White House rebuffs report that employers will drop health plans

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White House officials are rejecting a McKinsey & Co. report that found some employers will likely stop offering health insurance to their employees after the health reform law is in effect.

McKinsey found that, based on a survey of 1,300 employers, 30 percent said they would "definitely or probably" stop offering health coverage after 2014, reports the Wall Street Journal. The findings prompted McKinsey to claim that the shift away from employer-provided health insurance "will be vastly greater than expected."

"Unfortunately, the study misses some key points and doesn't provide the complete picture about how the Affordable Care Act will strengthen the healthcare system and make it easier for employers to offer high quality coverage to their employees," Nancy-Ann DeParle, deputy chief of staff, wrote in a blog on the White House website. "This one discordant study should be taken with a grain of salt."

White House press secretary Jay Carney echoed that sentiment, claiming that the McKinsey report is "starkly at odds" with other reports from the Congressional Budget Office, the RAND Corporation, and the Urban Institute, according to The Hill's Healthwatch. The McKinsey report is also at odds with history, Carney said, adding that "history has shown that reforms motivate more businesses to offer insurance."

Carney noted that the health reform law uses a similar structure to healthcare reform enacted in Massachusetts and that the number of individuals with employer-sponsored insurance in Massachusetts has increased, notes Healthwatch. "We are confident the Affordable Care Act will strengthen our existing system, employer-based system going forward. So we simply just disagree with those conclusions."

To learn more:
- read the McKinsey & Co. report
- read the White House blog
- view the Wall Street Journal article
- check out The Hill's Healthwatch story

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