September 25, 2017
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Comments for: Maine businesses have many questions about impact of Affordable Care Act

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  • Businesses will have to start closing of course. When enough people are out of work and no one is paying taxes we will end up like Greece.

    • Matt Sparrow

      This seems to be the Far right meme of the day. Well done sir, in standing with the brown shirts

      • Anonymous

        Yup the sky is falling ; keep the hysteria going. If you are a business person look up the law and read it for your self. Don’t let the right manipulate you.

    • Anonymous

      “Businesses will have to start closing of course.” well that is what the hysteria On FAUX and elsewhere on the right will tell you , any how,…If you have 25 or fewer employees your costs will go down.. Most Maine small busineses have 25 or fewer employees. In this guys case he may beable to provide BETTER insurance at the same or lower cost .

      • Anonymous

        How are costs going down? They waving a magic wand in Washington?

    • Anonymous

      spoken like someone who never owned their own business.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with mAineAc 100%. Pray tell us just how many businesses you’ve owned, how many jobs you’ve created, how many times you’ve been audited by Big Government, how many times you’ve mortgaged your home to buy equipment for your business, and your business “expertise” …and I’ll pay more attention to your perspective.

        • Anonymous

          Goose egg I’m sure unless you consider making pottery and selling it at craft fairs. Your idea of a biz and a liberal who knits an alpaca scarf now and then are two diff things

          • Anonymous

            wrong again.

        • Anonymous

          why don’t you?

  • Guest

    I wonder if direct quotes from a very reputible local business owner – one that was already doing the right thing by his employees – stating that he may be forced to reduce his workforce will cause people to realize how foolish Obamacare truly is.

    Maybe taxing “the rich” more will result in a massive hiring frenzy…

    • Matt Sparrow

      drinkin’; the kool aid!

      • Guest

        Please tell me how the employer requirements of ACA will do anything other than hurt medium and large businesses and result in decreased wages and/or job loss.

        • Anonymous

          Obamacare won’t harm businesses.

          “Overall, the ACA brings a mixture of rules and benefits, but there is nothing to suggest that the healthcare shake up will hinder job creation and economic growth. In fact, it could inject order into the unruly medical marketplace if the administration explains benefits and requirements simply and clearly..” [http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2012/08/10/will-obamacare-help-or-hurt-small-businesses/2/]

          Also see http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/06/11/will-obamacare-kill-jobs-a-new-study-says-no/

          and see

          http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412582-Will-Health-Reform-Lead-to-Job-Loss-Evidence-from-Massachusetts-Says-No.pdf

          • Anonymous

            Problem is Newmam isn’t sure the health insurance he offers his employees meets the minimum requirements of the ACA. And please explain how it makes sense that the penalty for NOT offering is smaller than for offering but not meeting the requirement. That seems to set the stage for a border line company, like Newman’s to drop coverage rather than improving.

          • Anonymous

            There is nothing here that reduces costs, just moves them

        • Anonymous

          Most MAINE business have 25 and fewer employees. Heck most Maine “busineses” have 2 , the owner and his wife . They are SMALL businesses.MOST Maine busineses will benefit and see a reduction in costs !

        • Anonymous

          “He can’t.”

          _________________

          I don’t know what the heck I thought I was replying to. I agree with your statement. Sorry, major brain fart.

        • Anonymous

          This is a classic example of simply more government shoved upon us.

          • Anonymous

            Is that “upon” us… or “into” us?

    • trisailer

      I think that since this business is already providing insurance than nothing will change. The penalty only applies to businesses that do not provide health insurance. It might in fact cost less to dump the insurance he provides employees and just pay the penalty, but that’s not the whole story. Small businesses need good employees. The healthcare he is providing now has a economic benefit to his business. He can attract and keep good employees and in a small business like his your employees can make or brake you. Mr. Newman is competing against other concrete contractors who will all be faced with the exact same requirements.

      There is a long term benefit that will come in the form of reducing healthcare costs. Obamacare is only a first step.

      Compare what his cost would be if we continued to do nothing. How long would he be able to provide healthcare insurance with costs rising 12% per year.
      Taxing the rich will increase revenues. Business people hire people on the basis of demand for their product or service. The Bush tax cuts and the Lepage tax cuts have not generated a single job except from the middle class spending their tax cuts. The rich have parked theirs offshore.

      • Guest

        Doug Newman, business owner, is quoted in this article contemplating keeping his workforce below 49 employees for the sole purpose of avoiding additional costs to his business under ACA. According to the article this would result in 1 to 11 positions eliminated.

