Survey: 44% Of Employers Planning To Cut Health Benefits Thanks To Obamacare

Last year Forbes reported on a study indicating that as many as 43 million Americans would lose their employer-based health insurance because Obamacare provides incentive to push those workers off onto the insurance exchanges or the expanded Medicaid program.

Today a survey from Duke University finds that as many as 44% of employers are planning on cutting benefits due to Obamacare:

Adding to a devastating CBO report of how Obamacare could damage the economy, a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees due to Obamacare, confirming the fears of millions of American workers.

In its December survey of chief financial officers around the country, Duke also found that nearly half are “reluctant to hire full-time employers because of the Affordable Care Act.”

And 40 percent are considering shifting to part-time workers and others will hire fewer workers of fire some to avoid the costs of the program.

What’s more, they said in the study, “One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.”

Without the law, the CFOs told Duke that they would hire more full-time workers.

The survey adds to the Congressional Budget Office’s study in raising new questions about the economic impact of Obamacare. Both give Republicans ammunition to continue their efforts to repeal the program that has upset how millions of Americans get health insurance. The survey was initially released in December and re-released Wednesday to provide context to the CBO report.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Professor Campbell R. Harvey said that the school’s survey shows that the economic hit the CBO warned of will be worse.

“Our survey shows that the situation is much more serious because employers tell us that they will choose not to hire and may lay people off,” he said. “I doubt the advocates of this legislation anticipated the negative impact on employment. The impact on the real economy is astonishing. Nearly one-third of firms may either terminate employees or hire fewer people in the future as a direct result of ACA.”

There is no question that America needs to move away from the employer-based health insurance model. But moving Americans away from employer health insurance to the health insurance exchanges or Medicaid is problematic for reasons from plan flexibility to cost to the heavy burden this will put on the back of the American taxpayers.

Americans need to be encouraged to buy and control their own health insurance policies, rather than getting them through a third party, but that should happen in a free market. Not a government-controlled market.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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