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Health Care

Fulbright & Jaworski: "GAO Issues Report Estimating PPACA Effect on Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage"

Mark Faccenda

On August 13, 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office ("GAO") issued a report in which it determined that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's ("PPACA") immediate effect on employer-sponsored healthcare coverage would be minimal. Report GAO-12-768, entitled Estimates of the Effect on the Prevalence of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage, estimated a two-year change " rang[ing] from a net decrease of 2.5 percent to a net increase of 2.7 percent in the total number of individuals with employer-sponsored coverage . . . affecting up to about 4 million individuals." GAO recognized that predictions were less concrete beyond the first two years of PPACA employer coverage implementation, but its analysis estimated that "from about 2 million to 6 million fewer individuals would have employer-sponsored coverage in the absence of the individual mandate compared to with the mandate" over the long term.

Four surveys analyzed by GAO reported that "smaller employers were more likely than other employers to stop offering health coverage in response to PPACA." Further, nine surveys analyzed "indicated that employers are considering key changes to benefit design, some of which may result in greater employee cost for health coverage."

More information may be found here and here.

Read a full copy of GAO's report