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  Bob Kerrey slams health insurance mandate
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ContributorHikikomori Blitzkrieg! 
Last EditedHikikomori Blitzkrieg!  Sep 09, 2012 03:05pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorChristopher Burbach
MediaNewspaper - Omaha World Herald
News DateFriday, September 7, 2012 10:25:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionDemocratic Senate candidate Bob Kerrey said Thursday that he hates the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act and that his own businesses might drop employee insurance and pay the federal fine for doing so if the mandate goes into effect in 2014.

Kerrey said wealthy Americans pay their fair share in taxes. And he said President Barack Obama made a big mistake by not following the recommendations of his own bipartisan budget deficit commission.

And, because someone in the Suburban Rotary Club asked, he considers New York City’s ban on supersize soft drinks “a step too far.”

“Bob, you’re almost starting to sound Republican,” said Sol Kutler, part of the largely Republican crowd of 102 people at the club luncheon in Omaha.

Half of me is kinda Republican,” Kerrey replied.

Kerrey wasted no opportunity to remind the Rotary audience that he’s a longtime co-owner of Nebraska small businesses — Grandmother’s Restaurants and Prairie Life health clubs.

His remarks about the Affordable Care Act, the law often called “Obamacare,” came in response to a question from Kutler, 85, a small-business man and Republican.

“Do you find anything about (Obamacare) that you disagree with?” Kutler asked.

“Oh, yeah — yes, I do,” Kerrey replied.

He singled out a portion of the plan that says if a company with more than 50 workers stopped offering health coverage it would face a fine of $2,000 per employee.

Questions have been raised about whether companies would stop paying for employees’ insurance and send them to obtain their own coverage from new insurance exchanges.

“I hate the employer mandate,” Kerrey said. “I think it’s going to have a counterproductive impact. We don’t have any (insured employee) that costs us less than $7,000 (a year), and the fine’s $2,000. We’ll dump ’em off. We won’t call it dumping, we’ll say ... ‘Go get it from the exchange.’”
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