Small businesses and those who work for them have almost always found it difficult to find affordable health insurance. The insurance system was established in the workplace for the benefit of large companies, who could bring steady premium payments along with them, which provide the profits for the insurers.
Entrepreneurs were left with expensive stand-alone policies that often were nothing more than catastrophe prevention. This has slowly changed over the years, and this week, the Trump administration took another step forward for small business. This healthcare rule will provide an estimated 800,000 businesses a better way to offer coverage and millions of workers a better way to obtain coverage, through the expansion of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
According to Brian Blase, special assistant to the president at the National Economic Council focused on health care policy, “The Obama administration forbade workers in the individual insurance market to use HRAs to pay for coverage — significantly impeding employer flexibility and worker choice. Trump’s new rule undoes this misguided restriction.” As you can see from the data below, it is all about the cost to employees. They need to be able to manage monthly premiums and copays, otherwise they can’t afford it. Networks and providers are down on the list, as employees just want somewhere good to go that is affordable.
Now that efforts to repeal Obamacare have come up short, this new measure will nip at the corners of the Affordable Care Act, touting relief for employees. “This new rule gives businesses a better way to offer health insurance to employees and allows workers to select the coverage that best fits their and their families’ needs,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a recent statement. All of this was done by Executive Order, making an end-run around Congress.
A broad shift to HRAs could resemble the movement in retirement benefits from defined benefit pensions to 401(k) plans, where employers make fixed contributions instead of promising a set benefit for years in the future. A similar change in health coverage would give businesses more predictable costs while shifting the risk of higher healthcare expenses onto workers. It’s all about money and determining or deflecting risk.
Large companies offer a more diverse worker base to insurers, thus reducing insurance risk and premiums. An effort is being made to allow small businesses to pool together to create larger pools for insurance companies, thus reducing their risk as well. The Trump administration has proposed a rule to encourage small businesses to jointly buy insurance through business associations, however it has been held up by a court challenge, with a federal judge calling it “an end run around the ACA.”
It is about taxes, too. Employers will be able to hand their workers a chunk of tax-sheltered health reimbursement money and send them off to buy an individual health plan under the Trump administration plan. It’s also about control and big government. Obamacare was an initial step to provide nationalized healthcare in America. Don’t get me started with this. You lemmings who don’t realize that socialized medicine will only apply to you, the masses. The elite will venture to the best and brightest for healthcare, unbeknownst to you.
Do you think Bernie Sanders would wait in line at a healthcare clinic in DC, when he would be flown for free to the best care available?