Obamacare working well for columnist's company
by Kevin Foley
November 15, 2013 12:29 AM | 3595 views | 26 26 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite their “I told you so” proclamations, what Republicans fear most is happening at my company right here in Cobb County.

My annual health care costs will drop at least $60,000 in 2014 thanks to the health insurance exchange the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is operating.

This financial relief comes just in time. After Obamacare was signed into law in 2010, my health insurer rushed to cash in while it could, jacking up our premium 29 percent over the last two years and another 13 percent in 2014.

Our new costs would likely drop further if Georgia had a state-run health insurance exchange. Unfortunately, Gov. Nathan Deal is deliberately undermining Obamacare so he has refused to implement a state exchange. Nor has the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — the purported advocate for small business — lobbied Deal to establish an exchange.

Our 24 employees will go to the federal exchange to select policies. Silver Plan benefits offered there closely match what I currently provide. The cost for most of these plans is lower than what we now pay and about half of my employees will qualify for tax credits they can use to purchase their health insurance. As I have always done, I will pay a portion of their premiums.

Thus, an employee with three family members earning $46,000 who paid $595 per month for health insurance in 2013 will pay less than $100 per month in 2014 after tax credits and my employer contribution.

My employees are free to decide what coverage they buy, no longer stuck within the limits of the insurance we offered. Unlike pre-Obamacare days, they cannot be refused coverage for pre-existing conditions and their policies won’t be canceled if they get sick or injured.

Georgia small businesspeople continue to be swamped with relentless Chicken Little prophesies coming from the conservative media and Georgia’s congressional caucus.

Rep. Tom Price: “The last thing that this nation needs is this law that will destroy quality healthcare in this country.”

Rep. Phil Gingrey “This (roll-out) fiasco is yet another warning sign of Obamacare nightmares to come.”

Rep. Paul Broun: “Obamacare will destroy everything in America.”

If Obamacare is so awful, why not just let it fail? Democrats will suffer politically and Republicans will pick up seats in Congress and maybe even win the White House in 2016.

Here’s the answer: “People will like it,” tea party Sen. Mike Lee admitted during a recent interview with Rush Limbaugh.

Yes, the online rollout was botched. Problems will be fixed by Nov. 30. Some insurers cancelled junk policies that can be replaced with superior plans, in many cases for the same or less money.

Nevertheless, Republicans branded Obama a heinous liar and demanded accountability. For them, I’ve got just two words: mission accomplished.

Recall this is the same crowd who showed no interest in accountability after President Bush, on the wings of his infamous “mushroom cloud” lies, sent American troops to Iraq in search of non-existent WMD and 4,487 of them came home in caskets.

But Obama gets no benefit of the doubt, let alone any help from the GOP as he reforms a broken system while providing decent insurance coverage to 40 million Americans and lowering the nation’s run-away health care costs.

Conservative hypocrites are bound to be exposed as the real liars when stories like mine are repeated across Georgia and the U.S. by individuals and business owners who discover Obamacare’s bottom line benefits.

This time next year, when Republicans are claiming credit for healthcare reform, Georgia voters need to remember their deceitful words and ask why it was Price, Gingrey, Broun and Deal so dishonestly stood in the way of something so good for Americans and American business.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(26)
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Doc Hollidawg
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November 22, 2013
Ask not what you can do for your country, but what can your country do for you? Right Mr. Foley?
annieLD
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November 18, 2013
Why any employer wants to be in the health insurance business for their employees I'll never understand. The administrative costs and hassle are surely a burden. There are other benefits to offer employees for competitive purposes. How about a prepaid gas card? You get $2000 worth of gas at the pump. Or a prepaid cell phone? Or increasing the 401K match? It's so much better for employees, also, to have affordable health insurance independent of an employer, especially in these days when no job is secure. And as long as the ACA subsidizes the premiums of lower-income workers on the exchanges, it would be cheaper for those employees.
21st Century Man
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November 18, 2013
Where do the subsidies come from?

