capitalism immediately and we need to free up these business regulations for small business owners can hire people. Business puts people to work not the damn government!!!! Our government is overreaching by leaps and bounds and we need to continue to say "Enough". Thank God for our tea party and Heritage for bringing things to light. The more light shed the better and maybe the progressives will go back to their holes in the ground!!!!

    8. Pingback: Obamacare Subsidizes Health Benefits for State and Local Government Retirees

    9. Wes in cincy says:

      I still say we need to start by first stripping away all the pension and health plans

      from all government workers ( including politicians) and then everyone can go to

      the private sector and get their benefits. It's called free market w/ no exceptions.

    10. David, Texas says:

      So you guys are upset that the bill will ecourage employers to provide insurance for their employees that retire between ages 55 and 65?

      The state and local governments already provide this coverage so wouldn't you want your private employer to have an incentive to offer this coverage as well? According to the statistics Kathryn gives us above they won't offer it without this incentive.

      And those of you that are despising the plan do you really want a health care plan that requires you to walk over the sick children and the unfortunate with pre-existing conditions that were deprived of health insurance previously in order to get it?

      I am sure most of you are anti-abortion. What is your motto? Hey we made your mother bring you into this world but you have to do it without health care because we all know that Jesus would only want us to help the sick if they are rich enough to afford it. I remember the passages in the Bible where he turned his healing hands away from the poor and only helped the wealthy.

    11. Bobbie says:

      I have a costly condition (government "promised" to reduce costs) and have never been denied insurance. Nobody's personal health should be everybody's business, David. And government to involve itself where it isn't the job of government, is nothing less than dangerous and opens up more room for more government corruption.

      The title of this article says to me: Government benefiting government at the expense of the less fortunate.

      What women do with their bodies and the men that may enjoy them, is their personal business and their personal responsibility to the expense of their business. Now it's opened up for public knowledge, thanks to obligating tax dollar funding for the expense of government intervention.

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