One talking point about Obamacare that has received little pushback is that whatever you can say about what the law will do to premium costs, or taking away a plan and a doctor you like, it’s going to put you on a better – meaning more comprehensive – insurance plan at the end of the day.
Jonathan Cohn probably uses this line more than anyone. And for many people, he could be right. I usually point out in debate that this mandates a lot more coverage for young and healthy people than they actually require, forcing them to subsidize the older and sicker by purchasing more coverage than they need. But there’s another argument to be made: that because of the law’s broken structure, it’s actually going to lead to less coverage, and worse plans, for those who are currently covered.
Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage. Benefits advisers and insurance brokers–bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits–are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country.