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.