NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 7, 2009

Some 88.1 million Americans would lose their private, employer-based health insurance coverage, according to a new study examining the impact of the July 15 federal health care proposal.

The Heritage Foundation commissioned the private health care policy firm the Lewin Group to conduct the study analyzing the impact of the legislation nationally on Americans with private health insurance and employer-based coverage.  The study also examined the bill's impact on privately insured individuals in six states, including Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Among the key findings:

  • As many as 88.1 million Americans could be transitioned out of their current plan as employers opt out of continuing their existing coverage; these Americans would lose the employer coverage they now have.
  • Nationwide, 103.9 million Americans would transition to the new government-run public plan.
  • Yearly premiums for Americans with private coverage could jump as much as $460 per person as a result of more cost-shifting, which would stem from the public plan.
  • Hospitals also stand to lose big under the new plan; hospitals in Pennsylvania, for example, stand to see their net annual income fall by about $2.7 billion, with total hospital margins dropping to -1.6 percent.

In the state by state comparisons:

  • Some 72 percent of privately insured Maine residents would transition out of private insurance and 78 percent with employer-based coverage would lose their current insurance.
  • By comparison, 52 percent in Montana would transition out of private insurance; 65 percent in Nebraska; 45 percent in New Mexico; 51 percent in Pennsylvania and 55 percent of privately insured Virginia residents.
  • The federal plan still would not resolve the number of uninsured in America; according to Lewin's analysis, 32 percent in Maine and Montana would still lack coverage under the new plan; 31 percent in Nebraska; nearly half (49 percent) in New Mexico and Pennsylvania would be uninsured; and 29 percent in Virginia.

Source: Editorial, "Study: 88 million would lose private, employer-based coverage under federal plan," Olympia Business Watch, August 5, 2008.

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