EastCobbtaxpayer
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November 18, 2013
Happy to pay for your financial gain.
Bob Johnson
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November 18, 2013
Kathy S and Mike H are really Kevin Foley.
Kathy S
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November 17, 2013
Kevin Foley, well said. You are 100% accurate about Obamacare. The day we are born, we all have pre-existing conditions and now, thankfully, we will all be treated equally. I went on the we site, had a live chat with a navigator, who was professional and helpful, and answered all my questions in 40 minutes.

Obamacare works today.

It will work better tomorrow.
CobbCoGuy
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November 18, 2013
So, Kathy S, having a chat is nice; however, are you going to enroll? Did you find out how much the total premium would be for you before and after subsidies, if you qualify for such?
Papermill gal
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November 22, 2013
Watch your credit dear. The navigators haven't been vetted...they are the same people who operated ACORN, and if you don't know what that is, just Google, "advice on setting up an underage immigrant brothel."
Mike H
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November 17, 2013
Obamacare is the law. It is a great idea. It will be reversed when Social Security is reversed. Life is good when your head isn't buried in the sand.
Mike Woodliff
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November 17, 2013
Saying the law is "good" doesn't make it so. You offer an opinion based on nothing but your own preferences and prejudices. It's best to investigate, offer evidence and do some critical thinking. Until you do that, your opinion is worthless.
Kevin Foley
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November 18, 2013
Mike Woodliff, why don't you take your own advice and do some research?

"Four, if you have THAT many employees qualifying for subsidies, the point I see being made is the level of wages you pay."

You obviously do not understand how the tax credits are calculated. Talk about worthless opinions.
SANDRA M
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November 24, 2013
Kevin, why don't you do research before you show you ignorance. If you make $250,000 you can qualify for a break in the premium
Mike H
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November 16, 2013
Facts that show Obamacare works will never win the debate for the "faith based" Republicans.

Obamacare is going the way of Social Security and Medicare. These programs are overwhelmingly successful and supported by nearly everyone, including Republicans.

Obamacare deniers only have their anger and ignorance that keeps them at arms length from reality.
Jammer51
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November 15, 2013
Not sure I would want to own a company where

"about half of my employees will qualify for tax credits they can use to purchase their health insurance."

CobbCoGuy
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November 15, 2013
Obama knew. His staff knew. The Democrats in Congress knew. Democrat policy wonks knew. They all knew that Obamacare would effectively destroy the individual insurance market. But they had to keep it a secret; otherwise, it would have never passed.

And, so, Obama said you could keep your plan. Reid and Pelosi said you could keep your plan. Many Democrats said you could keep your plan. They had to say that; otherwise, it would have never passed.

And, so, it did pass, on a party line vote. And, what is satisfying now about that is the Democrats own it - ALL of it.

Obamacare was sold to the American public on fetid dishonesty.

The Democrats are now in panic mode. Ever since Clinton said that the promises should be kept, the dam has opened. Thirty-nine Democrats broke ranks and voted for the Upton bill today.

As someone else so eloquently put it, paraphrased, the White House is in a Cat Five political s***storm.

Harvard Professor, and Obamacare architect, David Cutler stated that we could be seeing "the beginning of the death spiral." Don't know what he means? Look up adverse selection.
Samuel Adams
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November 15, 2013
OK Bagdhad Bob, just keep that liberal hate coming. And to your employees, let me just express my fervent condolences for having to work with a guy who justifies cancelling your health insurance by blaming Bush and the Iraq war.

Nut case.
just sayin
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November 15, 2013
Thank you Sam, the Bush administration and the Iraq War never really existed, it was just a collective nightmare perpetuated by the liberal media elites.
dave y
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November 15, 2013
Kevin, this column will not earn you a guest spot on FOX AND FRIENDS or the SEAN HANNITY show.
CobbCoGuy
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November 15, 2013
Based on your figures, and assuming you have not engaged in any creative numerology, it appears, as of today, that you and your business are one of the winners. Congratulations; and thank you for the perspective.

