House Republicans have invested so much effort and time attempting to undermine and repeal the patient protections and budget savings included in the Affordable Care Act, they don’t even recognize GOP-supported goals when face-to-face with them.
Yesterday, the CBO projected that by 2021 the Affordable Care Act will enable more than 2 million workers to escape “job-lock” – the situation where workers remain tied to employers for access to health insurance benefits. Predictably, House Republicans deliberately turned this on its head and started shouting about the ACA “killing jobs.” False.
In addition to being just plain wrong on the facts of the CBO report, the GOP seems to have forgotten that ending “job-lock” has been an avowed Republican goal for years – even a highlight in the Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 Presidential race.
One of the biggest limitations of our current health care system is that leaving a job often means leaving your health care plan…’job lock’ reduces opportunities for American workers because they often pass up new jobs for fear of losing their health care coverage. Under my plan, there will options for coverage that will follow the family from ‘job to job’ or ‘job to home.’
Today, leaving a job or changing jobs means leaving behind the health insurance provided at the place of work. Individuals who wish to take a better job, change careers, or leave the workforce to raise a family or to retire early take substantial risks. They may find themselves going without coverage, purchasing non-group insurance with substantial tax penalties, or giving up a well-developed relationship with a physician or medical specialist. This health insurance obstacle to labor mobility is sometimes called ‘job lock.’
Under the McCain plan, … individuals would no longer feel obligated to stay with their employers simply because they need to keep their employer-based health insurance. If the worker lost a job, changed jobs, or retired early, he or she could buy an insurance policy and offset its cost with the McCain health care tax credit.
We want to address job lock. So, the key question that ought to be addressed in any health care reform legislation, is are we going to continue job lock, or are we going to allow individuals more choice, and portability to fit the 21st century workforce?