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August 17 2016

One in Five NY-Area Manufacturers Cut Workers Because of ObamaCare

Patrice L. Onwuka

ObamaCare just keeps on giving American workers headaches, higher bills, and more out-of-pocket costs. For some unlucky workers in the greater New York region, ObamaCare is passing along prescriptions for pink slips as well.

When the Federal Reserve of New York surveyed manufacturers and business leaders and service firms from New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut on health coverage costs and the effects of the un-Affordable Care Act, they found a negative, but not surprising, situation. Healthcare costs increased 8.5 percent and are expected to rise by 10 percent in 2017. Employers are facing higher premiums from insurance providers, higher costs for prescription drugs, ObamaCare, and greater usage from a workforce that’s aging fast.

To deal with this new reality, almost two-thirds of employers say they are making changes to their healthcare plans as a result of ObamaCare. The most popular options pass the rising costs onto their workers: raising deductibles, increasing co-pays, and increasing out-of-pocket maximums. However, most alarmingly, 17 percent of service sector firms and 21 percent of manufacturers said they are reducing their workforce. While wages and salaries are not affected overall, employers are more likely to cut salaries than raise them.

Business Insider reports:

The respondents from the two sectors also said they were changing their plans at similar rates. Thirty-nine percent of manufacturing and 42% of service respondents said they were leaving their healthcare offerings unchanged, while 41% and 39%, respectively, said they were making modifications. About 15% in both sectors said they were switching providers.

Some data-based studies have shown that the impact on the labor market of the ACA has been negligible, and survey-based measures can be affected by a variety of factors, but it would be unwise to dismiss the findings.

This compounds a week of bad news for President Obama’s legacy “reform” bill. Aetna just made good on its recent threats to halt expansion and reassess participation in ObamaCare by announcing that it would pull out of 11 of 15 states. Some 80 percent of ObamaCare customers they cover will have to figure out a new plan for next year. Aetna follows UnitedHealth and Humana who have suffered terrible losses because of ObamaCare and can no longer accept the bleeding.

Even long-time Obama supporters are worried:

“You have here a situation which all of us who care about the exchanges have to worry about,” said Zeke Emanuel, who served as a top White House health policy adviser during Obama’s first term and is now vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. “There is a problem with the risk pool. There is a problem with the numbers of people signing up.”

The Administration has tried to entice young, healthy people for the past three years and that has yet to work. Initially, they focused on the benefits of ObamaCare and last year, they used scare tactics over the whopping tax penalties. None of that was enough, because (young) Americans know a bad deal when they see it. Furthermore, they’ve experienced the hardship that ObamaCare has caused by killing bare-bones plans and driving up the costs of healthcare coverage.

ObamaCare was doomed from the start, but the effects  will continue to ripple throughout our workforce. It’s time to scrap this failed experiment and find ways to deliver access to quality care that is actually affordable without triggering unintended consequences such as employers cutting workers.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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