ON-Lion Letter

Wisconsin is a prime example of how rising health-care costs and penalties are already surprising individuals, families, and businesses in many states as they face new requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or "Obamacare," according to an October study from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas and the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy in Madison, Wis.

Conducted by NCPA senior fellow Devon M. Herrick, the study finds that the average cost of a family employer plan in Wisconsin was $16,248 in 2012, more than in 42 other states.  Firms that employ 50 or more workers and don't provide health insurance will be subject to a tax penalty of $2,000 for each uninsured employee beyond the first 30, and two-thirds to four-fifths of employer plans will likely lose their grandfathered status under ACA regulations.  Overall, by 2016, about 10,000 Wisconsin workers will lose (or leave) small-group employer plans due to Obamacare regulations.

"Though it was promoted as a way to lessen the problems small businesses experience in providing health coverage, many Wisconsin business owners report that the law is increasing their burden," Herrick concludes.  "Indeed, the Obama Administration itself says that perhaps two-thirds of small employers will see a jump in premiums due to provisions in the health care law.  This trend is likely to continue."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supported the study.

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