Democrats Fear Obamacare Just Like Everybody Else

August 22, 2014 by Ben Bullard


There’s some party-line disparity to be found in the results of a new breakdown of U.S. employees’ perceptions of how Obamacare will affect their jobs, but not much. Even Democrats with jobs appear nonplussed by the prospect of their bosses abandoning their group health coverage plans in favor of online Obamacare exchanges — as well as the poorer-quality coverage that would accompany it.
A May report by S&P Capital IQ predicted that Obamacare — contrary to its stated purpose of making healthcare affordable for individuals — would actually save companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index a ton of money (nearly a trillion dollars’ worth).
How? By driving the cost of employer-sponsored group plans so high that the companies would ultimately just scrap their in-house coverage and pay the (eventually) mandatory penalty. The employees, meanwhile, would fend for themselves on the Obamacare exchanges.
This week, a new round of analyses revealed that employees through the U.S. are beginning to realize what that means for them — and that, in most cases, it isn’t good.
The Hill reported it this way, but the writer buried the lede:
Most workers are worried their employers will shift them over to health plans under the ObamaCare exchanges leading to worse coverage, but the concern is highest with Republicans.
A new analysis by Morning Consult found that 72 percent of Republicans are concerned they will be pushed to a health plan under the new exchanges versus 60 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents who feel the same.
The news there isn’t that more Republicans are fretting about this — of course they are, because they’ve been ideologically opposed to Obamacare from the start. What’s amazing is that working Democrats, who’ve ideologically favored Obamacare throughout its gestation, are now facing the law’s reality. It’s the reality they have a problem with.
In addition to the findings quoted above, the report indicates only 27 percent of Democrats believe dumping employees onto Obamacare exchanges would “have a positive effect on their current healthcare coverage.” And 42 percent of Democrats (compared with 62 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents) also said they’d consider looking for another job if their employer attempted such a move.
And, of course, all of this is still up in the air, thanks to dueling rulings in two similar court cases last month. Those conflicting decisions have left unresolved the matter of whether the government can force eligible (read: medium and large-scale) employers in the 36 states without state-run Obamacare exchanges to pay a penalty for not offering insurance to their employees.

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