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The CBO, in response to a request from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has determined that the Obama administration's decision to delay by a year the requirement in Obamcare that large employers provide health insurance to employees or pay a fine will have a relatively small impact in costs to the government or numbers of people remaining uninsured. About half a million people who do not currently have insurance will continue to be uninsured, the CBO estimates.
All told, as a result of the announced changes and new final rules, roughly 1 million fewer people are expected to be enrolled in employment-based coverage in 2014 than the number projected in CBO’s May 2013 baseline, primarily because of the one-year delay in penalties on employers. Of those who would otherwise have obtained employment-based coverage, roughly half will be uninsured and the others will obtain coverage through the exchanges or will enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), CBO and JCT estimate. In particular, fewer than half a million additional people are expected to be uninsured in 2014 than the number projected in the May baseline.
Additionally, federal spending will be increased by less that one percent for 2014, CBO estimates. The government won't be receiving the penalties from large insurers not providing the coverage, and will be paying subsidies to those who don't have coverage extended to them at work and decide to purchase it on the exchange. "Most large employers," the report notes, "currently offer health insurance coverage to their employees, and because the delay is only for one year, CBO and JCT expect that few employers will change their decisions about offering such coverage."

Half a million is too many, but is a lot fewer than those who will fall into the gap created by states refusing to expand Medicaid. Because, as the CBO notes, most employers who have 50 or more employees—94 percent of them according to the Kaiser Family Foundation—do provide coverage. That kind of shoots a hole in the Republican theory that providing health insurance to employees will break the free market.

Ryan, in requesting this analysis, undoubtedly thought he'd find some smoking gun about how much this delay was going to cost the federal government (even though he has been adamantly opposed to the very idea that large employers should have to provide insurance to workers). He sure as hell didn't ask the CBO to do this because he's worried about how many people will stay uninsured. He didn't get much in the way of ammunition with this one.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:48:15 AM PDT

  •  NO part of the ACA should be delayed... (7+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry, but if I am to be expected to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, ALL employers with 50 or more employees should be required to provide insurance or pay a penalty.

    The only way this law will work as intended is for all the parts to be working. Shutting down the employer mandate because the CoC squawks pisses me off.

    Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

    by Love Me Slender on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:56:01 AM PDT

  •  those pesky facts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Cedwyn, War on Error, Jeff Y

    just won't act Republican.   The numbers genius of the Republican Party must be really upset with the numbers.

    Nevertheless,  I really can't see why big business continues to get concessions when it won't invest in production, their own people, or this country.   Sacrificing income or coverage for half a million people was really not necessary.  What part of knowing this day was coming didn't happen three years ago?   How could you not be ready if you actually started on this three years ago?

  •  I'm confused (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Cedwyn

    Large employers have until 2017/2018 anyway, according to this chart.

    This UC Berkely breakdown is interesting.

    The Affordable Care Act: A Guide for Union Negotiators

    I remember, when reading the ACA document from cover to cover, grimacing that "large employers" were grandfathered until 2018.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:09:46 AM PDT

  •  the employer-based insurance model (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Tam in CA, lakehillsliberal

    has got to go.  so can we please quit pretending that employers not offering insurance is a bad thing?

    fewer people obtaining coverage from work means that stupid paradigm ends all the sooner.  that is nothing but good.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:17:20 AM PDT

  •  Well, today is my last day of coverage. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, Tam in CA, Zack from the SFV

    It was nice while it lasted, but I'll be uninsured again starting tomorrow, and stay so until I find a job with a plan.

    We need single payer.

  •  Makes no sense to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    The people who might have gotten coverage through their employers will be able to buy it on the exchanges -- and will be penalized for not doing so.

    And given how employer-based coverage works -- with increasing share of the premiums paid by the employees, for crappier coverage with high co-pays and deductibles -- a worker who goes through the exchanges will likely get better coverage and for many, a cheaper out-of-pocket cost due to the subsidies.

    I fully expect that will be true for me, and I'm not as low-income as many wager-earners are.

    I understand why the Administration wants people in employer-based plans (no subsidies, hence lower Federal expenditures). I do not understand why we care about that.

  •  How shameful that the American people must beg (0+ / 0-)

    their government for health care that most people have in the Western world.

  •  Actually there is another possibility (0+ / 0-)

    They could buy insurance the same as the people who now buy their own insurance do, but subsidized with Obamamacare. Right?

    There is a huge segment of the population that has been without employer insurance forever. We buy it.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:55:19 PM PDT

  •  We passed the wrong law (0+ / 0-)

    I forget if this is the CATO Institute's law or maybe the Heritage Foundation's, but I assure you, it was the insurance's company's law.

    At one point even KOS said we have to kill it, but he caved under the political reality, if we do not do SOMETHING now, nothing will be done.

    Health care in America is not fixed.

    It has to be single payer. I still say, basic cradle to grave Medicare for all citizens, and if you want more, buy it on the private market.

    But the reality is, it is a big pie, and no one is going to willingly give up there piece of the pie. Part of the problem is the cost of medical invocation and the shortage of doctors. As a people, we need to directly finance the industry and pay for new doctor's education.

    It may sound expensive, but it is cheaper than what we are doing now.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 08:48:51 PM PDT

  •  The ACA (0+ / 0-)

    The ACA is a fully realized right wingers wet dream spawned during an unholy embrace of Gov. Mitt Romney and The Heritage Foundation.  Foolish progressives embrace this monster and regularly argue it be allowed to roam our nation sticking a Goldman Sachs-like blood funnel into every crevice of healthcare.  We've been pimped out by Obama who fully exploited our dire need for SOME sort of national system of care.  We hired him for single payer-we had his back unlike any president for the last 3 generations. He should have showed us that back as he led the nation to the only sensible system of care, instead he turned full frontal and said  "Now you have to make me do it".  He is a disgrace who has thoroughly disenchanted the generation of voters that elected him.

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