Trumpcare could cause millions to lose health insurance provided by employers
Although many of us take employer-provided healthcare coverage for granted, the CBO report on the American Health Care act, aka “Trumpcare,” predicts that as many as seven million people could lose the health insurance they receive through their or their family members’ jobs. A provision within the proposed GOP healthcare bill removes the Obamacare mandate requiring companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance to its staff. Because of the rising costs of premiums, employers might be tempted to dump the refit altogether.
The CBO posed the scenario that more employees could opt for the health care tax credits, opt out of employer-based insurance, and in turn, employers would stop providing coverage to their staff because the drop in the number of people insured through group benefits hurts the employers’ bargaining power with insurance companies. Both these scenarios remain to be seen, though.
From NBC News:
“There’s a decent amount of uncertainty. I think there are some reasons to suspect that if it didn’t happen before, it would happen now, because of where the tax credits are in the income distribution,” said Matthew Fiedler, fellow in economic studies at the Center for Health Policy at the Brookings Institution.
With tax credits for workers earning up to $215,000, the Republicans’ health care plan would push the incentives for companies not to offer benefits further up the income spectrum, said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
“It could particularly impact high-wage employers because they can send their employees into the nongroup market. There could be a push to do that because the income range on the subsidies is much wider.”
As The New York Times pointed out, under Trumpcare, retail employers don’t have much of an incentive to voluntarily provide insurance to workers because “labor costs are high and margins tend to be small.”
If Trumpcare gets passed as is, you could potentially see droves of full-time employees tossed off their healthcare at the first signs of the next economic downturn when businesses struggle to remain profitable.