Much has been said about the benefits of President Obama’s new healthcare law and its goal to bring insurance coverage to the more than 49 million Americans who don’t have adequate care. While most agree that everyone should have proper health insurance, the question of who burdens the cost to insure all Americans has been the cause of intense debate. Today, we examine the negative—if unintended—effects of the new healthcare law.
Healthcare law leads to layoffs
The Federal Reserve’s “beige book,” a report on the economic conditions across various Federal Reserve districts across the country, revealed Wednesday that the new healthcare law is causing layoffs and a slowdown in hiring in districts across Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, Kansas City and Philadelphia.
The districts cited a myriad of reasons for not hiring new employees, including the unknown effects of the new law and rising healthcare premiums.
Affordable Care Act not so Affordable?
While the new healthcare law is titled the Affordable Care Act, for most middle class Americans, the Act has proven anything but, and costs are only expected to rise as coverage expands for the uninsured throughout the next few years.
The National Center for Policy Analysis recently released a study which found that state and federal regulations will increase the cost of medication as a result of the expansion of prescription drug coverage.
The Hill’s Reg Watch writes: “The Affordable Care Act, which is taking effect, is increasing health insurance and Medicaid coverage around the country. But the study argues that the many new regulations, often enacted in the name of protecting consumers, are having the opposite effect, placing barriers to efficiency.”
Who pays for affordable healthcare?
It seems that many of the regulations that were put in place to help Americans with their insurance costs is instead having the opposite effect. For those already with health insurance, costs are only expected to rise to cover those with less coverage or no coverage at all. The costs to insure Americans will trickle down to the consumer in the form of higher premiums, more expensive drug costs, and reduced services—if that’s even possible.
And while reports have surfaced of a rebounding economy, the numbers don’t lie. In February, employers announced 55,356 layoffs, up 37 percent from 40,430 in January—many as a direct result of the fear of the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Walt Humann, president and CEO of health technology firm OsteoMed, stated to a congressional panel March 5 that his firm has let go of 25 employees and reduced its research and development spending as a direct result of the provisions included in the healthcare law.
It is still too soon to tell what the long term consequences of the new law will be. One thing seems to be pretty clear though: while the new law has definitely helped uninsured Americans and the chronically ill, the ones shouldering the cost have been and will continue to be taxpayers, businesses and doctors.