RJ Lehmann

This further put the lie to the notion that Obamacare would “save money.” Of course, it was obvious all along that it would not. Indeed, more than half of the program’s proposed savings evaporated the moment the administration chose not to implement the proposed new federal long-term care insurance program the law would have created, which had the benefit of an attractive 10-year budget score by virtue of the fact that it would have collected premiums for five years before it would start paying out any claims. All of this offers Republicans just enormous fields of political hay to make of the fact that the law will be a net cost, not a net savings.

But all in all, given that Obamacare is the law of the land and isn’t going away, it would be on balance a good thing if the employer mandate is NEVER implemented. The link between employment and health insurance is a ridiculous unintentional artifact of World War II-era labor policy, and it’s incredibly counter-productive. It locks people into jobs they would otherwise leave, and presents enormous incentives to work for ossified large firms or for the government, rather than for small emerging businesses or to just start a business yourself. Cutting the cord between employment and health insurance is a first step toward a more dynamic and productive economy. The employer mandate would preserve that link, which is why the employer mandate should be left to the dustbin.



RJ Lehmann

R.J. Lehmann is senior fellow, public affairs director and co-founder of R Street. He is an award-winning business journalist with nine years experience covering the insurance, banking and securities industries, and is author of R Street’s “2012 Insurance Regulation Report Card.”