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  • Side Effects: Report Reveals Another Flawed Obamacare Program

    Americans are well aware by now that Obamacare was sloppily written, a fact that has resulted in numerous unintended consequences that will adversely affect the nation. In light of a recent report from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the newly created Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) can be added to the list of poorly thought-out provisions of the new law.

    A temporary reinsurance program to run through 2014, the ERRP is an attempt to encourage companies to continue employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 65. Heritage analyst Brian Blase pointed out in a recent report that this program “appears to be mostly a bailout for public-sector and union health benefit programs for early retirees.” However, shifting the cost of benefits for government and other union employees onto federal taxpayers isn’t the only problem with the program.

    The House Committee on Energy and Commerce found that the ERRP will be exhausted of funds long before previous predictions. Acting as a bridge to state health insurance exchanges, the ERRP was appropriated $5 billion to reimburse employers 80 percent of the total cost for early retirees’ health expenses that fall between $15,000 and $90,000.

    Richard Popper, director of the Office of Insurance Programs at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, first estimated that the program’s funding would run out by 2012—just two years after its startup—but enrollment trends paint a different picture. Within seven months, the ERRP reimbursed 253 plan sponsors covering 5,452 early retirees, to the tune of $535 million. According to the report, “Based on those spending patterns, the fund will exhaust its resources much sooner than originally estimated.”

    Five percent of ERRP enrollees spent 10 percent of the program’s entire funds. According to the House Committee Report, “If the remaining 5,199 applicants require a similar level of reimbursement, the program will quickly spend all available funding as early as this year.”

    The ERRP program is an inappropriate use of federal taxpayer dollars to begin with. Even worse is that in order to follow through on the promises made by Obamacare, the program is on track to require more taxpayer money, increasing the federal deficit beyond what is already expected. Obamacare should be repealed before American taxpayers continue to suffer as a result of its countless bad policies.

    Amanda Rae Kronquist contributed to this post.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Side Effects: Report Reveals Another Flawed Obamacare Program

    1. joecool westbrook, m says:

      Submitting a 2000+ page bill on anything is the absolute height of arrogance. Beside confusion and perpetual arguments, it will benefit no one save the lawyers, who will bill into perpetuity on this.

    2. Robert says:

      An informative and well written column Ms. Nix. As part of my campaign to excise words created by the Left to obscure or excuse their negligence, gross negligence of criminality, I respectfully ask that you consider excising from this and future columns the words "Unintended Consequences."

      As a former judge, now retired, as I listened to criminal defendants at trial or in open pleas of guilty to the court I was presented with a host of excuses all of which fell within the euphemism "unintended consequences."

      Mr. X is driving sixty miles per hour though a 25 MPH school zone. He is intoxicated. He strikes and kills two children crossing the street. An unintended consequence he claims. Who could possibly intend the death of children,

      I could provide legion numbers of examples. I do wish to make the point that "unintended consequences" is an"excuse," and effort to relieve those responsible for good government with defense to their gross negligence and breach of faith. As the U.S. stands on the brink of bankruptcy, no one is to blame; it is all a matter of unintended consequence.

      Actually, the law provides a much more precise concept which I offer for your consideration: "Foreseeable Consequence." When a household spends say 200 percent of its gross income on frivolities, bankruptcy is a foreseeable consequence" assuming of course the householders are rational. That the householders did not foresee this consequence, again assuming the most average intelligence, does not excuse or mitigate their irrational conduct. So it is with governments. I note, parenthetically, that government renegades, those responsible for the economic and cultural degeneration of American society, avoid the term "foreseeable consequences" as it if were an "obscenity." I wonder why.

      I have made my case, I do hope respectfully. I appreciate your article as I do Heritage Society which is quite frankly a national treasure. I do hope you will join me in the banishment of the term unforeseeable consequences when in fact the consequences of which you write are inexcusably foreseeable.

      Robert Harkins

    3. TiltedTalkDomagoy - says:

      This program also sounds like a gimmick to lower the unemployment rate. All at the expense of taxpayers. Just more of the legal plunder DC has perfected.

    4. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      You mean to tell us that they underestimated yet another federal program? I'm shocked. The only blessing I see with Obamacare is that its negative effects are so immediately seen adding fuel to the repealing fire.

