A few more notes on health-care reform
May as well just combine these into one post.
1) Some parts are working better than expected. Notably, the small-business tax credits. As the L.A. Times reports, "major insurers around the country are reporting that a growing number of small businesses are signing up to give their workers health benefits." UnitedHealth Group, for instance, "added 75,000 new customers who work for companies with fewer than 50 employees." BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas City has seen applications jump by almost 60 percent, and "said that 38% of the businesses it is signing up had not offered health benefits before." As experts in the article point out, it's almost unbelievable to see small businesses expanding coverage in an economy like this one. It's a very good sign.
2) A few more thoughts on employer dumping. According to an informed source, the reason CBO doesn't worry about dumping is that it gets canceled out: If a company dumps its workers on the exchange, it also loses the massive tax break it gets for their health care. So the government may have to provide subsidies for some of the workers, but it also gets more tax revenue from the employer. Meanwhile, the employer has to pay those workers higher wages to compensate for taking away their benefits, and those wages aren't tax-free.
The bigger concern with employers, my source said, was that they'll design high-deductible plans that push sick employees onto the exchange. This would be fairly easy to stop if it ever began happening in large numbers, but if Congress refuses to do anything to fix problems with the law, then it would be harder to stop.
3) Health-care reform and jobs: David Cutler estimates that repealing the bill could cost about 250,000 jobs annually. Cutler is pro-reform, and has done some econometric modeling work for the government. Nevertheless, he's also one of the most decorated and respected health economists in the country. His paper assumes that the delivery-system reforms in the bill will be fairly effective and reduce annual spending on health care by one percentage point, which is very much in the bounds of possibility. And for various reasons that Cutler explains, higher medical costs reduces employment. You can read his paper here.
4) Repeal is popular in general, extremely unpopular when you get specific. If I were a Republican strategist, I'd be spending a lot of time worrying about this graph:
| January 7, 2011; 5:21 PM ET
Categories: Health of Nations
Save & Share: Previous: Health-care repeal not popular among House Democrats
Next: How much is working in finance worth?
Posted by: vdepillis | January 7, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hamiltonjsh | January 7, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Riggsveda | January 7, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: KarenJG | January 7, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: justin84 | January 7, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: KarenJG | January 7, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eRobin1 | January 7, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bmull | January 7, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ms1024 | January 7, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: staticvars | January 8, 2011 1:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jeremytaylore | January 8, 2011 1:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: carolcampo8 | January 8, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: visionbrkr | January 8, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jnc4p | January 8, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse