Believe it or not, someone from academia has actually done a detailed, critical analysis of the accuracy of claims of proponents of the health care reform bill currently before Congress. Of course, that critic is a student, not a professor.
“The historic passage of HR 3962 by the House of representatives is not an event to be celebrated,” Eric Staib writes in the December 2009 issue of the Free Market newsletter published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. “Obamacare will exacerbate the nation’s rising unemployment and will prevent wages from fluctuating according to market demand.”
“Just as with other sectors, a supposedly beneficial social policy hurts the poorest and least-able citizens the most.” Staib is an economics major at the University of Oklahoma.
“According to pages 269-273 of the gargantuan bill, employers of full-time workers will be required to cover at least 72.5 percent of the premium of the least expensive health-insurance plan available that fulfills the bill’s minimum criteria of ‘acceptable coverage,’” Staib writes. “In cases in which family coverage is provided, 62.5 percent of the premium is to be borne by the employer.”
“Depending on the specific plan and other variables such as location, this amounts to a direct labor tax of approximately $300 per month for an individual, or nearly $700 for family coverage.” As you can see, Staib did something that many U. S. representatives who voted for the legislation, and, for that matter, reporters covering it, didn’t: he read the bill.
“The implication of this increased cost is that workers whose revenue productivity is less than $300 per month higher than their wages will be laid off, or have their hours cut to the level that will classify them as part-time,” Staib claims. “Ignoring established labor law, the bill leaves the definition of part-time and full-time to the discretion of the Commissioner of Obama’s massive new bureaucracy.”
“The lower the new ‘Health Choices Commissioner’ sets the threshold in an attempt to maximize the number of people receiving the employer contribution, the more hours of production employers will have to shave off to push their employees under the threshold, and the less those workers will take home in wages each week.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.