Scandlen is an accomplished writer, researcher, and public speaker. He is considered one of the nation’s experts on health care financing, insurance regulation, and employee benefits. He testifies frequently before Congress and appears on such television shows as the O’Reilly Factor, NBC Nightly News, ABC News, and CNN. Scandlen gives three dozen speeches a year to organizations representing employers and labor, hospitals and physicians, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies.
He has published many papers on topics such as health care costs, insurance reform, employee benefits, individual insurance programs, HSAs and HRAs, and every aspect of consumer-driven health care.
Scandlen has worked for several Washington-based think tanks, including the Cato Institute, National Center for Policy Analysis, and Galen Institute. He was president of the Health Benefits Group, a benefits consulting firm, and founder and executive director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, a trade association of insurance companies.. He also spent 12 years in the Blue Cross Blue Shield system, most recently as director of state research at the national association.
To their credit, they were very civil about it, and it turns out that he was making a much simpler point than I gave him credit for. I thought he was saying that so many large employers already provide coverage that 95% of them wouldn’t be affected. His office informs me that he was talking about all the employers with fewer than 50 workers who were never mandated in the first place, which make up roughly 95% of all employers in the country, give or take.
Okay. But I’m not sure how that helps him rebut the argument that individual consumers are being treated worse than employers. All individual Americans are mandated to carry insurance at all times. Some in Congress would like to delay that requirement for a year, just as President Obama delayed the employer mandate for a year.
The only reason Van Hollen can argue Obama’s delay applies only to 5% of employers is because the other 95% of employers were already exempted from the mandate.
Now, personally I don’t think any employers should be mandated to provide insurance – but I don’t think any workers should be mandated to buy it, either. But I will concede that Mr. Van Hollen was correct when he said that only 5% of employers are newly exempt. The other 95% have been exempt all along.