Health survey not so shadowy and nefarious after all

Remember that McKinsey & Co. survey that showed employers planned to drop their health coverage for tens of millions of their workers once Obamacare kicked in, potentially making the health law’s costs skyrocket? And then remember the outrage from Obamacare fans who claimed the survey must have been conducted along some pretty nefarious lines in order to reach such outrageous (to them) conclusions — and said McKinsey’s failure to release its methodology and full results were tantamount to proof of such nefariousness?

Well, so much for the outrage part. From Avik Roy on his Forbes health-policy blog:

McKinsey decided to release the details: the full questionnaire used in their survey, along with a 206-page report detailing the survey’s complete results. Accompanying these details was a thoughtful discussion of the survey’s methodology, one that pops the balloon of those who tried to tar McKinsey as some sort of careless, partisan outfit. Despite reporting which implied that McKinsey wanted to distance itself from its own work, the company declared, “We stand by the integrity and methodology of the survey.”

Roy runs down the real evidence on all the talking points the left mustered against the study. As it turns out, McKinsey (as opposed to some shadowy, anti-Democrat force) paid for the study; it was conducted by Ipsos, a widely known pollster based in Paris; the respondents represented a broad range of companies, for which they make or help make health-benefits decisions; the information the survey company provided respondents about the health exchanges was not slanted against Obamacare.

And, as he explains, the results may be even worse than originally advertised for Obamacare proponents:

We knew that 30 percent (29.7%, to be exact) of respondents would “definitely or probably” drop employer-sponsored insurance. But the raw data shows that another 41.6% of respondents were undecided on the subject. Only 28.7% of respondents “definitely or probably would not” drop worker health coverage. (italics original)

So, to review: We have a survey that comes to different conclusions than economic forecasting models and therefore is attacked by liberal commentators — who, amusingly enough, in order to criticize McKinsey for its alleged lack of transparency, relied on anonymous sources at the company and elsewhere. And when all the details come out, the speculation turns out to have been much recrimination about nothing.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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47 comments Add your comment

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 21st, 2011
6:03 am

G*d help us if this POS isn’t repealed.


June 21st, 2011
6:18 am

@Lil’ Barry, are you talking about the healthcare bill or our president? Well, either one would be nice.


June 21st, 2011
6:27 am

How about an “in depth” , factual article on why the obuma administration has granted what I will call “amnesty” to over 1300 companies from having to participate in the “messiahs” health care plan?

Ayn Rand

June 21st, 2011
6:33 am

Kyle, what’s the big deal here? Is it that “liberals” are complaining about survey results that differ from estimates of 2 years ago? Which liberals are complaining, and who is silly enough to expect no deviations over time from estimates? Are you delighted that more Americans may lose their employer-sponsored health care coverage?

Is employer-sponsored health care appropriate for 21st century America with high unemployment, workers switching jobs frequently, many people working on a contract or pick-up basis, and many self-employed people? Where’s the sensible connection between employment and health care?

Why do you persist in calling the Affordable Health Care Act “Obamacare”? It’s not the health care bill President Obama wanted; it’s just the best that a dysfunctional Congress could come up with in the face of Republican obstructionism and Democrat cowardice. The Act concerns the way Americans pay for health care, not the care provided. The “health care” in the Act is provided by the same private practitioners that provide our health care services now. There is no Obamacare or government health care, and none was ever proposed.

Interested Third Party

June 21st, 2011
6:51 am

What you left out was that McKinsey admitted that the study was not predictive, meaning it has no idea how many companies will drop health coverage. It seems as if this was a big ploy to get some free advertising for McKinsey … and it’s working.


June 21st, 2011
6:56 am

It’s (Obamacare) not the health care bill President Obama wanted….

That’s correct, he wanted the whole socialist banana – single payer.

Obama and all his supporters who want to change America to European style socialism should just move to Europe. They would find doing so less challenging, plus we would help them pack.


