Rep. DesJarlais: Economic Effects Of Affordable Care On Tennessee Families And Businesses

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - by Rep. Scott DesJarlais

Since its inception, I have been resolute in my staunch opposition to the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare. As a physician, I knew it would hinder access to medical care, as well as reduce the overall quality of care. 

Unfortunately, many of the negative consequences I was worried about have already been imposed on Tennessee patients and health care providers. Even those in the mainstream media who support the president’s law have had to report on its numerous and undeniable shortcomings.

But the problems created by the Affordable Care Act will have implications far beyond the realm of medicine. The economic effects the law will have on both families and businesses are just as troubling. 

As has been widely reported, many families in Tennessee – and throughout our country – have already started paying higher premiums as a result of the ACA. This trend will only continue as the provisions of the law are fully implemented. The American Enterprise Institute found that the average family of four will see their health care spending increase by $7,450 under the president’s law. This is money that could use for things like investing in children’s education, making home repairs or just paying the bills. With median income in Tennessee hovering at $38,475, families simply cannot afford this drastic increase.

Businesses will also have to cut back due to ObamaCare’s mandate that all businesses with 50 or more full-time employees must provide health insurance or pay a steep penalty. This is especially onerous as the ACA lowered the amount of hours considered part-time from forty to thirty hours, meaning previous part-time workers are now considered full-time. As a result, businesses have refused to hire more than 50 employees or they have slashed hours because they simply cannot afford the costs of offering insurance to all full-time workers. Not only does this affect our economic productivity, it hurts low-income workers. 

And this is only the beginning. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company estimates that half of businesses will change how they provide health insurance. This means that more and more Americans will be unable to keep their coverage or will be forced to buy more expensive options on the health insurance exchanges. Even labor unions, who were among the strongest supporters of the Affordable Care Act, have stated the law hurts workers by increasing costs.

Time and time again we have seen the promises made by President Obama when selling this law to the American people come up short. He told us health care costs would go down by $2,500 for a family of four; in reality they have increased by more than twice that amount. He told us that if we liked our doctor and our plan, we could keep it. But with companies dropping coverage, many are being dumped onto the health care exchanges. He told us jobs would be created by this law, but the ACA has already decreased jobs by nearly seven figures according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

The combined economic consequences of the ACA threaten to decimate any sort of economic recovery we have seen over the past couple years. Further, the costs imposed by the law on Tennessee families could not come at a worse time. The ACA is unsustainable, eventually it will collapse. The only question is whether we allow our economy to be dragged down with it.


Howley Isn't Ready For Prime Time On Signal Mountain Town Council

I am concerned about a lack of propriety I have seen in Chris Howley, a candidate for Signal Mountain Town Council. When Mr. Howley first heard about the conservation easement agreement he posted on his FaceBook page a scathing letter he had sent the current council accusing them of having a "hidden agenda" and asking questions indicating a complete lack of knowledge about the ... (click for more)

My Trust Is In Temple, Pierce And Causer

My daughter used to jokingly say, “Don't just do something!... Stand there!” Lately I feel I'm just standing there, reading relentless newsprint against two decent Red Bank commissioners up for re-election Nov. 4. We are tired of psycho-babble from campaign cheerleaders who orchestrated a “forum” (pep rally for their team – Roberts and Co.). Shame shame, Causer, Pierce and Temple ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Lookout Valley Middle High School Closed Friday Due To Water Main Break

County school officials said late Thursday night that LookoutValley Middle High School will be closed Friday due to a water main break. Officials said, "This is an official message from the Hamilton County Department of Education to the parents, faculty, and staff of Lookout Valley Middle High School.  Please accept our apologies for the lateness of this message. "Due ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)