September 27,2011

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch: New Kaiser Survey Shows Impact of Partisan Health Law on Job Creators

Utah Senator Says, “We must dismantle this law. Doing so will help our job creators, get our economy moving and put the American people back to work.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that a new survey released today shows how the partisan health law has contributed to a dramatic increase in health costs, forcing employers to significantly cut back medical coverage and limit pay increases for workers.  Hatch believes the $2.6 trillion law, pushed through Congress by President Obama in 2010, threatens the economy and job creation, and that repealing it must be on the table to get the American people back to work.   

“As this survey shows, the President’s promise that his partisan health law would lower costs was just empty rhetoric.  The fact is employers aren’t hiring, in large part, because they have to spend more and more money on health insurance.  This drag on employment will only increase when the health law is fully in place with its destructive employer mandate,” said Hatch.  “We must dismantle this law.  Doing so will help our job creators, get our economy moving and put the American people back to work.”

The survey jointly by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Education Trust found that:

  • The partisan health law is directly contributing to the dramatic rise in the cost of health insurance.  President Obama pledged that the new law would reduce premiums on average by $2,500 for American families.  Yet, according to the survey, health insurance premiums have increased by almost 200 percent from 3 percent in 2010 to 9 percent in 2011 for families since the passage of the partisan health law last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, “…1.5 percentage points of the 9% increase was tied to provisions of the federal health care overhaul, which mandated changes to plans...”
  • The partisan health law is contributing to a loss of private coverage of choice.  President Obama promised that if you like your plan, you can keep it. Yet, the survey found that only 56 percent of workers are still in plans of their choice that pre-date the new health law’s enactment last year.   Furthermore, the percentage of employers offering health coverage declined from 69 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2011.

As the costs of health coverage continues to outpace both GDP and wage growth, employers are forced to spend more money on health insurance that they could use to hire new workers. The Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Doug Ehlmendorf, testified before the House Budget Committee in February that the new law would result in loss of more than 800,000 new jobs.

In addition, the partisan health law includes a requirement that employers with over 50 employees offer health insurance.  The Congressional Budget Office has concluded that this mandate will result in lower wages, hamper job creation, and move more people from full-time jobs into part-time work.  And according to a recent report by the International Franchise Association, the employer mandate will put 3.2 million jobs at risk. 

Hatch has spearheaded efforts in Washington to repeal the $2.6 trillion partisan health law, introducing legislation, S.20, the American Job Protection Act to fully repeal the employer mandate.