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article imageCBO: 10 Million Could Lose Employer Coverage Under DemCare Bill

By Johnny Simpson     Dec 9, 2009 in Politics
According to the Congressional Budget Office, up to 10 million Americans could lose their employer health coverage under the bill now in the Senate. The greatest losses would be among low-wage workers in small businesses which would opt to pay the fines.
"If you like what you have, you can't keep it."
That was the response from the Senate Republican Office, in the wake of the news that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated up to 10 million Americans could lose their health coverage through employer opt-outs under the DemCare bill now being debated in the Senate. In its report, the CBO stated that the net loss would add up to about five million, with the caveat that the projected losses would be offset by the expectation that the new mandates would compel other employers to cover millions more workers who are not currently covered.
Though lower wage earners who might lose their health coverage under DemCare would qualify for the government subsidies as proposed in the bill, higher earners would not. As as example. the FOX News report stated that a family of four making $88K a year that lost their insurance coverage through an employer opt-out, but would still be required by law to acquire health insurance coverage or face penalties should the bill pass, would be forced into the private health market. Private premiums can be much more expensive than those under an employer group plan.
Such an outcome would be in direct violation of President Obama''s promise that those who like their current health insurance could keep it, hence the play on words by the Senate Republican office. Though passed by the House, the bill's future remains in serious doubt over loopholes that would allow coverage for illegal aliens, funding for abortions and the public option. Many liberal Democrats have sworn they will filibuster the bill if some form of public option isn't included in the final version. More moderate and conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, as well as Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, have sworn to filibuster the bill should the public option be present in the final version.
A similar row is brewing over the abortion issue. An amendment by Sen. Ben Nelson, which contained restrictive language on abortion funding similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House version, was recently defeated in the Senate 54-45. Adding to the fray is the fact that recent public opinion polls show strong public opposition to the DemCare bill. The most recent Quinnipac poll shows public opposition running at 52% against to 38% for. The most recent Rasmussen poll is at 51% against to 41% for. Given the plummeting public support. many members of Congress may reconsider their positions on DemCare with an eye on the next year's elections. The CBO's projected massive losses of employer coverage may further complicate support for the bill in Congress.
More about Congressional budget office, Health care, Obama, Pelosi, Reid
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