D’oh Guess We Should Have Thought of That: A Lesson in Unintended Consequences

by Michael Haberman on November 5, 2010 · 1 comment


I am not sure where this falls really… lack of foresight, the bigger picture was more important, guess we should have read those 2000 pages more carefully… I decided to use Homer Simpson’s “D’oh” as the best expression. I am sure you are wonder what the hell I am talking about. Well this is it.. a news headline that read “Citing health overhaul, AARP hikes employee costs“. The article then starts off

AARP’s endorsement helped secure passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Now the seniors’ lobby is telling its employees their insurance costs will rise partly as a result of the law….In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs…..And AARP adds that it’s changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law…Shifting costs to employees lowers the value of a health care plan and acts like an escape hatch from the tax.

This is AARP’s attempt to avoid being classified as a “Cadillac Plan”. As writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the AP states in the article “…employers are already beginning to assess their potential exposure because it is hefty: at 40 percent of the value above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family plan. The tax is intended as a savings measure, to prod employers and workers into more cost-efficient plans.”

David Certner, the legislative affairs director for AARP, said that they make public policy decisions without regard to the effect it might have on their own employees. So the employees are going to be getting an 8% to 13% increase in their insurance costs and more will be coming.

Hmmm… I wonder what the enthusiasm for healthcare reform is now with those employees and how do they feel about the organization pushing public policy without regard to their well being?

An alternative seniors group to AARP, the Seniors League, says that Health Care Reform Legislation Could Hurt Seniors. They make two points about healthcare: 1. Shaky Medicare Financing: The bill will not shore up Medicare’s financing, despite claims to the contrary; and  2. Reduced Access to Care: Seniors may have reduced access to medical care as providers experience cuts and go out of business.

With the mid-term elections having changed the power structure in Congress it will be interesting to see what happends with healthcare reform. I just hope whatever is done they look at what the “unintended consequences” could potentially be of either allowing the bill to go unchanged or by changing the bill.
 
Sometimes I think we often miss that part of thinking.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kensington square condo July 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

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