Now a Fortune piece offers evidence that a number of large employers are considering doing exactly that. "
"Of course that traditional employer-based architecture is a mess anyway, so there's a sense in which the more people who shift on to the exchanges the better. The problem is figuring out how to pay for it. In an ideal world, Washington would respond to a bigger-than-anticipated shift by slashing the subsidies and deregulating the exchanges, until you ended up with a system where the federal government was effectively paying for universal catastrophic coverage, rather than trying to subsidize comprehensive insurance. (The end result would be something that looked a bit like Wyden-Bennett, and a bit like Judd Gregg's stillborn compromise.)
But in a less-than-ideal world, the Fortune piece notes, the fiscal picture will get very ugly very quickly:
What does it mean for health care reform if the employer-sponsored regime collapses? By Fortune's reckoning, each person who's dropped would cost the government an average of around $2,100 after deducting the extra taxes collected on their additional pay. So if 50% of people covered by company plans get dumped, federal health care costs will rise by $160 billion a year in 2016, in addition to the $93 billion in subsidies already forecast by the CBO.