**Posted by Phineas
And they knew in 2010, at least.
Recall that, over the last few days as millions of Americans have had their medical insurance canceled due to the Affordable Care Act, apologists have tried to pass it off as regrettable, but ultimately minor. It ranged from presidential spokes-weasel Jay Carney minimizing it as five percent of Americans (that’s still more than 15 million, Jay), to an unbelievably insane performance by New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone on Megyn Kelley’s show last night. (Really, you have to see it to believe it.)
But, here’s the kicker: both apologists and critics are wrong when they say this is limited to the private, individual policy market. Well, critics are wrong. The apologists are lying suckweasels or pathetic tools, take your pick. Per analysis published in Forbes today by Avik Roy, the stringent Obamacare regulations that are costing individual buyers the plans they like will, by 2015, also affect employer-based insurance.
Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.
“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of theRegister. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.
Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and get canceled, solely due to the fact that there is a high turnover of participants and insurance arrangements in this market. (Plans purchased after March 23, 2010 do not benefit from the “grandfather” clause.) The real turnover rate would be higher, because plans can lose their grandfather status for a number of other reasons.
How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans.
Remember that Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate for a year, so the effect of section 1251 has been put off from 2013 to 2014, for insurance coverage beginning 2015. Ed Morrissey notes an intriguing problem that poses for the Democrats:
Employers will face a critical decision point by September 2014 of whether to pay the fine for non-coverage and force their employees into the individual exchanges, or absorb more of the skyrocketing premium costs we’re seeing this month. They may opt for an in-between solution of private exchanges, but even that will force employees out of their current plans, contra to the Obama promise that Americans can “keep their plans.”
Those decisions and actions will take place just weeks before the midterm elections. Take the headlines and outrage we are seeing now for the impact that ObamaCare has on the individual market and perhaps as many as 12 million Americans, and then multiply it by six as employers make the rational decision to get out of the health-insurance business altogether.
That’s 93 million people, most of them voters, and a very, very large lot of them angry as a wet cat over what the Democrats’ legislation did to them. Just as we enter the final run up to the election.
And I hope those arrogant, lying, progressive oligarchs, so cocksure that they know how to run our lives better than we do, suffer a wipeout for the ages in it.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)