Ezekiel J. Emanuel, who helped devise the Affordable Care Act, has a vision for how it will eventually work. Democrats hope it will not materialize anytime soon.
Mr. Emanuel expects the law to produce an unadvertised but fundamental shift in where most working Americans get their health insurance — specifically, a sharp drop in the number of employers who offer coverage to their workers. That scale of change would dwarf what took place last fall, when a political firestorm erupted over President Obama’s “if you like your plan you can keep it” pledge.
Emanuel thinks that a number of well-known national companies will break the mold and begin a trend. By his estimation, the proportion of private-sector workers who receive health care from employers will fall below 20 percent by 2025. Currently, just under 60 percent of private-sector workers get health care from employers.
“It’ll be a matter of a few big employers, blue-chip companies,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview. “Then it’s going to be the norm.”
Our Avik Roy is quoted in the article that this would have some benefits, in that getting people to buy insurance individually makes it more portable from job to job and location to location. But for millions of Americans who are watching others get cancellation notices, this is horrifying, and says their fears are well-founded. The advantages of employer-based insurance are first, simplicity; your employer shops around for the plan they prefer. The second benefit is your employer covering a big chunk of the cost. Republicans were right all along: This is designed to get companies to toss their employers off their own plans and into the exchanges — where, as we’ve seen, a lot of people don’t like the options.
Think about how this nullifies so many of the talking points of the bill! “Now young people can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26” doesn’t mean much if Mom and Dad lose their plan. Eliminating “lifetime limits on essential medical expenses” is good only if you can afford health insurance. The pledge that insurers can no longer drop your coverage if you’re sick doesn’t mean much if you’re losing your insurance when you’re healthy.
This thing is a disaster from top to bottom, sold with egregious lies and outrageous duplicity.
If you like your plan . . . we’re going to destroy it.