What DO the Health Care Reform Delays Mean?

Do you remember our previous post about the approved health care reform delay for employers with more than 50 employees?
Do you remember all the news outlets saying that it’s the beginning of the end of health care reform?

Well, how about this take, from an Insurance Broadcasting article:
” ‘A few million’ more may now be made eligible by the delay, said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation research group.”

This is a good thing, right? Well, the detractors have a different take:
“This administration needs people to enroll in health insurance, and they want them to enroll in health insurance through the exchanges,” said Chris Condeluci, a lawyer at Venable LLP in Washington who helped write the Affordable Care Act while working as a Senate Finance Committee aide… In 2012, 95 percent of companies with at least 50 workers offered health benefits to at least some of their workers, according to Menlo Park, California-based Kaiser, which has been tracking implementation of the health (care reform) law. That leaves a thin margin for exchange enrollment beyond what was already projected…(therefore) The effect of the employer-mandate delay is probably ‘more symbolic than substantive,’ and it’s up to the exchanges to get word out that the programs are available,” said Kevin Counihan, the executive director of Connecticut’s exchange.

Health Care Reform Exchanges’ Anticipated Pool

“About 7 million people are expected to get coverage through their state exchanges in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and the Obama administration has said at least 2.6 million of them would need to be young and healthy to hold down costs for insurers and in turn keep premiums affordable… Any increase in enrollment, particularly by young people such as restaurant workers, will help the exchanges by making their pool of customers less risky to cover. That could lead to lower premiums starting in 2015, said Jay Angoff, a Mehri & Skalet law partner who had been director of insurance oversight at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Obama.”

“About 25 million people are expected to gain coverage from the Affordable Care Act by 2016, which includes the state exchanges, an expansion of Medicaid and reduced employer coverage, the Congressional Budget Office said in a May report. The CBO had projected when the law was signed in 2010 that 32 million uninsured people would be on a health plan within a decade, and a year later raised its estimate to 34 million.”

Even with all of that, political posturing continues, so health care reform is far from settled.

What is your take on this? Is it the beginning of the end? Are you just sitting back and watching the health-care-reform-ball bounce back and forth? Please join the conversation in the comments section below, or on our facebook page.

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And the Health Care Reform Saga Continues!

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