        You and I seem to somewhat agree on taxation, though. Close the loopholes and institute a flat tax on everyone. Shouldn’t everyone pay their fair share?

      • Anonymous

        Apparently you missed the part about Newman not being certain that his insurance plan will meet the new requirements. If it does not, he may be faced with considerable increases. I realize that you support everything democrat whether it makes sense or not but put yourself in the position of employers all over the country that will be faced with complying with this ill conceived law. It’s no easy task running a business in this country with the idiots that we send to Washington with the biggest one of all being the President.

        • Anonymous

          stop spreading rumor and hysteria and get informed .In most cases it is a SMALL business man dream come true.It focuses on REAL small business —those with 25 employees or less , which is MOST Maine busineses..They will NOW be able to finally provide comprehensive health care affordably and be able to KEEP employees.. It is what they have been asking for. Large business already provide comprehensive health care because they know it is necessary to keep employees.

          • Anonymous

            What exactly will make it “affordable”? Nothing is being done to address cost. Who is really misinformed here?

          • Anonymous

            Sure, it’ll be “cheaper”. Like the Canadians, simply RATION access to healhcae and the overall costs go down. Simple math really.

          • Anonymous

            Fair question: Rather than look at the health insurance systems that either tax citizens too much (Sweden), OR force the rationing of access (Canada)… take a hard look at systems that actually work. Switzerland’s a great place to start the conversation.

          • Anonymous

            The reality of this is absurd. Many small businesses in the country are just getting by. Many small business owners do not even have health ins. for themselves.

          • Anonymous

            As a general rule, most small business owners can’t deduct health insurance for themselves, only their employees. One of a growing number of reasons (AMT, double taxation, OSHA, EPA, ad nauseum) why there’s diminishing reasons to bother to work for yourself… just go to “work” for Obama.

          • Anonymous

            Work for Obama/ that is a cookie tossah. yessuh.

          • Anonymous

            Another aspect of Obamacare that might have escaped notice is that this year voluntarily and next year will be mandated that an employers healthcare contribution to an employee will be listed on the Employees w-2 as income.

            This sets the stage for healthcare to be considered income at the employee level. Thus taxable. Maybe not next year but it is likely inevitable to be phased in over a number of years.

          • Anonymous

            Did you see where a bill’s being submitted to make your 401(k) no longer non-taxable as Income? Yes, since it’s being considered a “subsidy” by the Marxists/Progressives, it’s really NOT your money and you should be taxed for accepting it.
            Of course, the original purpose for making such benefits excempt from income taxes in the first place has been thrown overboard! Going forward, your employer will no longer be your beneficiary… Big Government will become our Lord and Savior’s the plan.
            It’s just like the payroll tax holiday isn’t considered when these folks wonder why Social Security funds get cut a bit sooner… it’ll be too big a stretch for them to connect the dots.

          • Anonymous

            I did not know that but it doesn’t surprise me. There was a plan around a couple years ago for the government to actually take control of IRA’s, put it in treasuries and dole the proceeds out to you as they see fit when they send your SS check.

          • Anonymous

            It won’t be listed as taxable income but it will be in box 14 and the benefit will show and you are correct in assuming it is jut a matter of time before it gets taxed. The government has to get money from somewhere and the people on the bottom are takers, the people at the top have bought their way out of paying tax leaving the working stiffs, all 40% of us, to pay this country’s bills.

          • Anonymous

            Another little tax on the table is the end of the mortgage interest deduction for high income earners. Like anything they do it will eventually find its way down to middle income folks.

            Now I wouldn’t mind so much if a flat tax was initiated where everyone pays the same percentage. But that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

          • Anonymous

            What? There is nothing in Obamacare that enables employers with 25 employees or fewer to ” finally provide comprehensive health care affordably.”
            There is nothing in Obamacare that will lower the cost of health insurance, either. The good news is that some of the provisions of Obamacare, such as the mandate that young adults up to age 26 be covered on their parents’ policies, are already priced in – we got hit with the rate increases for that one a year or two ago.

        • Anonymous

          Bravo !! Well said. Thank You..

        • Anonymous

          I disagree with you one just one point… It’s not the “idiots” who are running our country just now… It’s the Marxist/Progressives and they would like nothing better than to have Newman shut his business down altogether, and make the 1% like him even more dependent on Big Government!

    • Anonymous

      it shows he has been manipulated and is uninformed … most employers with 25 and fewer employee will be fully subsidized totally eliminateing businesses cost 98% of Maine employers employ 25 people or less. Most Maine busineses'( and Mainers ) will benefit. .If he already provides comprehensive insurance he is already following the mandate, there will probably be little change…

      • Anonymous

        You are incorrect. No one is subsidizing me. I employ about a dozen people. You are way off on this one.

