Obamacare was compared to a “huge train wreck” by US Senator Max Baucus (D – Mont.) during a hearing on Capitol Hill today. Baucus, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, helped craft the Affordable Care Act and of course voted for it.
The senator expressed his misgivings directly to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over how the general public lacks an understanding of the law as it rolls out: “I just see a huge train wreck coming down. You and I have discussed this many times, and I don’t see any results yet … I’m very concerned that not enough is being done so far — very concerned … small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect.”
Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that it will be unable to set up of series of healthcare insurance exchanges to provide coverage options for small business until at least 2015. In America, some 70 percent of the workforce is said to be employed by small businesses.
The state healthcare exchanges are also apparently way behind schedule, according to Baucus, who is up for reelection in 2014. “For the marketplaces to work, people need to know about them,” he said. “People need to know their options and how to enroll.”
Various employes around the country are already cutting employee hours and/or have threatened that they will involuntarily downgrade workers into part-time status in the near future to avoid the Obamacare mandate altogether. Many insurers gone on record in warning of insurance premium “sticker shock” as the law goes into implementation.
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is reportedly the first union to officially call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Many labor unions vocally endorsed and supported the law (although some of them subsequently received waivers from its provisions). In a statement, union president Kinsey M. Robinson said in part:
“Our Union and its members have supported President Obama and his Administration for both of his terms in office. But regrettably, our concerns over certain provisions in the ACA have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored. In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the Act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer sponsored coverage could keep it … I am therefore calling for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act to protect our employers, our industry, and our most important asset: our members and their families.”
Separately, Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus declared flatly last week that “Obamacare is going to kill off small business.”
Have there been any Obamacare-related changes to your own health coverage where you work if you are currently employed?