People like employer-based health insurance coverage because it’s the exact opposite of the kind of market Trumpcare creates. There’s no medical underwriting. Healthy people and sick people pay the same amount for their coverage. Paul Ryan is promising that they won’t be exposed to the every-man-for-himself principles that guide Republican policy on the individual market. Ryan is lying.
As Stephanie Armour and Michelle Hackman reported in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the GOP health-care plan would actually jeopardize existing coverage for people who get insurance through their employer, not just the ones who get it from Medicaid and the individual market. The Republican plan would give states a waiver from Obamacare’s insurance regulations, which require that plans cover essential benefits and prevent them from putting lifetime caps on a person’s costs. And employers who shop for insurance can select a plan from any state.
That means every employer buying insurance could purchase plans that subject their employees to the kinds of price discrimination that Republicans want to impose on the individual market. People with preexisting conditions, or family members who have one, could suddenly find the workplace insurance they thought was totally safe now exposed them to massive new costs and the risk of medical bankruptcy.