Thursday, February 6, 2014

Health reform will free many from “job lock”

A report this week from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office contains a section that mentions how health-care reform offers many people relief from “job lock.”

That’s a reference to those who stick with a job simply to maintain their employer-based health insurance. Until the Affordable Care Act, they had no other option. Now, many people – perhaps 2 million or more – will be able to take advantage of new subsidies for health insurance and the new marketplaces for individual policies.

Simply put, many people have options for health insurance that no longer depend on a job. They’ll be able to retire earlier, adjust their work life with home life, work fewer hours, start a business or pursue other vocations. It’s their choice.

Those are good things, right? But opponents of the Affordable Care Act have trotted out the usual histrionics, shouting about “job killing” and destruction of the economy, accusations that have no factual basis. Some even call it “willful stupidity.”

The deceptive rhetoric ties in with the detractors' stated desire to return to the good old days of allowing insurance companies to reject health care to individuals because of a previous illness. They’d also create more havoc for consumers by allowing health policies to be sold across state lines, which would weaken protections and hurt in-state firms.

The caution and suggestion here is to dig a little deeper below the headlines. But don’t take just our word on this. Check out what a professor of pediatrics from the Midwest had to say about the newest criticism of the Affordable Care Act.

And see how health reform is already helping and will further assist Washington citizens in our updated report on the uninsured in our state.