I hate to say it, but ObamaCare has been good for me.
Now, I know our economy is still struggling — Gallup says the unemployment rate just jumped to nearly 9 percent — and I know ObamaCare uncertainty is making many employers wary of hiring.
But I also know that new opportunities exist for people like me who provide communications services for companies that now prefer to outsource much of their work — rather than hire full-timers.
And my business is dandy.
Few full-time employees are aware of it, but their benefits package — health, life, dental and disability insurance, “free” college tuition, workers’ compensation insurance, 401(k) matching, etc. — is a costly thing to employers.
It all goes back to World War II, when the government imposed wage and price controls. Companies were unable to raise wages. To attract good employees, they began offering health insurance.
As the economy boomed after the war, powerful unions were able to demand ever-better health policies for their members — and companies attracted the best employees with “Cadillac” insurance benefits.
That’s when health-care inflation began to soar. Before World War II, health insurance had been designed to protect people against catastrophic events — most were high-deductible policies. People paid for doctor’s-office visits and prescriptions out of their own pockets.
And because they spent their own money, they shopped around for the best care at the lowest possible cost. They helped keep the cost of care in check. But as millions of employees no longer had to pay directly for doctor’s-office visits and prescriptions, costs began to soar.
Add to this an aging population, medical innovations and the massive expansion of Medicare and Medicaid, and America was soon spending a rapidly increasing amount on health care every year — at a rate about two to three times higher than the overall inflation rate.