KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Controversy Surrounding McKinsey Insurance Survey Continues

Though the consulting firm released its methodology, its findings continue to draw debate and criticism. Meanwhile, Avalere released a study of its own, which seems to contradict the McKinsey report.

The New York Times: Health Law In A Swirl Of Forecasts
The debate over the effects of the federal health care law on employer-provided insurance has been intensifying in recent weeks, with controversial polls and consultants contradicting one another about whether employees will benefit or lose coverage by 2014 (Freudenheim, 6/20).

NPR: McKinsey Stands By Contested Health Insurance Survey
Under fire from Democrats in Congress, consulting firm McKinsey & Co. today released its methodology for a controversial survey that found as many as 30 percent of employers might drop health insurance after the new health law takes effect in 2014. But the hot water McKinsey's in doesn't seem to be cooling off (Rovner, 6/20).

Los Angeles Times: McKinsey Releases Insurance-Survey Data; More Controversy Ensues
Perhaps you recall that McKinsey report a few weeks back saying that nearly a third of employers might drop health care benefits when the health care overhaul takes effect. The report itself was the subject of many headlines. Then came the reaction from the White House and other supporters of the overhaul. That garnered more headlines – and a demand for McKinsey to explain its methodology. Now it's McKinsey's turn again (Cevallos, 6/20).

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog: The Methodology Behind The McKinsey Health-Law Survey
Put on your green eye shades, because we're about to dive into one of the hotter recent issues in health care: the McKinsey report on implications of the health care overhaul law (Hobson, 6/20).

Modern Healthcare: Research Company Soft Pedals Prediction Of Less Employer Coverage
The company that authored a study which suggested up to 30 percent of employers would drop insurance for their workers because of the federal health care overhaul released some details demanded by Democrats and hedged on the predictive value of the research. "The survey was not intended as a predictive economic analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act," said a statement on the website of McKinsey & Co. about a survey of 1,329 private sector employers on views about the 2010 health care law. "Rather, it captured the attitudes of employers and provided an understanding of the factors that could influence decision making related to employee health benefits" (Daly, 6/20).

Reuters: McKinsey Stands By Employer Health Insurance Survey
Consultant McKinsey & Co on Monday defended the methodology behind its survey gauging employers' views on providing health insurance to workers, a report that drew criticism from U.S. health reform supporters. The survey found 30 percent of respondents whose companies offered health insurance said they would "definitely" or "probably" drop coverage in the years following 2014, when the Affordable Care Act takes effect. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat, last week sent a letter to McKinsey calling on the company to release the methodology behind the survey, published earlier this month (Kelly, 6/21).

MarketWatch: McKinsey Defends Controversial Survey
McKinsey & Co.'s survey, released earlier this month, found that 30 percent of all employers likely would stop offering health coverage once provisions of the landmark health legislation begin to take effect. Three out of 10 employers would "definitely" or "probably" stop offering coverage, the survey found, with 9 percent saying "definitely" and 21 percent saying "probably." "We stand by the integrity and methodology of the survey," McKinsey said in a statement Monday (Britt, 6/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Avalere: Employer-Sponsored Insurance Market 'Fairly Stable' After 2014
A new study of the health care law's impact on employer-sponsored insurance predicts that the market will be "fairly stable," mostly because large employers will tend to continue offering coverage. However, during the 10 to 20 years after the law goes into effect, "longer term erosion" is possible, says the study by Avalere Health. That might happen if the new health exchanges appear superior to employer provided coverage because they offer more choices, for example. Avalere's look into the future contrasts with an analysis released June 8 by McKinsey & Co. that caused a stir by concluding that 30 percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering employer-sponsored health insurance after 2014. Democrats have criticized that study and are pushing for its methodology to be publicly released (Norman, 6/20). 

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