MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Affordable Care Act from President Obama will be anything but affordable to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. It will mean that the city must insure more of its workers.
They are already adding four million dollars to the new budget, which takes effect Sunday, and the mayor says it could get a lot worse.
The people who work in the heat of the day for the City of Memphis don't get rich. Maybe there's talk that government work is all biscuits and gravy these days, but it's a mighty thin gravy for most city employees.
Some part-timers aren't even offered insurance. They will be, now that the Obama affordable health care plan is the law of the land.
Wharton said, "Nobody really knows precisely what it's going to be but we do know, as more folks come in, and more folks stay in the coverage longer, there is going to be an increase on the employers. And we are an employer, so we know that."
Don't get the wrong idea, he's not criticizing the plan. A C Wharton is a Democrat and a supporter of the President. He sees good things with this health care plan.
"If we can get more people into the clinics and out of the hospitals and focus on wellness as we're doing, it should turn out to be a benefit if we keep people well as opposed to treating people after they get sick."
Meanwhile, he has to face facts. The Memphis city budget is sick. All the spinach in the world wouldn't put the muscles on Memphis - unless you call money spinach.
The administration is going to put four million more dollars into the new budget to pay for health care. It might not be enough, because the mayor keeps saying there are nothing but question marks out there on the horizon when it comes to affordable health care.
"Nobody right now can tell you what the affordable health care act is going to cost an employer," Wharton said.
In Washington, Speaker of the House John Boehner is going to try and hold another vote on the plan on July 11, another try by Republicans to toss out the law. Meanwhile cities just like Memphis are cracking open piggy banks to find any money possible for health care.