Health Care Reform update

Health Care Reform update

CBO: 20 Million Could Lose Employer-Based Health Insurance As A Result Of ACA.

According to a CBO report released Thursday, as many as 20 million Americas could lose employer-based healthcare coverage as a result of President Obama’s healthcare reform law. The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Pecquet) reports in its “Healthwatch” blog that the CBO says the figures represent a “worst case scenario” and the law “could just as well increase the number of people with employer-based coverage by 3 million in 2019.” The Hill notes that Republicans seized on the report because the numbers “appear to violate Obama’s pledge that people who like their health plans will be able to keep them.”

Politico Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Feder) reports, “House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said the report proves President Barack Obama has already broken his promise that health reform wouldn’t endanger the coverage people already have.” In a statement, Ryan said, “As nonpartisan analysts made clear today, millions of Americans will soon learn the hard way that Washington’s overreach into their health care decisions will result in sharp disruptions to their coverage and their care.” Meanwhile, “Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said the 20 million estimate ‘exposes more of the real costs of the president’s unconstitutional, deeply flawed health spending law.'”

However, according to CQ Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Norman, Subscription Publication), the analysis “says that a ‘sharp decline’ in employment-based insurance as a result of the law is ‘unlikely,’ and even if it occurred it ‘would not dramatically increase the cost’ to the federal budget.” Also covering the story are the Huffington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Young) and Modern Healthcare Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Zigmond, Subscription Publication).

CBO Report: Decline In Employer-Sponsored Coverage Could Potentially Reduce Deficit. In Forbes Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16), Avik Roy writes, “One of the biggest concerns with the Affordable Care Act has been that the law will drive employers to stop sponsoring health insurance for their workers, instead dumping those workers on to the new law’s subsidized insurance exchanges.” However, “the Congressional Budget Office, in a provocative new report, believes that such behavior could, in some circumstances, actually reduce the deficit.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Kliff) “Wonkblog,” citing Roy’s Forbes piece, says “the government would have to spend $372 billion for workers who received their coverage through the exchanges, Medicaid and CHIP. But it would also net more in revenue, from newly-taxable income from fees imposed on employers who drop coverage,” which would lead to about “$13 billion in deficit reduction.” The major caveat to this analysis, however, is that “it assumes that when employers drop coverage, the money previously spent on insurance will get tacked onto a worker’s paycheck.”

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