Target Corp. announced Tuesday that it would end healthcare coverage for its part-time workers, citing options available to them in state and federal healthcare marketplaces.
In a corporate blog post, the Minneapolis company said that the majority of its part-time workforce does not enroll in healthcare coverage currently offered by the retailer. Target said that less than 10% of its total workforce, about 360,000, participates in the healthcare plans offered to part-time employees.
Healthcare law changes, said Target's executive vice president of human resources, Jodee Kozlak, have made more options available.
President Obama's new healthcare law requires large companies to offer coverage to employees working 30 hours a week or more or pay a penalty. Many employers have been preparing for the the higher costs. Some companies, such as United Parcel Service Inc., have said they would end coverage for employees' spouses if they had access to health insurance through their own employers.
"In fact, by offering them insurance, we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible for newly available subsidies that could reduce their overall health insurance expense," Kozlak said.
Under the healthcare law, some individuals would be eligible for subsidies based on their income to help offset the costs of enrolling for coverage.
Ahead of their playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts last weekend, the New England Patriots signed to their practice squad someone named Reggie Dunn.
Dunn is an undrafted, unheralded wide receiver. But he also is roughly the same height, weight and speed as Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, who had scorched the Kansas City Chiefs with 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns in the wild-card round.
As a practice-squad Patriot, Dunn was charged with imitating Hilton, giving New England's defense a head start. Apparently it worked: In a 43-22 win over the Colts, the Patriots held Hilton to four catches for 104 yards.
The Dunn hiring illustrates a little-known scheme that Patriots coach Bill Belichick employs for slowing down opponents: He clones them, stacking his practice squad with replicas of some of the NFL's most dangerous players.
"I don't know where he finds these guys," said former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt. "Every week, they bring in someone. Same height, same speed. It's like they practice against your twin brother."
To prepare for Sunday's AFC Championship Game in Denver against the Broncos, the Patriots in recent weeks signed to their practice squad 6-foot-3-Greg Orton, a doppelgänger for 6-foot-3 Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.
"It's something Bill does," said Patriots safety Duron Harmon. "To (practice against) a guy with the same height, weight, speed, it helps a lot."
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.
For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation. Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies. It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes). It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.
But that’s exactly what it will do—unless Republicans take action. As Laszewski explains, Obamacare contains a “Reinsurance Program that caps big claim costs for insurers (individual plans only).” He writes that “in 2014, 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government [read: by taxpayers], for example.”
In other words, insurance purchased through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges isn’t even full-fledged private insurance; rather, it’s a sort of private-public hybrid. Private insurance companies pay for costs below $45,000, then taxpayers generously pick up the tab—a tab that their president hasn’t ever bothered to tell them he has opened up on their behalf—for four-fifths of the next $200,000-plus worth of costs. In this way, and so many others, Obamacare takes a major step toward the government monopoly over American medicine (“single payer”) that liberals drool about in their sleep.
Laszewski adds, “The reinsurance program has done and will continue to do what it was intended to do; help attract and keep more carriers in Obamacare than might have otherwise come.” Thus, Obamacare is being aided by having taxpayers subsidize big insurance companies’ business expenses. (Who could ever have guessed that big government and big business might be natural allies?)
But, amazingly, it doesn’t stop there. Laszewski writes that Obamacare also contains a “Risk Corridor Program that limits overall losses for insurers.” So insurers not only don’t have to pay out all of their costs; they also don’t have to swallow all of their losses.
Laszewski explains that if an insurance company expects its costs in a given year to be X, and those costs end up being more than X plus 2 percent, taxpayers will come to that insurance company’s rescue—thanks to Obamacare. In fact, once an insurance company covers that initial 2 percent in unexpected costs, taxpayers will cover at least 80 percent of any additional costs the insurer accrues.
Just heard on local radio that home teams that lost a Divisional game at home the previous year, who then came back the next year to host a Divisional game are 15-1. As we all recall, the Broncos lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Ravens in Denver in a Divisional game last season, and host the Chargers in a Divisional game today. So the odds are with the Broncos.
Looking for an early Super Bowl favorite for next season? Wait until April and find out who will play the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener in 2013.
Baltimore's win over San Francisco made them the fourth straight team to win the Super Bowl after playing Philly in its Lincoln Financial Field season opener. Of the four games, Philadelphia earned its sole victory in this year's game:
2012 -- d. Baltimore Ravens, 24-23 (played at Philadelphia in Week 2)
2011 -- l. New York Giants, 16-29 (Week 3)
2010 -- l. Green Bay Packers, 20-27 (Week 1)
2009 -- l. New Orleans Saints, 22-48 (Week 2)
The string is broken in 2008 when Philly opened at home against the St. Louis Rams. However, in the Eagles' second home game that season, they played the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
Note that the team the Eagles play in their home opener doesn't have to win the game, just has to be the Eagles home opener opponent. Worth a $20 bet?