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HHS Official: If Obamacare Exchanges Work Well, Employers Will ‘Dump’ Employees into Them

1:03 PM, Mar 30, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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As the Hill reports, Joel Ario, director of Obamacare’s newly created Office of Health Insurance Exchanges, says, “If it plays out [that] the Exchanges work pretty well, then the employer can say ‘This is a great thing. I can now dump my people into the Exchange and it would be good for them, good for me.’” This doesn’t quite have the same ring as, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” — but it does have the benefit of being much closer to the truth. Since the employer would be the one making the decision, however, it’s not at all clear that this would be good for the employee, the one being “dumped.” 

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It certainly wouldn’t be good for the taxpayer, who would have to subsidize the insurance provided through the government-run exchanges if Obamacare isn’t repealed. If employers start dumping employees into the exchanges en masse, it would make Obamacare cost much more even than the $2 trillion-plus that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects for its real first decade (2014 to 2023). Ario’s words are a reminder that, whatever Obamacare would really end up costing, the CBO projection is pretty much the floor — certainly not the ceiling. His words are also a reminder that, if you like your health care, you should support the repeal of Obamacare.

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