WH Critical of White Paper on Projected Employer-Sponsored Coverage under Reform

June 9, 2011
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The WH is striking back at a consulting firm’s report which claims that almost a third of all companies will forego the provision under the ACA which requires them to offer insurance to employees in the manner dictated by the law. According to the study, companies will “radically restructure” the way insurance is offered to employees, opting to selectively determine who receives the crucial benefits and how.

The WH is striking back at a consulting firm’s report which claims that almost a third of all companies will forego the provision under the ACA which requires them to offer insurance to employees in the manner dictated by the law. According to the study, companies will “radically restructure” the way insurance is offered to employees, opting to selectively determine who receives the crucial benefits and how.

The study, which is being circulated among Republicans, predicts that as many as 30 percent of companies will stop offering health insurance benefits, reduce the level of benefits, or offer benefits only to certain employees. If this prediction holds, the number of Americans who could see changes to their health insurance would be far more than the 9 million to 10 million estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.

The WH response? This finding is essentially an outlier of sorts … most companies will benefit from the provision from a recruitment and retention standpoint — resulting in long term savings for the employer which invests in human capital, thereby directly influencing growth, outpacing dollars spent on coverage.

A central goal of the Affordable Care Act is to reduce the cost of providing health insurance and make it easier for employers to offer coverage to their workers. We have implemented the law at every step of the way to minimize disruption and maximize affordability for businesses, workers, and families.  And we agree with experts who project that employers will continue to offer high quality benefits to their workers under the new law.  This one discordant study should be taken with a grain of salt.

That this study is getting any media traction at all is not really surprising, given its penchant for stirring the pot on the very contentious issue of the reform law and the efforts at repeal of some parts of the legislation by the GOP. Let’s face it, though; the political posturing on Medicare legislation and the ACA will continue as low-hanging fruit for the GOP whether studies like this are marginalized or not. The major implementation of the reform law in 2014 will be the ultimate proving ground and will be directly influenced by the Commander in Chief , whoever that may be — which is why arguments on all sides of the reform issue are fair game in a down economy and a voter sentiment desperately looking for solutions in 2012.

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