    • Anonymous

      Divide your company into 2 or more separate businesses of less than 25 employees..the bill doesn’t limit the amount of businesses one can own.

      • Anonymous

        Ah, another of the “unintended consequences” when Government manipulates the Marketplace.

    • Anonymous

      He is listening to the wrong people – nothing will change for him. The “new” benefit package will probably be what he already has, because in Maine we have comprehensive insurance laws. In Mississippi he would have a big change, but not here. His “uncertainty” is unnecessary.

  • Anonymous

    Of course the government drones exempt themselves from the “affordable” care act. Some animals are more equal than others.

    • That was an awesome story. Too bad more people don’t comprehend it.

      • Anonymous

        My eyes glazed over. What did it say? Good things I hope?

    • Guest

      Also exempt – Mcdonalds, pepsico, muslims, most worker unions. Not exempt – christian/catholic hospitals and schools.

      • Anonymous

        Not true. Urban legend. Debunked on Snopes.com–http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/exemptions.asp

      • Anonymous

        can you please provide a link to an article from a reputable source that cites this information?

        Thanks. That’s a very interesting point, I just don’t want to repeat it if is not substantiated.

    • Anonymous

      Not true. “Come 2014, when the lion’s share of the ACA provisions come on line, Members of Congress and their staff will be required to buy their health insurance on an exchange. In fact, their choices will be even more limited than our own. While it is expected that some 24 million people will elect to purchase their health care policy on a state run exchange, we are not required by law to do so. Members of Congress and their staff, however, must buy their insurance in this way.”

      Forbes magazine–http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/12/08/congress-exempted-from-obamacare/

      • Anonymous

        Paid for by the taxpayers. Please get a clue.

        • Anonymous

          Still cheaper than what they get now.

        • Anonymous

          As if we haven’t already been paying for Congress members’ health insurance through our taxes all along? This will cost us less.

          • Anonymous

            You actually think that the drones in congress will not take this chance to pad their benefits?!?!

  • Anonymous

    Hire more people and give them all part time jobs. That will cure the problem under the current Obamacare law.

    • Anonymous

      yup be spiteful…

  • Anonymous

    Just assume the worst and you will not be far off.

  • Anonymous

    In the not too distant future, the Obama supporters will see what havoc they have brought about. Congrats, folks. I will be the one with the bumper sticker that says “Don’t blame me; I voted for Romney.”

    • trisailer

      The only havoc I’m seeing is all the wining by the right because they got beat in spite of there phony attempts to rig the system with Citizens United and attempts to disenfranchise voters. This is citizens saying their done with being starved into making bad social policy and demanding results.

      Not a bad performance for a community organizer. It demonstrates the power of science. While the right was pooping all over Matt Silver he was kicking Karl Rove’s butt. Now the GOP is falling all over themselves to place blame.

      Nobody likes these centralized bureaucratic approaches to managing this complex society, but the reality is that they do work. The problem is that when you design a system to improve the lives of everyone there are downsides.

      The market was not addressing healthcare costs. Something had to be done. This is a compromise policy.

      I haven’t had health insurance since 1995 and I calculate that I’m up about $50K in spite of average health issues which I pay out of pocket. I have plenty of incentive to maintain my health and endless inexpensive options to choose from to do it.

      • Anonymous

        Congratulations on your good health. May it last forever. In 17 or 18 years you’ve saved $50,000 by not having health insurance–because you’ve been healthy. If you had a heart attack, developed cancer, or had a bad accident such as a traumatic brain injury at any time in that interval (or if–God forbid–this happened tomorrow), how quickly would that $50,000 evaporate in the face of doctor bills in the range of $100,000 to $500,000 dollars?

        Like millions of other Americans without health insurance, you’re at risk of medical bankruptcy.

        • Anonymous

          Yes he is Liz…and that is (or should I say was) his informed choice.

          • Anonymous

            Problem is jd, if he did get cancer or a heart attack or traumatic brain injury, and he wasn’t insured, you, i, and everyone else would have to foot the bill for his medical treatments.

            His “informed choice”, as you put it, is very expensive. Multiply that by the millions of other sick people that are making an “informed choice” not to have health insurance, and you get the broken health care system that we now have.

            Better to be part of the solution , than part of the problem.

          • trisailer

            all the more reason to support national healthcare.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, that was my point. I hope it was clear.

            I am self employed, and pay for my health care insurance out of pocket. jd’s assertion – that not having health insurance is an “informed choice”, means that people like me (all of us actually, who have insurance) end up paying for that person’s “informed choice.

            jd’s “informed choice” philosophy hurts those of us that are trying to contribute to society by paying our own way – a conservative proclamation!

