Perhaps I buried my lede a bit yesterday in a post about the ACA's employer mandate. So let me try a carve-out.
Josh Barro, taking at face value some bitching about the requirement that employers with more than 50 full-time employees offer health insurance to their employees, recently charged that the mandate is a mistake and that health reform should have pushed health insurance away from the employer-employee relationship.
Defensible as that diagnosis may be in the abstract, voters at large were not the only constituency resistant to weakening the employer-healthcare bond. Big businesses, and a not inconsiderable number of small businesses, values their role as health insurer, seeing that role as an important part of their bond with employees, as a competitive advantage, and increasingly, as an opportunity to make their workforce more productive -- not to mention as font of a tax-free form of compensation.
Call them crazy, as Matt Miller did in October 2009 when the National Coalition on Benefits, an association purporting to represent the interests of employers covering 130 million Americans in the health reform process, helped to shoot down Senator Ron Wyden's Free Choice Amendment, which would
have enabled all employees to opt out of their employer's health care
plan and buy insurance on the insurance exchanges established by what
later became the Affordable Care Act. The group's motto: Don't Erode What Works to Fix What's Broken. *
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