JULY 9, 2014

Obamacare increases insurance rates and decreases economic growth prospects

'The law is taking its toll on the economy at a time when the country is in its fifth year of a nauseatingly slow economic recovery'
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WASHINGTON, DC – The media focus on the Iraqi crisis has created a 'fog of war' that has obscured a series of reports in recent weeks on the damaging impact of Obamacare on health care insurance rates, in particular, and the economic recovery, in general, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

"It took Monday's Supreme Court ruling that the law cannot force privately held companies to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortion inducing devices to restore public attention.  But while we were looking the other way, there were several revelations on the economic impact the law will have on individuals and the nation, including looming health insurance rate increases."

Weber said: "Some lucky policyholders will see health insurance rate increases of only 10 percent, more or less.  Those who aren't so lucky will see hikes of 15 percent and 20 percent.  And then there are the really unlucky ones who will have to swallow surges of 25 percent or more for coverage."

In addition, he reported, it has come to light that there's a hidden levy built into the law that affects everyone who pays income taxes.  "The administration has claimed that more than 8 million people have signed up for Obamacare through federal exchanges to date.  The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly 90 percent of them have had their monthly premiums offset by as much as $264 per policy.  Do the math: the generous subsidy comes to nearly $2 billion a month or $24 billion a year and guess who picks up the tab: you, the taxpayers."

Meanwhile, a recent report by Devon Herrick of the nonpartisan National Center for Policy Analysis stated that instead of helping the problems small businesses have in providing employees with health care coverage, it has exacerbated them.  Herrick's report concludes that Obamacare imposes onerous costs on small businesses that will inhibit hiring, may generally reduce employee compensation and hinder the growth of business.

The report underscores the most pressing problem America faces today, Weber said, citing Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.  Lew told members of the Economic Club of New York a few weeks ago: "There are questions about whether America can maintain strong rates of growth and doubts about whether the benefits of technology, innovation and prosperity will be shared broadly."

In other words, Obamacare is taking its toll on the economy at a time when the country is in its fifth year of "a nauseatingly slow" recovery from the great recession of 2007-2009, Weber said.  "The U.S. reported dismal negative growth in the first quarter of this year and some economists believe that the economy may never completely bounce back.  What we don't need now is another high hurdle for job creation and economic recovery."

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