Big companies considering dropping health care coverage, thanks to ObamaCare 

Now that it’s passed, we learn more about what’s in it from Fortune. This time, the latest Obamacare revelation comes in company documents that congressional Democrats requested from Verizon, AT&T, John Deere and Caterpillar.

This revelation isn’t new or unexpected — basically, it’s what we’ve been saying all along would happen:

Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill’s critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

That would dismantle the employer-based system that has reigned since World War II. It would also seem to contradict President Obama’s statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them. And as we’ll see, it would hugely magnify the projected costs for the bill, which controls deficits only by assuming that America’s employers would remain the backbone of the nation’s health care system.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., demanded these documents when the four companies (and others) reported expected losses from Obamacare. Waxman promptly canceled a hearing on the matter when it became clear he would be embarrassed by it. Instead of holding the hearing, his staff released a misleading memo that covered up a few important facts:

On April 14, the Committee’s majority staff issued a memo stating that the write downs were “proper and in accordance with SEC rules.” The committee also stated that the memos took a generally sunny view of the new legislation. The documents, said the Democrats’ memo, show that “the overall impact of health reform on large employers could be beneficial.”

Nowhere in the five-page report did the majority staff mention that not one, but all four companies, were weighing the costs and benefits of dropping their coverage.

We hear a lot these days about “Epistemic Closure,” the notion that conservatives ceased learning and became locked into ideological prejudices. But what is “Epistemic Closure” if not the willingness to ignore all evidence, pass a bill that no one reads and no one wants, then paper over the expected negative results when they materialize?

We could use some reality-based, evidence-based thinking in this Congress for a change.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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