The Urban Institute report has finally caught the attention of the liberal media, and a variety of Obama-friendly outlets have produced editorials either advocating the repeal of the employer mandate or at least speculating on the feasibility of doing so. In this they are actually well behind a progressive writer about whom many conservatives, including your truly, have been less than kind. Ezra Klein, of all people, came out forcefully against the employer mandate last year. He wrote an uncharacteristically honest blog post titled, “Obamacare’s employer mandate shouldn’t be delayed. It should be repealed,” in which he pointed out that “the mandate gives employers a reason to have fewer full-time workers, and fewer low-income workers.”
If the thing is so bad that a dyed-in-the-wool Obamacare cheerleader like Ezra Klein denounces it, one can be sure that it needs to go overboard. So, what happens if the employer mandate is indeed repealed? According to the Urban Institute study, the negative impact would be minimal: “The number with employer coverage falls by 500,000, a relative decrease of 0.3 percent.” And a portion of that number would offset by other types of coverage. Many would get coverage via non-group policies and a much smaller number would end up on Medicaid. “The number of uninsured increases by about 200,000 people, a relative increase of 0.6 percent.” In other words, getting rid of the mandate would have almost no effect on patients.