Affordable Care Act: Not so affordable

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now online, the unfortunate reality we’ve been wrestling with is this: there is no way to get around it, the changes wrought by this bill will result in significant cost increases—both for us as a company, and, ultimately, for our employees, who are almost certainly going to end up with higher premiums. No matter how anyone might feel about the motivations or intentions behind this legislation, it is tough for us to conclude that it makes sense.

This is turn of events is especially frustrating for us, because Powerlink has always done the right thing by our employees by offering high quality health benefits. At the moment, we project at least a 10% cost increase, much of which is simply money down the drain: cost increases and obligations focused on compliance and adjusting to a regulation that mandates the kind of coverage and care that we were already offering. Extra work and extra cost for the same result—as a company who focuses so much on efficiency, that’s even tougher to swallow.

I suspect that a number of other companies are going to be even worse off and will have to significantly increase their costs, largely because they haven’t done a great job of focusing on creating ways to retain their employees through strong benefits. As all Powerlink employees have experienced firsthand, that’s something that we have always done. Essentially, this will make it harder and more expensive for us to do the right thing, all so we can subsidize a broken system with a legislative Band-Aid.

As more details emerge, we are going to continue to monitor and reevaluate the situation to ensure that we are providing the best-possible health care solutions for employees. For the moment, however, it’s tough to find a silver lining in a law that adds cost, adds complexity and does nothing of substance for our employees. We don’t support things that make things worse for our employees, rather than better, and unfortunately the ACA seems almost certain to fit into the former category and not the latter.

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