A one-year delay of the health care reform law's employer mandate will have little effect on overall health insurance coverage, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.
The Obama administration announced July 2 that it would delay by one year implementation of penalties for large employers that do not offer coverage to their full-time workers. The Affordable Care Act had called for those penalties to go into effect for employers with 50 or more workers in 2014.
Some members of Congress have said the mandate is a key component of the law and the delay was evidence that the law was unworkable. They also said the individual mandate -- the requirement that individuals have health insurance -- should also be delayed out of fairness.
But the Urban Institute analysis found that the employer mandate has far less impact on the rate of uninsured Americans than the individual mandate. Under full implementation of the law, the rate of uninsured Americans drops to 10.1 percent from 19.2 percent. Without the employer mandate, the projected uninsured rate will drop to 10.2 percent, the report said. Without the individual mandate, the uninsured rate will drop only to 15.1 percent.
"The only noticeable difference when the employer mandate is dropped is that the federal government loses the $3.7 billion in revenue that it would otherwise receive from employer penalties," the report said.