Obamacare and the Next Four Years

The voters have returned the president to another four years in the White House with the results of the November 6, 2012 election.  Now the realities of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), have moved from something in our rear view mirrors to staring us in the face.

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the current unemployment rate continuing to hover at nearly 8% those who are still employed will be hit with a dual effect of Obamacare.  As the government run health care begins to be established for employers, the increased costs associated with that benefit will be passed on to the employees.  Employees who might have been expecting a salary increase or benefits package increase aren’t going to be receiving them.

Back in early October 2012, the Orlando, Florida based Darden Restaurants stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers.  Darden owns the popular chains,  Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.  In a prepared statement Darden Restaurants said,

“Staffing changes are just one of the many things we are evaluating to help us address the cost implications health care reform will have on our business. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the health care regulations and we simply do not have enough information to make any decisions at this time.”

Darden Restaurants is not the only chain considering this option.  The iconic White Castle hamburger chain, is also considering employing fewer full-timers because of key features of the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), scheduled to go into effect in 2014.

Due to the anticipated increases in the costs associated with Obamacare,  it is predicted that employers will stop offering employees health coverage, thus forcing employees into the new government-run health care exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that between 5 million and 20 million Americans will lose employer-sponsored coverage.  A far cry from President Obama’s pledge, at a town hall meeting Aug. 11, 2009, where Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

As if American’s don’t have enough increased taxes to worry about, Obamacare has an overall amount tax burden of $836.3 billion to pay for it.   Initially $36.3 billion comes due to the  American taxpayer in 2013.

Those of you who are self employed or an entrepreneur will also see cost of coverage that they purchase on their own increase drastically. Even according to the president’s own health care adviser’s, health care premiums will increase.

Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber has estimated that, by 2016, the cost of individual-market health insurance under Obamacare, relative to what it would have been under prior law, will increase by an average of 19 percent in Colorado, 29 percent in Minnesota, and 30 percent in Wisconsin.

So yes, the election is over and now the American voters have to live with their choice.

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