The unilateral deferment of the “Affordable Care” implementation was a tacit admission that this flawed legislation would have created a massive surge of unemployment to a substantial majority, who viewed January1, 2014 with dread. In my constant dialogue with manufacturers, distributors, contractors, retailers, and professionals, especially those associated with medical care at various levels, indicated a fear of the inevitable. It has surpassed all other concerns facing the U.S. public at large.
Already flawed by the many exceptions given to several states, unions, and selected businesses, the proposed government insurance exchanges are offering alternative benefits to those losing them to business cancellation. These had become a popular component of supplemental insurance packages as part of employment by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of independent and corporate U.S. businesses alike. In subsequent months of overwhelming responses by affected businesses, near unanimous antipathy resulted in opposition. As the date of decision neared, cancellation of company insurance had already been in the cards for an overwhelming majority of my contacts. This became a prime reason for business and professional institutions to determine methods of reducing their employment component. Plans have been underway to add equipment and technology to eliminate full-time workers originally planned for addition, both on the shop floor, as well as the back office.
The dark cloud of Obamacare hanging over 2014 decision-makers, even as business potential grudgingly moved forward, has already had a significant influence on reducing the overall U.S. employment. This has displayed the slowest post-recession rebound in America’s recent history.
In a survivalist approach in keeping with the entrepreneurial ingenuity of American businesses, these are resorting to part-time workers, independent contractors, and the inevitable full time employee reduction to a core minimum. Even federal penalties that would result were considered as preferable alternatives to the imposition of, or continuation of more employment insurance plans, whose premium costs have already begun to increase to unacceptable levels. Under these circumstances, the Administration was facing two critical consequences as the January 1, 2014 day of full implementation neared:
1) The so-called “exchanges” to enroll those never before insured or privy to additional benefits, like the elimination of pre-existing conditions and participating on their parents’ insurance to the age of 26, have not even gotten off the ground.
2) But probably the decisive factor was the impact on the November 2014 mid-term elections. This could have resulted in a voter reaction against Democrat incumbents exceeding that of the 2010 “Tea Party” movement’s victories. But this tactical approach of a one-year reprieve does not change the final intent of Obama’s full implementation. In harsh terms, voiced by many critics, “this is not a reprieve, but a stay of execution.”
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