            Indeed conservatives seem to argue against their own self proclaimed beliefs – “We’re tired of paying for other people!!!!”

            Well, the ACA addresses that problem.

            And btw, I’m in favor of universal, single payer health care.

          • Anonymous

            Our paying is not going to change under ACA. Insurance “spreads” the
            risk and for those that cannot afford health insurance we are all still
            going to pay for their care through higher taxes and user fees.

          • Anonymous

            Eliminate the law requiring hospitals to treat people who are irresponsible and the informed choice rational works.

          • Anonymous

            OK, that is certainly an option. And I’ve heard that floated by what I consider the extreme right wing of your party.

            But I want to be absolutely sure we all understand what you are advocating.

            So, as an example, let’s say a 40 something carpenter (or plumber, or electrician etc.) arrives in the ER in full cardiac arrest. He does not have health insurance because he made an informed choice not to. But If he doesn’t get treatment he will die. This happens HUNDREDS of times a day across this country.

            Are you saying that you think that this person should go untreated – indeed be left to die?

            I just want to be sure that this is what you have in mind.

            Again I have heard this argument be made by your party- that if an individual does not have insurance or can not pay for their health care they should be refused treatment. And if that means they die in the hallway, on a gurney, then so be it.

            Is that what you advocate?

          • Anonymous

            And the repubs dare to suggest that the dems are reponsible for the death panels.

          • Anonymous

            The short answer is YES.

            The long answer is MUCH more complicated. How long do you think it would be before people who presently do not have insurance by choice but who are able to afford it would continue to not purchase it? A few big stories about people dieing on gurneys and the percentage of people buying insurance would go up fast.

            (Young person to self…. Should I get insurance or that new smart phone? Insurance or tattoo? Insurance or new game system? … Oh, that’s right…. That classmate of mine died at the hospital last year because he chose that really cool phone….)

            The other thing that would happen is that we as a society would have to have an honest discussion of how to take care of the truly poor who cannot afford insurance and those who are really disabled and-or have chronic health conditions.

          • Anonymous

            Ok, thanks for your reply and your honesty – FWIW I respect your view, though I strongly disagree.

            The truth is that many Americans simply can’t afford health care. I know that there are “dead beats,” and they get no sympathy from me either.

            But what about the hard working Americans with families that simply can not afford the $10,000 it would cost for health insurance?

            i just can’t accept that with all this county’s wealth, the solution is to let these people die simply because they are poor…..

          • Anonymous

            There were times when i could not afford insurance. I found a way to pay for the medical treatment I absolutely had to have and I did without for anything else. Including a couple of joint injuries that took years to fully heal.

            I agree. Insurance and health care in general cost too much. The ACA has pointedly NOT looked at any of the causes of the increases in cost. What it does is implement rationing as a form of cost containment while pretending it isn’t and hiding the truth under layers of bureaucracy.

            As I said, we need an honest discussion of how to care for the poor.

          • Alec Cunningham

            I agree with that.  There are many more things that need to be done to help keep costs down.

          • Anonymous

            I’m inferring you are conservative, and I’m guessing you’re inferring the opposite about me – and you’d be correct.

            I’ve been self-employed for almost 40 years and have an unbroken string of tax returns to prove it. We pay for individual health insurance – from Anthem – out of our own pockets, Our policy has a $15,000 deductible – Anthem’s most popular plan for the self-employed. It’s an almost useless policy, but it’s what we can afford.

            I’m not complaining – we actually consider ourselves lucky.

            A few years ago I needed minor surgery. The bill was a little over $10,000, so Anthem wouldn’t pay a dime. I convinced the hospital bursar to take $7,500, then spent the next 3 years paying it off.

            So, I am not surprised that you found a way to pay for your health care. Indeed, of course you did – because that is what proud, responsible, good citizens do.

            Now I am a liberal. very much so, yet you and I have the same values in this area. I want to emphasize that.

            But what if you or I had needed bypass surgery, or a new kidney, or had a terrible cancer? What if my surgery bill was $200,000 instead of $7,500?

            The answer for me at least, would be bankruptcy.

            I think that you would agree that anyone who has worked a lifetime, NEVER taking a dime of welfare money or taxpayer assistance of any kind, should never be forced into bankruptcy just because they get sick.

            But that is the situation for millions of hard working Americans.

            I honestly think that the ACA at least tries to address some of those issues. I think there are aspects of the ACA that will help my wife and I get a better rate on our premiums. Yes, we’ll see.

