To illustrate the consequences of the HHS mandate and perhaps put things in a little better perspective, let's continue to consider just one type of institution, the case of Catholic schools, in one region.
Making It Real - A Look at Catholic Schools
As mentioned in a previous post, the average size of a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is around 300 children, with an average operating budget of approximately $1.3 million. Tuition covers approximately $900,000 of this, with the remainder being covered by fundraising, grants, investments, etc.
For argument's sake, if we assume it takes 25 full-time faculty and staff (with benefits) to operate such a school and the school keeps offering health care benefits to full-time employees, but refuses to violate their consciences by providing the mandated services and incurs instead the prescribed penalty of $100 per person per day, that would mean an additional annual cost to the school of $912,500, which is an increase in operating expenses of about 70% and more than what they take in from tuition.
That means, even if operating expenses and staffing were directly proportional to enrollment (which they are not), and fundraising and the like could be maintained at a fixed dollar level (which would be unlikely in the extreme), they would have to turn away more than 200 of their 300 students (209 to be exact in this scenario). The other options would be to more than double the price of tuition to cover the "conscience tax," or increase fundraising and other revenues by 225%. That's a lot of wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions, marathon pledges, silent auctions, ...
Keep in mind that each child forced out of the Catholic school increases Minnesota's public education cost by about $10,000. Statewide this translates to $600 million in additional annual education expense to cover Minnesota's 60,000 Catholic school students. $600 million. That would be like adding more than half to the amount of the projected deficit for the state government's next fiscal year. But it's every year.
Therefore, in less than two years, the alleged benefit that Minnesota will receive in increased federal money to cover the newly eligible participants under the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare would be wiped out completely from the perspective of the taxpayers. (They will have to pay more somewhere, someway, whether at the state, or county, level.) Even in these days, $600 million per year in public funds is still real money. But, of course, we are supposed to believe this won't affect the middle class.
To what end? All that to support Obamacare, which by the government's own estimation will fail to do what it ostensibly is intended to do in covering all the uninsured. That's a pretty lousy trade for limiting our ability to live out our first freedom. Again, social justice my foot. Obamacare puts politics ahead of children.
For more information and the statistics on Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, visit AimHigher.org
Other Posts in the Series
Lest We Forget: Obamacare's War on Faith Affects Millions