Daily Kos: Employer-covered health care rare for part-time employees

the ramifications will be huge.

Number 1 it will rally a lot of people to the Republican “repeal Obamacare” side – Primarily those losing what they perceive to be good coverage that their employer pays for.

If companies do drop insurance, and I have to ask myself, why wouldn’t they jump at the chance to get the health insurance monkey off their backs, what will be interesting is to see what they do with the savings.

According to this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health insurance accounts for approximately 8.2% of employee salary and benefits in private industry. According to this the average annual cost for individual employee health coverage annually is $ 8688.

Let’s assume the companies dropping the coverage pay the 2K per employee fine. That would still leave them almost $ 7000 PER EMPLOYEE in savings. What are they going to do with that 7K? If they turned around and simply gave it to each employee in the form of a raise, then that employee could apply it to the cost of a plan on the exchange. Plus there would be government subsidies for any employee for whom the cost on the exchange was more than 8% of their gross pay. So, the employees would probably be fine IF the employer transferred the savings to them.

Now, raise your hand if you think that will happen. Ha! These savings will be hoovered up and delivered to the CEO’s and upper management tier quicker than you can say “Bob’s your uncle!” in my opinion.

In my opinion, employer policies will be dropped and people will blame Obamacare. Many may vote for Republicans in the future because of this. This was all predicted during the healthcare debates, so it should be no surprise to anyone. If employers do drop coverage at high rates, Obamacare will have a very hard time keeping itself afloat because the demands for the subsidies will be greater than reckoned on.

We could have been spared all this angst and drama if TPTB had simply defaulted to the much easier and much more obvious solution to covering America’s uninsured – Medicare for All, an option to opt into the Government run single payer system we already have in place and just let it run parallel to the private system.

The answer to stopping the employers from dropping coverage would have been to design the fine in a way that was punitive and not remunerative. The fine should have been the cost of current premiums so that the employer would have had no incentive to drop coverage.

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