Kamala Harris And Health insurance

Grind for May 26th, 2019
“I don’t think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking there’s some kind of change.”

– Bob Dylan

Wasted Effort

The Headline

Kamala Harris wants to force corporations to close the gender gap

The Grind

California Senator and Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris (D) on Monday unveiled a plan that would punish companies that fail to pay men and women equal wages.

“What I am proposing is we shift the burden,” said Harris. “It should not be on that working woman to prove it, it should instead be on that large corporation to prove they’re paying people for equal work equally.”

The senator’s proposal would force large companies to submit annual reports proving they have “eliminated pay disparities between women and men who are doing work of equal value.”

If pay gaps exist for similar jobs, employers must provide a reason other than gender.

Reports must include the percentage of female employees in leadership positions, the share of women who are among a company’s top earners, and the overall pay gap between the genders (regardless of position, experience, and performance).

The Grind

Harris’s plan would also block companies from asking about prior salary history when hiring and prevent the inclusion of forced arbitration agreements in employment contracts for pay discrimination disputes.

“[My plan] will radically change the way we enforce equal pay in America,” said Harris. “Under our plan, for the first time in American history, companies will be held responsible for demonstrating they are not engaging in pay discrimination.”

Companies with 100 or more employees would have three years to obtain a certificate showing compliance with the new rules; companies with 500 or more employees would have two years.

Companies that fail to obtain the certificate within the given timeframe will suffer steep fines.

“This is a very big issue in our country and deserves all the resources and attention that anyone would expect when we are talking about whether or not people are paid for the work they do,” continued Harris. “It’s a simple American value, as far as I’m concerned, pay people for the work they do.”

If elected president, Harris said she would implement the plan with or without Congress. If necessary, she would use executive action to force companies that want to bid on federal contracts to comply with the equal pay standards.

The Takeaway

Despite what you may have heard from the liberal media, there is little research suggesting women earn less money than men when working the exact same job.

Census data shows that women earned 20% less than men in 2017, but this is an average for all full-time positions. Unpopular studies suggest the so-called “pay gap” is the result of many factors, with gender having very little impact.

Harris’s plan would be a massive waste of time and resources and is sure to be challenged by a business community already frustrated by federal regulations.

On top of that, there is no way to define “equal work” and thus no clear way to enforce the proposal.

Bottom line: the plan is a desperate attempt to attract female voters before they decide on another candidate. It will never pass.

Time For A Change

The Headline

Finally, some good news about health insurance

The Grind

In years past, it was common practice for small companies to offer Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) to employees.

Under these plans, companies reimbursed a portion of workers’ healthcare costs. The reimbursements were tax-free to employees and tax deductible for employers.

Unfortunately for Americans, Obama eliminated QSEHRAs with the (un)Affordable Care Act, and small businesses could no longer afford to offer health benefits.

That changed in 2017 with the implementation of the 21st Century Cares Act, a law that allows QSEHRAs as long as participants comply with some Obamacare rules.

The Details

A business can legally offer QSEHRAs if it has 50 or fewer full-time employees and if it does not offer any other healthcare plans. A full-time employee is eligible to receive tax-free reimbursements through a QSEHRA if he/she purchases a healthcare plan that meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

Any employee receiving reimbursements through a QSEHRA cannot also receive Obamacare’s health insurance tax credits.

If you don’t receive any health benefits from your employer, you may want to look for a physician who offers membership deals.

Here’s how it works: instead of paying a monthly premium to a greedy health insurance company, you pay a monthly membership fee to your primary care physician.

Without third party interference, your doctor doesn’t have to charge co-pays or office visit fees. And he doesn’t have to waste time filling out paperwork for insurance companies.

At Vintage Direct Primary Care in Poulsbo, Washington, members can make same-day appointments with no charge. All services and procedures offered at the facility are covered by the membership fee.

Patients receive lab tests and prescription drugs at wholesale prices and OTC drugs offered in-house cost less than their Walmart equivalents.

The Takeaway

What we are starting to see here is a shift towards free enterprise healthcare; i.e. a capitalist system that fosters competition and lowers costs.

The goal is to get the patient as close to the doctor as possible and have insurance cover the smallest amount possible. Employers should not be forced to pay for their employees’ health insurance, but should instead provide tax-free funds so that employees can buy their own health insurance.

Did you know… The population of the Earth has more than doubled since 1950.