Human Resources News & Insights

Controversial health reform study details released

The Obama administration did not like the picture McKinsey & Co.’s latest health reform study painted of life after the new law. But McKinsey is not backing down from its findings.

The controversial study found that 30% of all employers will “definitely” or “probably” stop offering their workers health insurance once the bulk of the healthcare reform law’s mandates take effect in 2014.

That figure jumps to 50% among employers with a “high awareness” of the reform law’s requirements, the study found.

Those findings did not sit well with the White House and other Democrats who pressured McKinsey to release its methodology.

Recently, McKinsey obliged by releasing the details of the survey on its site, along with a statement, saying: “We stand by the integrity and methodology of the survey.”

‘Outlier’

The study results differ drastically from others that have predicted far fewer employers will drop their health insurance coverage once the brunt of the reform law takes effect.

McKinsey claims its study was meant to capture employers’ current attitudes surrounding the law — and that’s what sets it apart from other studies that have been conducted.

“Our survey results are not comparable to the healthcare research and analysis conducted by others such as the Congressional Budget Office, RAND and the Urban Institute. Each of those studies employed economic modeling, not opinion surveys, and focused on the impact of healthcare reform on individuals, not employer attitudes,” reads McKinsey’s statement.

McKinsey went on to say that comparing its study to the Congressional Budget Office’s would be like comparing apples to oranges.

Informed and educated

Another reason McKinsey said the studies differ: The McKinsey study educated participants about the full effects of the reform law.

Example: Question No. 41 asks “Starting in 2014, there will be state-run exchanges for individuals to more readily purchase medical insurance on their own.”

It then goes on to explain how the exchanges will work, before asking: “Given this information, how likely do you think your company would be to discontinue employee health coverage?”

In its statement, McKinsey goes on to admit, “We understand how the language in the article could lead the reader to think the research was a prediction, but it is not.”

It concludes, “The survey only captured current attitudes.”

Info: To view the study’s full questionnaire and results, click here.

What do you think of this study? Share your opinions in the Reply box below.

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Comments

  1. HR Kansas says:

    The most telling part of this:

    “That figure jumps to 50% among employers with a “high awareness” of the reform law’s requirements, the study found.”

    Expect that 30% number to climb as more businesses learn the reform law’s requirements as 2014 draws near. At a recent seminar on the law the presenter admitted that he didn’t think anyone but the extremely affluent (think stock brokers, doctors, and lawyers) government and union employees would have “employer” plans after 2014.

  2. WellInever says:

    I’m not sure anyone fully understands what this law says, how it will be implemented or what the long-term implications are. The Dems speculate on it’s positive outcomes. The Repubs just want it repealed because Obama put it in place. I’m sure there is a study somewhere that will support any view on this subject.

  3. Of course, the Obama Administration does not want to hear anything negative about a law that was hastily passed without most of the congress members actually reading it and against the wishes of the majority of their constituents.

  4. Based on the knowledge that a great percentage of this country’s leadership has never drawn a private corporate paycheck in their career; we cannot possibly anticipate them understanding the needs of small business and the impact to operations that healthcare reform will deliver. The constant extension of unemployment and its cost to small business is added
    evidence Washington D.C. has no clue, and has no interest in supporting small business.
    We can only work diligently to keep our businesses updated and aware of the constant
    changes that continue to come out of a dysfunctional governing body. This article is not
    suprising in the least.

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