    5. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Some Republicans in Congress are doing their best to kill ObamaCare. but unfortunately some are not! Along with removing the solid Democrat block, led by Obama, we must make sure every RINO is shown the door at the first opintunity. Most of us know full well what a disaster ObamaCare is, but many in the Republican Party are imbedded as deep in Washington politics as any Dem.

    6. Pingback: Shifting More of the Burden on to Taxpayers | Citizens to Repeal Obamacare

    7. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Kathryn, another great hit on the Obama Payola Train to benefit Unions but not in the American Interest. Apollo Alliance wrote this crazy Bill, they are Communists, so no surprise to me, Obama works exclusively in the Foreign Interest even in his Domestic Agenda. I am old enough to remember the Cold War, and now that we have the First American Communist Government? I don't think it is fair to say we won the Cold War. For some reason, Graft is perfectly legal these days. Do you suppose the Harvard Law Review had anything to do with it? Obama and Kagan have been messin' with it for years. I think Elena Kagan got her Supreme Court Appointment for Anti-American Activities, like kicking the ROTC off campus. But, as Dean of the Law School she has to bear some of the responsibility for softening American Law.

      I think Family Law is an Anti Family abomination! Overcriminalizing! Overregulating! Punishing people for accidents! Mom and Dad get punished for what the Children do! And gosh! Who needs a family when you can always put the kids in Foster Homes! I think the old 'normal' has been Criminalized, so helping teenagers you get instantly subducted into crime! Unintended consequences, kids suffer because only Gangs would dare to help them!

      The pattern of the Democrats is to do so much harm, so fast and in so many ways that the American People can't track it all. That way they get away with it. If Obama is following the Kloward-Piven model, then he may well INTEND these 'unintended consequences.' After all, it is in their interest for Americans to Hate Their Government!

    8. Roger S., Mass. says:

      We do recall that one supercilious congressional twit from CA, who thought she knew it all and had it all figured out, once quipped: " we need to pass the bill to find out what's in it…"?

      Considering that statement, I'm with Judge Harkins so far as the "unforeseen consequences" are concerned. All of these results were utterly foreseeable. Given that, one has to suspect they were meant to occur; even that they were "on purpose"! Given that, we must conclude that "Cloward Piven", as mentioned by Leon Lundquist, was the grand strategy behind this abomination of a law!

      This leads to a question: If the now Conservative Republican dominated Congress now takes this Bill apart, page by page, clause by clause, defunding parts, eliminating others entirely, where will it all end? There being so many parts, will not some significant number remain to haunt our futures in that what is left will constitute an even greater mess than once was the whole? Thus reinforcing the underlying Cloward Piven "design"?

      Wouldn't it be better, ultimately, to tirelessly work towards repeal of the whole at once, or towards having all of it declared unconstitutional, as not only I believe that it is, thus making it disappear in one fell swoop?!

      To me the present approach seems the equivalent of trying to clean the kitchen sink or toilet with a well-worn toothbrush missing half of its bristles: You get to "homogenize" and evenly smear about the dirt while taking all day to do it. You don't really clean anything that way, just "polish" the dirt!

    9. Doctor Dave says:

      The back bone of the Health Care industry is the DOCTORS and NURSES that are in the trenches, caring for people. When the funds dry up, people cannot afford insurance, and the government cuts Medicare as well as Medical Aide to the "unwashed' and those who do not care to participate, the entire system will collapse. No one works for no pay, and even the post office employees demand that the Feds pay for all the benefits.

      We will surely go the way of socialized medicine, and suffer the rationing consequences. The Brits have figure out that socialized medicine cost more, and the total number of employed in the medical system is larger than any ARMYon the planet. Think about the USA and Federal employees, sitting on their collective asses looking at the yearly calender before retirement on your tax dollars? AMTRAC?, USPS?, Federal Aviation Agency?, HHS? FBI? CIA? Meat inspectors? EPA? and all the rest of the trash build by the Feds.

      Can you think of a car mechanic or dealership that will fix your car for a promise from Obama that the money is in the mail? Forget about Grandma and Grandpa, think about your gas operated car in the driveway. Doctors are not medical missionaries. Either are nurses. Obama is a moron, just as Nancy Pelosi (vote to be able to read it) or H. Reid the senator from Nevada with similar problems as Nancy and BO.

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