            FINALLY. as to your last sentence about the need for “honest discussion of how to care for the poor.” I couldn’t agree more.

            Perhaps we are having one.

            A conservative and a liberal.

            So why can’t our representatives do the same?

          • Anonymous

            I consider myself a bit more on the libertarian side, but in general you are right about my political and moral philosophy.

            I believe that your $15,000 deductible plan, (combined with an HSA like for instance Whole Foods does), to be real insurance. When I had such a plan I never once used it, like you I never met the deductible. I paid for regular health care out of pocket, paid attention to costs, negotiated, etc. and in the end when i put a pencil to it I was thousands of dollars ahead. I budgeted for those regular expenses.

            But if i had a major medical catastrophe, then it would be covered and I would not have to face bankruptcy. That is what insurance is supposed to be for. Preventing things like bankruptcy. But people have come to expect that insurance should cover EVERYTHING. And Obama Care actually makes this worse by mandating even more things be covered. The problem with insurance covering everything is that people do not even ask about cost or alternatives. It’s covered so why should they care? Not even to mention the hidden costs of all the extra paperwork and bureaucracies. What most people have and have been led to believe is what they should have is actually a comprehensive health plan.

            I agree that people should not be forced into bankruptcy. But i also believe they should have to use a majority of their own assets before government steps in to help. I believe programs and policies can be implemented that require an individual to use their own assets to a point and then government assistance takes over so they do not have to worry about bankruptcy.

            The ACA is not the placenta that many think. There will still be deductibles and co-pays and I believe these will still lead to bankruptcies. Medical procedures, especially for the elderly will be rationed or denied entirely. If denied you will have the same choices you have now. Ask for charity, go through bankruptcy, or don’t get the medical care. The major problem I have with the ACA is not that it will ration care. Like it or not care will have to be rationed one way or another. There is no unlimited source of either money or doctors or medicine or hospitals. What i detest is all the lies. Leading people to believe that everything will be covered, there will be no financial consequences, etc. I want them to be honest with us about what tradeoffs have been made in the ACA and what the real results will be.

            That honest discussion is possible. Especially when individuals on each side realize that those with differing ideas are not evil,or uncaring, or unintelligent, or racist, etc. I believe you are one of those individuals i could sit down with and have a real discussion about the real issues and actually find some real ideas and solutions. Over a beer or a Margaretta even. LOL

            As for why our representatives cannot…. A good book that has a lot of insight is “Intellectuals and Society” by Thomas Sowell. The insights in the book apply to both sides of the political spectrum. Hubris, and career politicians, (power corrupts them over time and they truly lose touch with real people and real problems), I believe are a big part of the problem.

            Great discussion with you.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, our insurance, even with the huge deductible is “real insurance.” Which is why we feel lucky – it may well keep us from bankruptcy. Interesting that you and I seem to have the same experience buying our own health care insurance. Most people don’t know what that’s like. There’s nothing like writing a monthly check to appreciate how much health insurance costs.

            You and I could find much to agree with and compromise on. I too feel that insurance should NOT cover everything. I can work with the idea that an UNINSURED person should assume financial responsibility for his/her debt before public insurance subsidies kick in.

            However, I don’t think seniors would be affected by the ACA, They would be on medicare, and right now at least, seniors really love medicare. I haven’t heard convincing arguments that ACA would negatively effect medicare.

            And yes, civility is key, and I appreciate yours. And as you have no doubt felt the sting of unjust labels because of your conservatism, so have I felt the same. I am proof, you know, that liberals work hard, and even end up calling it a career after never taking a dime of the public’s money. But you’d be hard pressed to convince many of the people on this board of that fact.

            Thanks for the book reference, I’ve made a note of it.

            Also, how about term limits for those “career politicians?” Can we find some common ground?
            I bet.

            OK, enough problem solving.

            Please, tequila – salt & lemon.

            Thanks.

          • Alec Cunningham

            So, a hospital will let someone die because he doesn’t have insurance?

          • Anonymous

            An informed choice is just that. He understands the risk by not having health insurance and yes, you and I cover a piece of his care if needed.

            And our paying is not going to change under ACA. Insurance “spreads” the risk and for those that cannot afford health insurance we are all still going to pay for their care through higher taxes and user fees.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, jd, I understand how insurance pools work.

            The point jd, is that if the person is part of the pool, then they are contributing to the cost they are incurring, instead of passing it along to the rest of us, who have made a different “informed choice” to pay our own way.

            Also this newly insured person will now contributes to the pool so that when you or I need health care, the cost are shared across a larger group of people, thus theoretically bring costs down.

