Misinformation About Massachusetts Reform from the Left

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Jonathan Cohn, Senior Editor of The New Republic tries to undercut the controversial McKinsey study on employer sponsored health insurance (esi) under Obamacare at Kaiser Health News.

I wanted to take a moment to highlight one talking point that I have seen repeatedly in the media from the left to defend the federal law and bash the McKinsey study.

…studies have consistently shown a very different result: that the majority of employers will continue to offer health insurance, even after health care reform…

While these predictions could be wrong, obviously, their findings are consistent with what happened in Massachusetts, where a similar coverage scheme actually bolstered employer-sponsored insurance. (I added the link to DHCFP data here in MA)

The problem with this reasoning is that Kaiser Family Foundation has shown that the offer rate increase is a national trend.

esi for nation

Pointing to Massachusetts, and implying the state law caused an increase in the offer rate of esi is simply not the whole story.

In addition, there are underlying issues with the method that CBO and others have used to model employer behavior under the federal law because they are based partially on the Massachusetts experience. This flawed methodology will lead to bad estimates, which could cost taxpayers dearly. I plan on writing more on this topic in the near future.