1. Alyene Senger of the Heritage Foundation has written a report on the Top Five Ways Obamacare Crushes the Middle Class:
Obamacare imposes $502 billion in new or increased taxes and fees on medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and health insurance firms , which will ultimately be passed on to consumers through higher prices.
As many as 35 million people could lose their existing coverage because of Obamacare. This is because Obamacare creates financial incentives for employers to drop coverage for their employees. One report predicts that 30% of employers will probably drop coverage due to Obamacare.
Premiums are likely to increase. Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute calculates that, for even a lower priced plan, a family of four would pay more than $15,000 annually. Ironically, the Obama Administration likes to call Obamacare "the Affordable Care Act," though that is not its official name.
Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who is a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare, published a study on the fiscal consequences of Obamacare, indicating it is likely to push health care costs higher.
Senger (pictured) writes, "Obamacare transfers massive authority over to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and expands the role of government in delivering care and coverage."
Her study on Obamacare's effect on the middle class did not include the imminent dangers in the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). However, another paper she wrote for Heritage, "Obamacare's Five Most Damaging Effects on Seniors," does discuss the real danger that IPAB will be used to ration medical care for the elderly.
A previous issue of this newsletter stated that Dick Gephardt, the House Democratic leader before Nancy Pelosi, has warned that IPAB could also adversely affect those under 65.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to render its decision on Obamacare by the end of this month. If the entire law is declared unconstitutional, all of the serious problems in Obamacare would become moot. But if only parts of the law are voided, many of the same problems will be issues in the congressional elections.
2. Commissioner Michael Astrue says the Social Security Administration (SSA) is making great strides in hiring veterans.
In a news release, Astrue said, "Social Security is committed to employing veterans and is proud to support President Obama's Veterans Employment Initiative. We are honored to have veterans join our workforce and bring their leadership and teamwork skills to help fulfill the agency's mission."
SSA has hired 210 veterans, including 91 disabled veterans, so far this fiscal year. This represents 32% of the total new agency hires. Overall, veterans represent 10% of Social Security's workforce.
"Hiring more veterans is a key element in Social Security's strategy to provide high quality service in a time of reduced agency funds," Astrue said.
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