The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves. But those predictions were largely wrong. Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance.
Last year, on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, I put together a top-10 list of failed predictions from "Obamacare" critics about the reform law. As it turns out, however, there are new additions that we can add to an even longer list. The New York Times reported today:
In fairness, it was generally difficult to take this prediction seriously before, and I imagine most health care wonks are less than shocked by the evidence. Still, Larry Levitt, a senior executive at Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Times that the employer-coverage market is proving to be even more stable "than anyone anticipated."
Michael Thompson, the chief executive of the National Business Coalition on Health, which represents employers and other buyers of insurance, added, "The demise of employer-based coverage was definitely overstated."
Wait, you mean claims from anti-health care partisans, offered as part of a ridiculous political crusade, have turned out to be wild exaggerations? Imagine that.
In the meantime, Daily Kos' Joan McCarter noted that healthcare employment continues to be robust as the ACA takes root, with medical offices and facilities adding "36,800 jobs in March, representing roughly 1 out of 6 jobs that were created in the entire U.S. economy last month."
I continue to think this chart, inspired by Forbes' Dan Diamond, is very difficult for conservatives to explain away.