Repealing Employer Mandate Would Have Small Effect, Report Says
Repealing the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate -- which requires companies that have 50 or more employees to provide full-time workers with health insurance or face fines -- would reduce the number of insured U.S. residents by only about 200,000, according to a study by the Urban Institute, the Washington Times reports. The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Howell, Washington Times, 5/11).
According to CQ HealthBeat, the study estimates that if the employer mandate is implemented in 2016, about 251.1 million U.S. residents would have health coverage. In comparison, if the mandate does not take effect, about 250.9 million would have coverage.
According to the report, eliminating the mandate could have a number of positive effects. For example, the researchers said getting rid of the mandate would:
- "[E]liminate labor market distortions"; and
- Decrease employer opposition to the ACA (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 5/9).
The researchers added, "In fact, without that burden, employers may play more of a role promoting the expansion of coverage under the law" (Washington Times, 5/11).
However, researchers found that eliminating the mandate would also result in a loss of $130 billion in federal revenue over the next decade in the form of fines under the mandate (Pugh, McClatchy/Miami Herald, 5/9).
The study noted that Congress would need to find new sources of revenue to make up for the lost revenue. "Reaching political agreement on new sources of revenue is never an easy task; however, the policy tradeoffs are straightforward," the researchers stated (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 5/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.