I heard two different stories on the “health care reform” yesterday. I had lunch with an old friend. He has his own small business and with the downturn in the economy he is slowing sinking. He is looking for a contract job writing software and may end up leaving the Seattle area for a few weeks to “go do some coding in Iowa”. The new health care regulations aren’t helping him any either. He pulled out his Group Health identification card and told me, “I was paying $1000/month for this until they passed the bill. Almost immediately it went to $1500/month.”
That evening I had dinner with some other friends. One of them told me about explaining to one of his employees just yesterday that he is now required to offer her health insurance. He told her, “I’m required to offer you health insurance. So I’m doing that now. But if you accept I’m going to have to cut your hours back to 20 per week. At that point I no longer have to pay your insurance. If you sign this other piece of paper saying you don’t want the coverage you can continue to work 40 hours per week.
She clarified, “So I could work 20 hours per week and not have health insurance or I could continue to work 40 hours per week and not have health insurance, right?” “That’s right”, he said. “Unless you can talk Ruth out of her raise. We just don’t have the budget for any additional expenses.”
As Sebastian rhetorically asks on a slightly different topic, “Who could have predicted this?”