June 21st, 2011
6:57 am

When asked how much their companies spend on medical and prescription drug benefits per full-time employee – something you might expect a health benefit pro to be intimately familiar with – 58.3% said they didn’t know.

Ouch. So much for polling the pros.


June 21st, 2011
7:01 am

The survey was not intended as a predictive economic analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Rather, it captured the attitudes of employers and provided an understanding of the factors that could influence decision making related to employee health benefits…We understand how the language in the article could lead the reader to think the research was a prediction, but it is not.

Sounds like another John Kyl moment.


June 21st, 2011
7:07 am

Kyle has to stitch together his narrative to protect his worldview from those mean old liberals.
Two quotes from McKinsey:
“The survey was not intended as a predictive economic analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.”

“Comparing the McKinsey survey to economic estimates, such as the CBO’s, is comparing apples to oranges.”


June 21st, 2011
7:11 am

Johnny lap dog: “That’s correct, he wanted the whole socialist banana – single payer.”

Is that why, much to the dismay of liberals, Single Payer was never even on the table, and the act that was finally approved was watered down from weak to weaker?


June 21st, 2011
7:17 am

Given this information, how likely do you think your company would be to discontinue employee health coverage?

Given THAT information. Ohhhhhh! When you put it like THAT…


June 21st, 2011
7:35 am

Kyle apparently prefers words such as misleading and deceitful.


June 21st, 2011
7:38 am

If you employer drops the coverage, use that free market crap you spew and find a better job. It the employer that is being chinchy. Who want to work for a greedy place anyway. You are blaming the wrong entity.

Buzz G

June 21st, 2011
7:42 am

Liberals are never wrong. They are always right because they have good intentions. Conservatives are never right. They are always wrong because they have bad intentions. Haven’t you guys figgered this out yet?


June 21st, 2011
7:43 am

Companies have been scaling back and dropping health care for employees for over 20 years. This probably will happen, and it has nothing to do with the healthcare reform bill. The fact that employers pay for health insurance in this country is the result of an historical anomaly.

Since companies don’t pay for this anywhere else in the world, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Companies should be relieved of this burden. As for cost, a single payer government run program would be a huge improvement. Consider that for private insurers about 25% of costs are administrative (including advertising). Much of this is the time and effort they spend trying to deny your claims, or acting as “death panels” to decide if they should approve your treatment. Then there is profit in addition to that. Compare this to Medicare with less than 6% administrative costs and no profit burden.

Originally, nearly all of these insurance companies were not for profit. I would prefer that profit were not the thing driving health care decisions. I say put the insurance companies out of business.

Get Real

June 21st, 2011
7:53 am

wampum…sounds like you are the lapdog, go drink another glass of delicious Obama Kool-Aid


June 21st, 2011
8:02 am

I suppose the health law cost could potentially skyrocket as Kyle suggests once companies like Boeing realize that their $14/hour workers in South Carolina would qualify for subsidized insurance if the company dropped their coverage, in order to increase their profits. Not that a company would do such a thing just to make more money though. I mean, they care about their employees, right after their executives and board members and shareholders and bondholders and customers and politicians. Then again, these large companies self-insure and may even still be turning a profit off of their employee health insurance offering along with their double-dipping tax breaks. Didn’t Obama upset the businesses by getting rid of that double-dipping loophole though. I seem to recall something about that in the news from big companies like AT&T, etc.


June 21st, 2011
8:07 am

Here’s another shadow–most companies and organizations continue to deduct larger health insurance premiums from citizens’ paychecks. Yet, we’re supposed to view this as an employee “benefit.” Yet too, these companies expect increasing levels of performance and time from the employee. Doesn’t sound too good, does it!

independent thinker

June 21st, 2011
8:22 am

Why should employers be the primary vehicle for health care insurance? They were not until the 1940s when employers got massive deductions-what did people do before that? Insurers have guaranteed fat cushy salaries for doctors who previously adjusted their rates to the needs of the patients. That’s why mandatory HMOS for universal care work in other countries like Israel that have better health care delivery systems like Israel. Doctors and Insurers are the problem – HMOS limit the salaries of their in house doctors..If you do not like the care of one HMO- you pick another. That is the free market at work. The current system is broken- the employer needs to be out of the picture along with unions.


