NEW STUDY by Rand verifies basic findings from Urban Institute report original July 18 posting as below, THOUGH it does point to a significant loss of federal income due to expected penalties not being collected.
“In July 2013, the Obama administration announced a one-year delay in enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) penalty on large employers that do not offer affordable health insurance coverage. To help policymakers understand the implications of this decision, RAND analysts employed the COMPARE microsimulation model to gauge the impact of the one-year delay of the so-called employer mandate. They found that the delay will not have a large impact on insurance coverage: Because relatively few firms and employees are affected, only 300,000 fewer people, or 0.2% of the population, will have access to insurance from their employer, and nearly all of these will get insurance from another source. However, a one-year delay in implementation of the mandate will result in $11 billion dollars less in federal inflows from employer penalties for that year. A full repeal of the employer mandate would cause revenue to fall by $149 billion over the next ten years (10% of the ACA’s spending offsets), providing substantially less money to pay for other components of the law. The bottom line: The one-year delay in the employer mandate will have relatively few consequences, primarily resulting in a relatively small one-year drop in revenue; however, a complete elimination of the mandate would have a large cumulative net cost, potentially removing a nontrivial revenue source that in turn funds the coverage provisions in the ACA.”
A report issued by the Urban Institute states that “The one-year delay in ObamaCare’s employer mandate won’t have much effect on the law’s costs nor the number of people it covers.” The report summarizes though that a change in the individual mandate will have a significant impact. Having a parallel delay in the implementation of the individual mandate is something currently being considered by Congressional Republications, though like their attempts at full repeal of the law, it is not destined for any traction.
The analysis in the report predicts a decline from 19% to only 15% without the individual mandate, down to 10% with the individual mandate. Without the employer mandate this model predicts the number of uninsured to go to 10.2% uninsured rather than 10.1% with the mandate. That is, the difference with or without the employer mandate is pretty insignificant in terms of impacting the numbers of newly insured.