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Employers Describe How Obamacare is Squeezing Them

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Larry in Lititz, Pennsylvania.  Hi, Lar. It's great to have you on the program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hello.  Longtime listener.

RUSH:  Thank you, sir.

CALLER:  I have a problem.  I have a business, and I got my new insurance plan in April, and my insurance went up for my employees by $117,000.  My deductibles went from $2,000 to $5,000.  There's no way my employees can afford to do that, and I pay 75% of my employees' premium and they pay 25%.  They pay the first $1,000; I pay the rest.  I have to let employees go to pick up the difference.

RUSH:  Now, let me see if I understand.  You said that what goes up $117,000?

CALLER:  My employees' insurance.

RUSH:  For all of your employees, the total increase to cover them all is an additional $117,000?

CALLER:  That is correct.

RUSH:  That you have to come up with, the business has to come up with?

CALLER:  That's correct.

RUSH:  And you pay the $1,000 of every employee's coverage, and they pay the balance?

CALLER:  We pay 75% of our employees' insurance.  They pay the first $1,000 of the deductable.

RUSH:  Oh, okay.  All right.  And you can't afford that anymore?

CALLER:  That's correct.

RUSH:  You can't afford it.  So you're gonna have to let some people go in order to afford it.  That's what you said?

CALLER:  That's what I'm saying.

RUSH:  Were you given an explanation why? Is the coverage improving?  I mean, what are you getting for this $117,000 increase?

CALLER:  Well, the plan is a little worse than what I had before, and the problem is, the insurance companies blamed it on the Obamacare.

RUSH:  Of course they will, and Obamacare is blaming it on the insurance companies.

CALLER:  That's correct.

RUSH:  And Harry Reid's blaming it on the Koch Brothers.

CALLER:  (laughing)

RUSH:  And Monica doesn't know who to blame it on.

CALLER:  Well, I'm very much concerned because I have good employees.

RUSH:  How many employees do you have, Larry?

CALLER:  We have about 70.

RUSH:  Seventy employees, and your total nut goes up $117,000, above and beyond what you're already paying?

CALLER:  That's correct.

RUSH:  Just correct me if I'm wrong.  See, a lot of people, Larry, think that since you have a business, that you are rich and that you have drawers of money in the back room or over in the bank. You've got lots of money that you're hoarding for yourself, and it would be easy for you, Larry, to go get $117,000. You just don't want to take it away from yourself, Larry.

CALLER:  Well, I don't think that's correct.  I enjoy what I'm doing.

RUSH:  Well, you would know.  Do you have $170,000 lying around idle?

CALLER:  No, I do not.

RUSH:  That's what my point is.  You don't have it.  You've got a come up with it somehow because it's now the law of the land.

CALLER:  I gotta come up with it out of the business.

RUSH:  You like your employees and you don't like what you're going to have to do.

CALLER:  That is correct.

RUSH:  What are you gonna tell 'em?

CALLER:  Well, you know, we're probably gonna have some tears but I'm trying to save the other employees' jobs. It's a sad situation. 

RUSH:  Yeah. How are you gonna choose?

CALLER:  I wish I knew the answer. I'm relying on some Republicans but they don't seem to care, neither.

RUSH:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Well, so the thing you've gotta do is come up with somebody to blame that your employers are gonna believe.  Do you happen to know, Larry, how your employees voted in the last presidential election? Do you know which ones voted for Obama and which ones didn't?

CALLER:  I do.

RUSH:  Well, get rid of the ones that voted for Obama. Say, "You bought it; you own it."

CALLER:  Well, the only problem with that is I'd probably end up in jail.

RUSH:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Well, of course.  (laughing) That may be true.

CALLER:  I already thought of that long ago.

RUSH:  See, this is the way people are thinking now! 

CALLER: (chuckling)

RUSH: Okay, well, you could -- Harry Reid's using it -- try to blame it on the Koch brothers.

CALLER:  Well, I could. It doesn't help the employees that you've gotta let go.

RUSH:  I know.  I'm just trying to lighten the situation here, but I really shouldn't be.  It's a horrible situation.  You don't want to fire anybody.

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  You probably need those people and the work that they do.

CALLER:  That's correct.

RUSH: (sigh) Well, get ready, folks.  I mean, the real onslaught of this stuff hasn't even begun yet.  That's the point.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Gary, Denver.  Great to have you on the program, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  Good afternoon, Rush.  Nice to be here.  Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH:  You bet, sir.

CALLER:  So I'll make this real quick, Rush.  Everybody's focused on employer mandate being pushed out 'til next year, but as we sit here right now, there are small employers that are getting notices from insurance companies canceling them.  And the reason for that is that Obamacare changes the way that insurance companies and employers are being -- within -- sorry, I'm trying to think of the term, but basically last year, I have 10 full time employees, and last year we had four covered by our health insurance and six were covered by their spouses.  We were considered a hundred percent covered at that point in time.  Obamacare now says that we only have 50% or 40% participation, so we're no longer eligible for our health insurance plan.

RUSH:  Now, wait.  Are you a business owner? Yeah, you're an employer.

CALLER:  I am a business owner and an employer.

RUSH:  Right.  And because of the rules changes you are no longer eligible to give a health plan or to get one?

CALLER:  We already have a health plan.  We've had it for eight years.  And because of this little nuance in Obamacare, the health insurers, when they audit to find out how many employees --

RUSH:  Okay, I gotcha.  I'm up against it on time.  I've really gotta run.  Gary, thanks.  I appreciate it.  Thanks much.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Daytona Beach.  Hello, Bob.  I've got about a minute and a half, but I wanted to get to you, sir.

CALLER:  Thanks Rush.  It's a pleasure talking to you.  I'm 25-year-listener and my father is gonna envy me today.  I want to bounce off the issue about the insurance company, that Kaiser article.  Well, it already happened with my company.  We were pulled into our office in March of this year and were informed that we're being dropped and we had to go into the Obamacare system.  We're a company about 15 people, and all our insurance rates basically doubled.

RUSH:  Well, so your company didn't wait. It just went ahead and did it.

CALLER:  Yes.  We are told that we had to do it. The insurance company came in, gave us the facts. There's about five different insurance companies that were in the Obamacare exchanges.

RUSH:  Well, did you do okay?  Were you able to get what you got or had at the same price?

CALLER:  No, not me. My premium doubled.

RUSH:  Your premium doubled?

CALLER:  Everything about my insurance doubled, but the coverage didn't double. (chuckle)

RUSH:  Okay, folks, you're hearing it.  So his company got a head start on this even though they don't have to do this until 2014.  So they had five different companies come in pitching them on different plans, and the premium doubled once his company had canceled health insurance as a benefit.

END TRANSCRIPT

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