UPS drops health benefits for 15,000 spouses. An Obamacare bellwhether?

States scramble to get health-care law’s insurance marketplaces up and running

And other news reports chronicle employers who are paring hours for some workers, saying the reason is to curb their health costs under the law. In the case of UPS, the 15,000 spouses are husbands or wives whose employers also offer health benefits. This appears to be a case where they like the plan they have (theyve opted for the UPS plan rather than their employer plan) and cant keep it. Most UPS employees those who are unionized or whose spouses dont have another employer-sponsored health plan available arent seeing a reduction in benefits. Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates. And for the 15,000 who are affected, its a bit simplistic to say their options are narrowing solely because of Obamacare.
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We might decide that we still want them perhaps: many countries have a tax funded grant for example which aids the poor in paying for a burial. But theyre not specifically necessary to the operation of the system. The essential difference between the Singapore and US health care systems is that the US handles all health care through the insurance route and Singapore differentiates between those parts that are insurance and those that are assurance. Yes, its true, much of the Singapore health care system is run directly by the government but this isnt what makes the system work so well: the UKs health care system is also largely (90% in fact) provided directly by the government and that doesnt offer Singapores mixture of being both very good and also extremely cheap. The Singapore system, to keep things very simple indeed, essentially says that individuals will pay for their routine and regular health care themselves. Only catastrophic events will be covered by government run insurance.
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How To Provide Health Care To All Americans For The Price Of Medicare. It’s All In The Prices

It will by no means be as smooth and as seamless as people expected. Oregon announced this month that it will delay consumers direct access to its marketplace, opening the Web site only to brokers and consumer-assistance agents in order to shield consumers from opening-day glitches. Even though were testing now, once you actually have the system up, you dont know what the bugs will be, said Amy Fauver, spokeswoman for Cover Oregon, the state agency implementing the law there. In California, which has the nations largest uninsured population, health officials have begun hinting that they may have a similar problem. Its a complex system, and theres a lot of navigation that needs to happen, said Oscar Hidalgo, a spokesman for Covered California.
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