Couple things...

"...my health insurer rushed to cash in while it could, jacking up our premium 29 percent over the last two years and another 13 percent in 2014."

Why do you think the premium increased? Was it due simply to a larger number of participants in your health plan? Did any provisions/benefits change? Or, was it due to the fact that some of the ACA mandates took effect, e.g., removing lifetime caps, allowing children to remain on parent's policies until age 26, removing preexisting condition exclusions?

"Our 24 employees will go [Will go? What are they waiting on?] to the federal exchange to select policies."

Have any successfully enrolled, paid for coverage, and received some sort of confirmation? If so, are they comfortable that their personal information is secure?

"...an employee with three family members earning $46,000...will pay less than $100 per month in 2014 after tax credits and my employer contribution."

Tax credits. Individual tax credits, right? As a small business, I believe you're possibly eligible for certain tax credits as well. If that's the case, then are you factoring in your credits? Note those small business tax credits are due to phase out.

"If Obamacare is so awful, why not just let it fail?"

I agree. Not one Republican voted for this thing. Obama and the Democrats own it - lock, stock and barrel. The trainwreck continues to unfold, daily.

"...Republicans branded Obama a heinous liar..."

Because he was. And then he lied about his lies. And no less than Bill Clinton chimed in to say that Obama must honor the promise. Of course, one has to ask, does Clinton really care about those who are losing coverage or is he just politicking?

...as [Obama] reforms a broken system...and [lowers] the nation’s run-away health care costs."

There is no way the ACA is going to bring about cost control. When has the Gubmint ever controlled costs?

Good stuff, KF. How about an update in, say, 6 months?
Strange is the name
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November 15, 2013
This man sounds like a complete screwball. Why does this paper insist of running these ridiculous columns?
Hypocrasy
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November 15, 2013
Let me make sure a understand. Mr. Foley, a prosperous business owner, has decided to dump his employees on the government in order to increase his profitability. Sounds like corporate greed and all that to me which is clearly George Bush's fault.
why not
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November 15, 2013
Good point Hypocrasy, could it be that Foley is a secret "REPUBLICAN" and his column is a false flag conspiracy!
Bob Johnson
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November 15, 2013
I don't believe it, a column on healthcare and you managed to get WMD's and Bush lied into it.
See!
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November 15, 2013
Well at least you do not hide behind your desire to steal from others to increase your own wealth.

The first paragraph of your article says it all...

I saved $60,000 by stealing from others.

You accuse conservatives of being money grubbers. The only money SOME conservatives MIGHT grub is the money they earned. You grub the money you STEAL from others by force of a IRS gun....

JERK
Mike Woodliff
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November 15, 2013
Where to begin.... One, most insurance companies in Georgia offer multiple group plans under one policy so your employees ALWAYS had the choice if YOU allowed it. Blue Cross has one plan that offers up to nine plans under one policy. If you weren't aware of this and the competitive pricing, you should have a little chat with your broker.

Two, your company isn't even subject to the employer mandate until 2015. Who knows what further changes will have taken place by then.

Three, I don't believe the numbers you're tossing about. As a 35 year veteran of the employee benefit business, your numbers plainly don't make sense.

Four, if you have THAT many employees qualifying for subsidies, the point I see being made is the level of wages you pay.

Five, none of the employees covered by your plan were subjected to "pre-existing condition" restrictions. Those haven't existed in group plans for many years.

The billions of dollars spent on the website and the exchanges was completely and totally unnecessary. The insurance industry already had the mechanisms in place to handle all the applicants. The law for individuals could merely have been left to ten pages directing that applicants couldn't be denied due to pre-existing conditions. All the rest of the 2300 pages is political over-reach.

How I would love to turn Politi-Fact loose on your writings. You have a real penchant for, hmmmmm, what's the word? Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Canards?

Whether you are intentionally lying, who could say. But the President sure as heck was!

RP200
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November 15, 2013
LOL
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