If you crunch the numbers, President Obama’s health care plan is a great incentive for employers to stop providing coverage and put their workers in the hands of government-subsidized plans, meaning “much greater cost” for the US, writes Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen in the Wall Street Journal. Not only would such a move save employers money, it’s also “responsible,” because the subsidies allow workers to buy “excellent, fairly priced insurance.”
The authors of the health reform bill, it seems, focused on the uninsured and those paying for expensive policies—but “may have grossly underestimated” the impact of those with group insurance from their employers. We may soon see an exodus of these workers from employer-backed plans to federally-subsidized ones. Bredesen's Tennessee, for example, could cut annual costs by $146 million "using the legislated mechanics of health reform to transfer them to the federal government," he writes. "Perhaps this is a miscalculation by the Congress, perhaps not”; there may be a “larger game” afoot.