Employers like Obamacare just fine, they say
During the launch of the Affordable Care Act, one of the darkest prophecies – a few rungs below that death-panel-for-Grandma thing – was that employers would scrap their health plans and send employees off to buy their own insurance.
That has turned out to be a canard, as are many objections about the health law known as Obamacare.
Here's a powerful stat from the Congressional Budget Office: Roughly 155 million Americans have employer-based coverage – a number that has held firm for five years, and one that will remain stable until 2026, as companies like the federal tax break that comes with providing it.
True, ACA is not embraced as tightly by small businesses. But only 7 percent predict the end of coverage in the next five years, and that's down from 20 percent in 2013.
Of course some aspects need reform. Nearly 12 percent of adults under 65 still need to be enrolled. There are 19 states that refuse to expand Medicaid. There are too many who struggle to meet the cost of co-payments and deductibles.
But the sky has not fallen, as some predicted. Up to 20 million people who had no coverage now have it. Insurers can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing illness. Young adults can stay on their parents' plan until 26. Insurers have more customers. The job market grew.
The ACA, however, still echoes historical shrieks of myopic blather – such as Ronald Reagan denouncing Medicare as "socialism" and an "attack on freedoms."
Those who occupy that end of the spectrum still defend a hands-off government ethic with vigor. Mario Cuomo, the late liberal lion, sarcastically summarized their creed like this: "God helps those whom God has helped, and if He left you out, who are we to presume on His will?"
Government for the people cannot work like that. But government can improve the lives of its citizens, and slowly but surely, Obamacare is succeeding in that mission. Its opponents need to stop yammering and help make it better.