Finding Out What’s in Obamacare, Part ∞

Published September 26, 2014

Finding Out What’s in Obamacare, Part ∞

Everyone is familiar with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s quote about needing to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Americans over the past four years or so have had plenty of opportunities to find out what’s in the bill, such as higher premiums, cancelled plans, and subsidies for big insurance companies.

It looks like employers have also found something in the plan – insurance plans they can offer employees that don’t include hospital coverage. Kaiser Health News reports:

Debate Grows Over Employer Plans With No Hospital Benefits

Lance Shnider is confident Obamacare regulators knew exactly what they were doing when they created an online calculator that gives a green light to new employer coverage without hospital benefits.

“There’s not a glitch in this system,” said Shnider, president of Voluntary Benefits Agency, an Ohio firm working with some 100 employers to implement such plans. “This is the way the calculator was designed.”

Timothy Jost is pretty sure the whole thing was a mistake.

“There’s got to be a problem with the calculator,” said Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and health-benefits authority. Letting employers avoid health-law penalties by offering plans without hospital benefits “is certainly not what Congress intended,” he said…

Although insurance sold to individuals and small businesses through the health law’s marketplaces is required to include expensive hospital benefits, plans from large, self-insured employers are not…

Unfortunately for Jost, we usually don’t enact the laws that Congress intended to pass, we enact what they did pass. As we drift from the rule of law perhaps Jost’s view will hold sway, but for now this is just one more example of why Obamacare may be the worst-drafted legislation to ever pass Congress.