Hollywood, which helped sell Obamacare by promoting it in TV shows and is now being recruited by the Obama administration to make the unpopular law look "cool" to youths, is bracing itself for the law's implementation.
"It's a morass of regulations and requirements, and everyone's trying to figure out what their exposure is," Eric Belcher, president and CEO of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, told the Hollywood Reporter. "[Obamacare] is thousands of pages and it wasn't written with this industry in mind."
The entertainment industry is already having difficulty determining whether employees can be considered full-time or part-time and is fearful of the fines it will face if it chooses incorrectly. Another issue the health law creates is the outsourcing of productions to foreign countries, since Obamacare's regulations and fines don't apply to US citizens abroad. Studios may find it much cheaper to film in another country and avoid the burden of Obamacare. They may also cut the number of production days in the U.S. in order to avoid paying a penalty or providing health insurance to full-time workers. This would hit independent films and TV pilots the hardest, as they are the least likely to be able to afford Obamacare.
"Our clients need to know that the days of 100-percent employer-paid benefits at a certain executive level can no longer exist," said Daniel Cox, who leads a payroll-services company currently working to navigate Obamacare's costs on the entertainment industry.
But Obamacare's woes this week don't stop at Hollywood. A new Gallup poll shows that 42 percent of Americans believe the law will make their family's health care situation worse, compared to just 22 percent who feel it will be better under the new law. Even worse, 47 percent say the law will make the health care situation in the US worse, with 34 percent saying it will be better.
This new poll comes as Democrats admit seniors are still confused about the health care law. "There are seniors, someone mentioned, who are coming to town hall meetings and wondering what do they have to do differently," said Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn., after a meeting with Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday. Older Americans are worried that Obamacare, which cut over $700 billion from Medicare, will change the health program.
It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for Obamacare, and all these problems are just added to the fact that some employees will see their hours cut, their premiums increase or their jobs lost.