            So yes jd, the costs are still shared, but don’t you think sharing the costs among a larger group of people makes sense?

          • Anonymous

            The “problem” is the laws requiring “us” to pay for the health care of those who have chosen to be irresponsible by not having insurance or the assets to pay for their own care.

          • Alec Cunningham

            The problem is that we are slowly creeping to a state where our behavior is micromanaged such that we cannot engage in anything deemed irresponsible (whether it be eating chicken nuggets or skydiving) without being told that the “taxpayer” or “insurance holder” will have to foot the bill.  The whole POINT of insurance is to spread the risk.  It shouldn’t be used as a tool for social engineering for either side.
            However, I am not sure how someone can be called irresponsible by being too poor to pay for their own care.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with you here. The ACA, as written and being implemented, has at least as much social engineering in it as actual health care reform.

            We need an honest debate over how to pay for health care for the truly poor. And about what level of health care they should be entitled to. Under the present system many of the “poor” receive more and better services than those who do have insurance.

            They want birth control, but not just any birth control. They want the expensive option they see on TV or advertised in a magazine. They chose years ago to get a tubal ligation but now that they have a new boyfriend they want it reversed and paid for by MaineCare so they can have another child by said boyfriend. Also to be paid for by MaineCare. (Real example by the way.)

          • Anonymous

            No need. Get seriously sick THEN buy health insurance.

            All legal now you know.

        • trisailer

          It’s really a risk management issue. I can evaluate my risk factors better than a insurance company can. I don’t have risk factors for heart, but do have some family history of cancer. Accident insurance is cheap, I keep car and house covered and if I travel I buy the best travel insurance which is also inexpensive.

          For the big stuff I’ll go to Thailand where I know the hospitals and have confidence in them. The cost is 15% – 25% of the US.

          The best way to stay healthy is is live a happy balanced life. I think the stress that most people live under brings a lot of stuff on.

          • Anonymous

            Please do keep in mind that if you have a medical emergency, you might not have an option of traveling to Thailand for care… You’ll wind up wherever the ambulance takes you, and have to stay there until you’re stable enough to travel, possibly at great expense.

            Also, while keeping stress low and living a happy and balanced life are admirable goals, you might be surprised how many people with admirable personal habits get struck out of the blue by a serious accident or health disaster.

        • Anonymous

          Not true anymore. Get a disease and THEN buy healthcare. No pre-existing condition remember?

          • Anonymous

            So, while you’re in the hospital in a coma or having emergency bypass surgery, your first act will be to sign up for health insurance? What about the bills that accrue before your coma lifts, or you awaken from the anesthetic?

          • Anonymous

            Nope next of kin. There is more than one way to pluck a Turkey.

          • Anonymous

            Gaming the system? I’d thought better of you.

          • Anonymous

            Playing the guilt game. Eh.

            Look, They are your rules. You folks made em up for the rest of us.

            But, You can’t stuff a dirty sock down someones throat and then tell them they have to enjoy what it tastes like.

            Besides, Thousands of people are doing that very thing in Massachusetts right now.

        • Anonymous

          You’re at risk of medical bankruptcy with or without insurance.

      • Anonymous

        I was in the same situation for years. No health insurance and i paid out of pocket for preventative care, regular checkups, etc. At some point I had a high deductible plan in case I really got sick or hurt. I was thousands of dollars ahead as well.

        Goodby to those days. You must be loving the fact that now you will be FORCED to buy expensive insurance or be fined.

        • trisailer

          The penalty is $700/yr which I can live with if it means that we address this issue for the good of America.

          • Alec Cunningham

            And that’s cheaper than paying for insurance!

          • Anonymous

            Paying the fine allows an individual to become a freeloader, depending on everyone else to pay for his/her emergency care.

          • Alec Cunningham

            Well, it’s a tax, not a fine.  And, it’s not allowing a person to become a freeloader.  A freeloader would not pay anything; rather, the person is opting to pay the tax.

          • Anonymous

            Paying a few dollars a year, whether you call it a tax or a fine, constitutes freeloading, since the individual has opted to avoid paying for health insurance, and prefers to let the non-freeloaders foot his/her medical bills.

          • Alec Cunningham

            If it’s a legal option, then why do you insist on calling it “freeloading”?  And that’s only if they need to use the insurance.  You’re assuming that all these people who opt out won’t be paying cash for services, too, if they even see a doctor or go to the hospital.  For some people, it’s cheaper to pay cash to see a doctor every now and then than it is to pay these thousands of dollars a year for insurance.  If you think that it’s unfair to charge the $700 tax, then maybe that should be changed?  And where does this $700 go?  Into some general fund or does it go into some sort of insurance fund?
            As for freeloading, how about the people who use more insurance that people who don’t use the insurance at all in a given year?  Isn’t that a type of freeloading?  I’m footing their bill more than they are since I rarely need to see a doctor.

