If the Supreme Court decides to take a metaphorical stake to Obama’s health-care overhaul law and tosses the individual mandate out on the front steps of the court, there could still be life left in that battered and bruised corpse.
Bloomberg Government senior health policy analyst Peter Gosselin took a close look at various alternatives to the individual mandate, should the court rule against it. Gosselin’s study, “A Plan to Replace the Individual Mandate If the High Court Strikes It Down,” finds that a voluntary, auto-enrollment process — similar to that used to enroll employees in corporate 401(k) retirement plans –could be an effective substitute.
Gosselin found that “even if auto-enrollment performs at a lower level of its effectiveness in retirement savings, it could offset much or all of the non-group enrollment loss of six million people expected if the mandate is overturned.”
As important as the sheer numbers of people, the study found that auto-enrollment “could largely restore the mix of young and old, healthy and unhealthy people that the mandate was intended to ensure and that’s needed to make an insurance system work well.”
Depending on how the high court rules, we may need to rename the much fought-over law to Ozombie Care.
Matt Barry is a health analyst for Bloomberg Government focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, public health and prevention issues. Barry has more than 20 years of health policy experience in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, non-profits, private consulting and public affairs firms. This post first appeared at www.bloomberg.com