A new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office states that by 2016, Obamacare will result in 4 million people fewer people getting health insurance coverage from their employers.
The estimate is a vast increase from the CBO prediction just a year ago that 1 million would no longer obtain coverage from their employers. And it raises substantial questions about the veracity of one of Obama’s key pledges in selling the health care law – that everyone who wants to keep their current health insurance plan and doctor could do it.
It’s not clear how many of the 4 million would be forced out as a result of employers dropping coverage. But it can be assumed that many will indeed lose their insurance and have to seek it elsewhere, since few people would seem likely to intentionally abandon coverage provided by an employer.
And many employers have already indicated that they would rather drop coverage and incur fees from the government than continue to provide it.
According to a survey published last summer by the Towers Watson consulting firm, almost one in ten medium to large size employers said they are likely or very likely to end health benefits for their workers.
During the debate over the health care law, Obama repeatedly and emphatically asserted everyone would be able to keep their current insurance if they wanted, even suggesting those who said otherwise were not telling the truth. Here’s an example.
The CBO also projects that 2 million fewer uninsured will gain insurance under the law than previously thought, with the total uninsured population declining by 30 million instead of 32 million.
While the law increases the number of people with health insurance, it does not provide for universal insurance. Instead, the number of non-elderly legal residents with insurance will rise from 82 percent in 2012 to 93 percent in 2022.