          • Anonymous

            Not a freeloader at all. Just someone following the law.

            What makes a law abiding citizen a freeloader?

          • Anonymous

            By choosing to pay the penalty you also chose to not contribute your fair share to the health care system.

            And because so many will choose to do exactly what you are going to I expect to see the penalties go up drastically and relatively soon. When it becomes obvious how big a drag on the system people who choose to pay the penalty become the politicians will have to raise the penalty out of necessity. The penalty was started low on purpose to make the idea that you had a choice more palatable.

        • Alec Cunningham

          It is a tax, bro.

          • Anonymous

            Calling it a tax is one of the worst decisions ever made. A true tax would be applied to everyone equally, a flat percentage like the medicare tax. A fee would be a flat amount that everyone would pay regardless of income.

            Since this “tax” is only charged to people who do not buy insurance it is in truth a fine, or “penalty”, no matter what convoluted logic is used to pretend it is a tax.

            I actually know of a way to make it a tax and then fix it so those with insurance end up not paying for it. But I’m not going to give the b*st*rds any ideas. I’m waiting for some one to challenge this “tax” on the basis that it violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. Either “tax” everyone or no one.

          • Alec Cunningham

            Either tax everyone or no one?  Why should that be applied in this case but not others?  Must everyone pay every type of tax there is?

          • Anonymous

            Aren’t you interested in fairness? Equal protection under the law?

            I cannot think of any other tax imposed on someone simply because they choose to not buy something.

    • Anonymous

      AMEN!

      • Alec Cunningham

        Ironic, since Romney started all of this.

        • Anonymous

          Ha Ha….thats funny!

      • Alec Cunningham

        Ironic, since Romney started all of this.

      • Alec Cunningham

        Ironic, since Romney started all of this.

  • Anonymous

    where did my comment go

  • Anonymous

    as do the idiots who passed it

  • Anonymous

    To the headline; Really?

  • Anonymous

    The Obama modoraters are working overtime.. Who do you think owns Disqus?

    • Anonymous

      who do you think owns Disqus?

  • Anonymous

    The Urban Institute also concluded in a study that the Massachusetts law did not end up being a job killer.

    FWIW, Wikipedia describes The Urban Institute as “a liberal think tank.”

    Readers might want to try to remember the last time government’s making something mandatory also made it cheaper.

    • Anonymous

      Insurance via for-profit corporations is made unnecessarily expensive due to their profit motive and layers of bureaucracy needed to figure out the best ways to deny care.

      “The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $8,936 per capita. Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves 50 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered. This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.” [ww.pnhp.org; Physicians for a National Health Program]

      • Anonymous

        Wait. So if they do is deny care, wouldn’t it make it less expensive? What an uninformed comment. Cost of care is the issue, not the payer. But even if I were to grant you that, you think the federal government will be more efficient in managing the system than a private company? Has that ever happened?

        • Anonymous

          Denying care may be somewhat less expensive for the insurance company, though it can be a tragedy for the individual who’s been faithfully paying premiums and is now ill. They deny care in many ways, including cherry-picking (selling policies only to the healthiest applicants, who have no pre-existing conditions) and dropping people once they do become ill. The bureaucracy they put into place to accomplish this is paid for by the people who DO get policies–they pay sky-high premiums, often for policies that cover very little.

          The ACA will not need to comb through the minutiae of every individual’s policy and personal history looking for ways to exclude them from being issued a policy or receiving medical treatment, or hunting for ways to cut them off once a deductible or lifetime limit has been reached.

        • trisailer

          Military hospitals, the VA…

          • Anonymous

            Military hospitals aren’t more efficient than regular hospitals. In fact, veterans in rural areas have more difficulty getting access to VA benefits than non military citizens do.

      • Anonymous

        Insurance via for-profit corporations is made unnecessarily expensive due to their profit motive and layers of bureaucracy needed to figure out the best ways to deny care.

        Insurance companies have long since preempted the government to split up the market among themselves and lock out new competitors – like most other ‘regulated’ industries. That’s not the free market, that’s the government regulated market, and very comfortable it is for the companies since they can concentrate on exploiting their captive customers. Insurance companies in a free market would have to compete on the basis of value-for-money.

        I will allow for one good regulation: ‘fixing’ markets should be regarded as a serious crime and prosecuted.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s something we take a lot of pride in and are happy we’re able to
    do it,” Newman said, “and to have uncertainty in that part of the
    business is disconcerting.”