June 21st, 2011
8:24 am

“Obama and all his supporters who want to change America to European style socialism should just move to Europe.”

No need to move. European style socialism is here and has been for decades. All we are missing is one small piece, the single payer national program. We have everything else already in place.

tar and feathers party

June 21st, 2011
8:31 am

Everybody on the Left is looking for a free lunch, come to my house and you will get it, served with a little arsenic! Here lefty, here lefty, fetch this free lunch!


June 21st, 2011
9:48 am

Call it CongressCare, since they are the ones who slapped together a mishmash of words and voted on it before their “Freedom Fries” got too cold in the Capitol cafeteria.


June 21st, 2011
10:19 am

Who, amusingly enough, in order to criticize McKinsey for its alleged lack of transparency. Why didn’t these same people criticize Obummer for his lack of transparency for the Obummercare debacle? The unintended consequences of Obummercare is sneaking up on us like a car windshield to a flying insect. The “splat” attraction is coming to your neighborhood soon.

Junior Samples

June 21st, 2011
10:37 am

The “hope and change” crowd have really done a number on this country.

Or as I see it the “Blame Bush” crowd.

There ought to be some sort of IQ test that has to be passed to have the chance to vote.


June 21st, 2011
10:44 am

The fight will NOT stop until government gets out of the business of managing and manipulating health care for private citizens. This is a fundamental Constitutional issue. We are not wards of the State. I don’t give one whit what they do in Europe or Canada or China or Cuba or anywhere else – this is the USA, we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights, and our Constitution is grounded in the principles of individual liberty and limited government. “Obamacare” is an abomination.


June 21st, 2011
10:49 am

Well said @ Ayn Rand 6:33 AM. Regardless of the fact that employers are looking for anyway to reduce their costs and increase their profit margin, them contemplating droppin healthcare HAS ALWAYS been on the table.

Republicans whole purpose is to protect big business while feeding the masses BS that they deserve tax breaks and the pathetic “Oh…this healthcare plan will increase our costs…” WHATEVER. If the insurance companies are raising your premiums for large group coverage then you’ve admitted that the issue IS NOT healthcare, it is the insurance industry. Capice?? If business and the GOP focused on that aspect of the industry and REGULATED it, costs could come down. As Ayn Rand stated, GOP obstructionism and and Democratic cowardice (in both houses), produced this bill, NOT the President. Deal with it. (Amazing watching the GOP continue to provide this faux outrage). We ALL agree that insurance costs are incredibly high. And unless yu are in the top 5%, an illness or surgery WILL DEVASTATE you. That’s not trying to instill fear, them is the facts.

So if we don’t address this matter with clear thinking and with a clear intent of getting the cost under control now from the insurance companies (which are owned by the banks, btw), then it won’t matter to either side who’s fault it was, it will be all of our faults for allowing our eyes off the frikkin’ ball.

I don’t have a problem with paying for my insurance, but when I’ve watched my premiums go through the roof ($52 monthly in 1999 to $165.00 a month in 2011) I have to wonder WHY? If I had my way, as I’m sure most of us Liberals would prefer, we’ go to a single payer system and ELIMINATE the vampires that collect our premiums and LIMIT our care. I needed a procedure done when I fell ill a few years ago, I knew I had one of the best insurance plans in the country due to the BANK that I was a VP for, one would think, right? When the nurse returned with the Doc and they stated that my insurance will not pay for it (I could have died from not receiving this procedure), I watched my Doctor and nurse at Emory University Medical, “create” and “craft” a way to get the insurance provider to allow the treatment. It was a blatant lie that the provider had to give in order to save my life. And you GOP nuts want to talk about death panels?? Try getting sick after being in perfect health for 50+ years.

