A question I actually do not know the answer to. (I don’t know the answer to many questions, this is just one of a long list.)
But it does seem to me that Something Bad is going to happen, because Obama called upon his Bottomless Well of Executive Power to delay the Employer Mandate unilaterally, fearing political fall-out for the 2014 elections should millions upon millions of previously-covered workers be dumped into the exchanges.
Will this happen? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: Obama sufficiently feared this possibility to violate the Constitution and delay his own beloved pet boondoggle to avoid the possibility of it.
Right now we are talking about the millions and millions of people in the individual insurance market. They are getting screwed. But as a percentage of the country, this is a small number of people — I think the fraction is something like 8% or so.
Caveat: I just made that up. But it’s low.
We should be talking about What Happens Next. And critics of ObamaCare have some good authority to speak about What Happens Next, given that they already predicted What Already Happened.
The individual-market Losers are the canaries in the coalmine for tens of millions more likely losers.
I would like Obama and his Minions to be questioned closely about what they predict will happen next. I want them on the record as to their new promises about “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” as regards employer-paid coverage.
Let’s face it: If 90% of the country thinks, probably wrongly, that only 10% of the country is getting screwed, they will probably just shrug it off and say “Sucks to be them.” All of these anecdotes about people getting screwed will not move the general public.
Only worries about What Comes Next, regarding themselves, will agitate them for the 2014 elections.
Honestly I don’t know if the disruption in the employer markets will be as bad. I think it will be bad, but not as bad — for one thing, I think employer-provided insurance already includes a bit of subsidization for sick workers– in as much as the employer buys coverage for an undefined group, which might include very sick people — the risks then are already pooled, at least to some extent. But only to some extent, because the sickest of all people probably do not work, and thus do not ever enter the employer coverage pools.
Employer coverage is also generally decent, and thus won’t be muchaffected by increased demands for coverage. But it will be affected somewhat, and when ObamaCare demands that a business give its employees, effectively, a $1,000 or $3,000 annual raise in the form of a health care policy that covers previously uncovered things (and also steals money to subsidize the uninsurable), many companies may balk and simply stop providing insurance altogether.