    Newman’s not clear on whether his company’s current plan will meet
    the various criteria laid out in the law. If Newman is forced to upgrade
    health plans, his business could face insurance cost increases of
    between $30,000 and $50,000 a year to comply with the employer mandate
    that kicks in on Jan. 1, 2014, based on preliminary estimates.’

    look up the law and read it ..instead of getting your info from Faux news. odds are good many of your low wager employees with be subsidized and your cost will go DOWN !!!

  • Anonymous

    Whats affordable healthcare $1200.00 for 28 pills?
    $10,000.00 an hour in a recovery room?
    $150.00 to get blood pressure checked?

  • Anonymous

    From the PPH on a Chamber conference for Maine business on the topic attended by 100 Maine business:

    “A small business health options program, also called a SHOP exchange,
    could be beneficial for employers, said Charles Dingman, health law
    attorney for law firm Preti Flaherty. Yet it’s unclear what options
    Maine business owners will have without the state taking action, he
    said.

    “The extent to which employers in Maine will have the ability to
    affect what the SHOPs look like is going to be significantly reduced if
    we’re taking whatever the federal government has to offer in that
    regard,” he said.

    The forum’s harshest critic was Joel Allumbaugh, CEO of National
    Worksite Benefit Group. Allumbaugh said he’s not convinced that the law
    won’t be a disaster when its provisions are fully implemented in the
    coming years.

    “I seriously question whether the law has the ability to do what it
    intended to do,” said Allumbaugh, who’s also the director of the Center
    for Health Reform Initiatives at the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center.
    Most speakers agreed that employers should favor expanding Medicaid eligibility to those….over 133 of median.

    keep in mind allenbauns innate bias and The chamber pushing an INCREASE in medicaid eligibility and suggesting lepage and the R’s REVERSE what they just did!!.

  • Anonymous

    here;’ s a link to a PPH story in which the chanber explain the program to business. It should allay this guys fears. it is clear Allenbaum is acting as the chief agitator ,troublemaker and cheerleader …. and that he stands alone in his ‘fear’ and hysteria. Looks like this guy may have been a heritage center “plant’ and dupe.

  • Anonymous

    The people quoted in this article have been quoted before as being in opposition to health care reform all along. Doug Newman is a well known very conservative and has made many derogatory comments regarding the President, Obamacare, anyone to the left of the Republican party, etc. The NFIB, Maine Heritage have well established, long held opposition. How about doing an article on the rate hike bill in Maine that raised rates on rural businesses and individuals far more than Obamacare will?

  • Alec Cunningham

    Personally, I do NOT want my employer to offer insurance. I would much rather purchase it myself. Many people today are finding that when the employer offers the insurance, that employer has an increasing presence in the employees life. Some employers even increase insurance premiums for employees that don’t participate in wellness programs.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that during the 2 years that Romney ran for president, the Republican Party had plenty of opportunity to present their own plan for dealing with the health care crisis we have in the United States.

    2 years – and nothing.

    And still, all we get from the Republicans is a lot of whining about the ACA.

    But I have yet to read any alternative solutions coming from the conservatives.

    Oh, I forgot – Health care mandates ARE A CONSERVATIVE SOLUTION that were introduced by the Heritage Foundation – that bastion of conservatism – and championed by none other than Newt Gingrich in the mid nineties.

    So I guess now the Republicans are against the very policies they originated and campaigned on 15 years ago……

    But let’s not get distracted by the FACTS. Let’s instead be partisan and obstructionists.

    Go figure.

  • Frank Church

    Too bad articles like this weren’t published many times this past year before the election, so that folks could have a honest discussion about ACAP.

    I’m afraid that we now are completely at the control of own “pravda” media.

  • Anonymous

    Should have gone single payer.

    • Alec Cunningham

      I agree.

  • Anonymous

    Notice that one effect of the law in Massachusetts has been lower pay for employees. If it costs more to employ someone, either you cut their hours or cut their pay.

  • HowdyNeighbor

    Wake up, people. The looming Obamacare tax (think you’re immune? Ha ha ha!) is already rippling. Companies are laying off by the thousands AND raising their prices. Who do you think is going to pay those higher prices? All of us, from the poverty-stricken to the upper class. Everyone pays for Obamacare – EVERYONE. Since the election, people are running scared – not spending because they know what’s coming – higher taxes, additional taxes, higher unemployment, higher prices on everything and more. The second great depression is coming thanks to Obamacare and our astronomical debt load. Thanks, Obama voters, for further destroying our country!

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