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The Employer Mandate Is Having No Effect on the Percent with Health Insurance at Work

You must have heard the scary scenarios. I have repeated some of them myself. Obamacare threatens to impose a burden on the workplace that is the equivalent of a $6.00 an hour health minimum wage. Employers will lay off workers. Employees will lose their jobs. Failure to provide health insurance will result in a $2,000 or $3,000 fine for every employee affected. The survival of entire industries—fast food restaurants and hotels in particular – will hang in the balance.

So what’s really happening? Not much. The employers and their consultants were smarter than the Obamacare bill writers on Capitol Hill and all the commentators combined. They figured out a way to comply with the law and hold down costs at the same time.

How did they do that? As Andrew Puzder (CEO of CKE restaurants) and I explained in separate Wall Street Journal editorials, employers are making employees offers that they cannot afford to accept.

Take the Golden Corral restaurants in Jacksonville, North Carolina. When owner Billy Sewell sat down to calculate the costs of adding new employees to the company health plan in accordance with the Obamacare mandate, he figured the cost would be in excess of $1 million a year. In fact, only two new employees joined the plan.

John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”

New from John C. Goodman!
A BETTER CHOICE: Healthcare Solutions for America
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to “repeal and replace” it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?

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