Friday, May 28, 2010


HHS Sebelius is leading the cheer for employers to expand coverage before the law requires them to do so. But there is a problem. Employers aren't listening.

According to the NY Times, Sebelius wants employers to change their plans to include children under age 26 in advance of the September mandate.

And she wants them to absorb most, if not all the cost.

But James P. Gelfand, director of health policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce, said: “I would not expect businesses to jump at the chance to change their health plans sooner than required. It’s more important for businesses to comply with the law and control costs than to score points with officials in Washington, D.C.”

For some reason the folks in DC seem to think all they need to do is proclaim it and their loyal subjects are willing to bow down and comply.

Either they forget, or have no clue, that when something is going to increase the cost of doing business owners and managers can't just snap their fingers and poof it happens. Unlike Washington, businesses can't spend money they don't have.

Mr. Gelfand said that healthy young people “can often get insurance very cheaply on their own.” He expressed concern that young adults who sign up for “mom and dad’s employer-sponsored plan” were likely to be sicker than average, and therefore more costly to cover.


But does Washington get it?

Ms. Sebelius said she met Thursday with a handful of insurance executives and urged them to hold down premiums and work with the Obama administration to carry out the law with a minimum of disruption to existing insurance markets.

At the meeting, Ms. Sebelius said, insurers warned that “rates are now at a crisis point,” and that “more and more people are dropping coverage because of the increase in prices.”

“The worst of all worlds is to have more Americans driven out of the market in the next couple of years,” before major provisions of the new law take effect in 2014, Ms. Sebelius said.

Obviously not.
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