More news about that horrible, no-good health care reform plan, via the Los Angeles Times:
An economist and two health policy researchers at the nonprofit Rand Corp. conducted a simulation to predict what is likely to happen once employers are able to offer coverage through these exchanges. Overall, they estimate that the proportion of U.S. workers who will have access to health insurance through their jobs will jump from 84.6% to 94.6%. That works out to 13.6 million additional workers having the option to buy affordable health plans.
Most of that bump is likely to come from smaller businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Today, only 60.4% of these employees can get health insurance through their jobs. Once the exchanges are functioning, the Rand researchers forecast that 85.9% of small business employees will have the option of buying health plans at work--an increase of 10.5 million workers.
Part of the reason for that growth is that the policies that will be offered through the exchanges will be less expensive, the researchers said. Small companies will be able to band together to pool their risk, which will give them more leverage to bargain with insurance companies. It also means their premiums should be more stable from year to year.
It's just a projection, I realize, but it's consistent with others and seems pretty plausible to me. Small businesses struggle to get affordable, reliable insurance for many of the same reasons that individuals buying on their own do. If you set up an exchange system and make subsidies available, they're going to be better off.
The Times story juxtaposes the study with poll numbers, as if to ask why more Americans don't like health care reform. But a better question may be why more small businesses--and more groups that claim to speak for them--don't like health care reform.