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Obama Defends ACA as Employers Brace for Increased Costs

August 9th, 2012 – Campaigning in Colorado, at stops in Denver and Grand Junction, President Obama said that his presidential opponent Mitt Romney would repeal the Affordable Care Act and said, “Colorado, you’ve got to make sure that does not happen.”

Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s website confirms this, saying, “On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible. In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.”

While Obama and Romney battle over healthcare, American companies are beginning to understand the financial impact of the Affordable Helathcare Act and its failure to rein in escalating healthcare costs.

According to a new survey, over 60% of employers surveyed expect their health insurance costs to increase as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

“While there are a number of potentially valuable cost-containment elements of the Affordable Care Act, the reality is unless something more is done there will still be upward pressure on healthcare costs,” said Bill Kramer, executive director for national health policy at the Pacific Business Group on Health, a nonprofit coalition that includes large employers such as Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co.

Industries with large numbers of part-time employees like retail and hospitality expect the biggest increase in costs. Starting in 2014 employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to extend coverage to all employees working 30 hours or more per week or face possible penalties.

Kramer said “the unfinished business of health reform is cost containment.”

Sources: The Denver Post and LA Times

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