Nuff about that, the The Affordable HealthCare Act will save lives, our countrymen’s lives, disallows the misdeeds of insurance companies, etc., and it could have done more if not for the partisan wrangling in congress. Remember when the Tea Party, et al., would run around with placards saying “Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare (gov’t run Medicare, duh…), and now the very people that brought the Party to them is the Party trying to take Medicare away. Talk about GOTCHA!!

Further evidence, KYLE, that the RELYINGCAN Party is Pro Business and NOT for the people.


June 21st, 2011
10:53 am

The survey reflects the state of knowledge of the survey participants. Given that most business owners watch Fox News – the results of the survey are as to be expected.


June 21st, 2011
10:59 am

Almost forgot, you can take that POS report that YOU didn’t even report correctly and go tell that to those families that no longer have insurance through their employer BECAUSE the got laid off or their positions eliminated and taken overseas. Oh, my bad, employers don’t have to pay healthcare costs….they have NATIONALIZED HEALTHCARE!!!

And next time, TELL THE TRUTH!!


June 21st, 2011
11:02 am

Real Truth: Whenever the Federal Government attempts large-scale manipulation of social services, what happens? (1) Tyranny, ceding or loss of individual liberty, whatever you want to call it; (2) skyrocketing costs; (3) quality suffers dramatically; (4) rationing – inevitable; (5) corruption. Housing, education, homeland security, health care, and on and on.

No thank you. Private sector solutions may not be perfect, but they are much preferred.

[...] more from the original source: Health survey not so shadowy and nefarious after all – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) June 21st, 2011 in Health in General | tags: angeles-times, atlanta-journal, costs-skyrocket, [...]


June 21st, 2011
11:35 am

Welol Dawg Dad, how’s it working right now? I do believe that insurance companies are a part of the “Private Sector,” please correct me if wrong here. Tyranny, haves v. have nots, ceding or loss of individual liberty, you cannot be free Dawg, if a slave to (2) skyrocketing costs, through which (3) quality care suffers dramatically to citizens that don’t have enough coverage or no coverage at all (and I can go futher by limiting coverage that we currently pay for and astronomical costs for pharmaceuticals), (4) rationing – see (3), and (5) corruption – the lobbyist OWN the Republican Party and a Democrats, period.

If we eliminate the insurance company, then your line items, 1-5 would be eradicated. You did touch on a point “Whenever the Federal Government attempts large-scale manipulation of social services, what happen?” Let’s see, unemployment insurance, medicare, the military (pretty large social experiment there after integration), etc., all these programs became essential to our citizens. All of them are social programs, the military is unique because its a security force, but the healthcare for years was free to all servicemembers. And guess what, it worked! I feel the concern, but we we’ve been doing and apparently will continue to do, is not eliminating the issue. I hope we can agree on that.


June 21st, 2011
11:57 am

Get real Kyle. Read today’s NY Times article on it for real journalism. They admit their “study” was not conducted by standard methodology and was more of a touchy-feely how do you feel internet survey of some employers. The Urban Institute released a study using standard methodology which reached different conclusions. Do you want science or Heritage Foundation type quackery?

Rob Woodall loves his healthcare because its free, loves that yours puts you in the poor house when you have a catastrophic health event

June 21st, 2011
12:36 pm

Oh No!!!! How are we going to keep our commanding lead over Slovenia, Cuba, and Brunei in the world health systems rankings???!?!?!???!?

[...] this article: Health survey not so shadowy and nefarious after all – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Posted in: Uncategorized   Tags: angeles-times, atlanta-journal, forecasts, insurance, [...]

tar and feathers party

June 21st, 2011
1:19 pm

Americans don’t care about their own health, otherwise they would not be obscenely obese! I was recently at Krogers, where a woman with the biggest butt I have ever seen blocked my path. Her butt was so big it took up 2/3rds of the aisle. It wasn’t just wide, but it was high too, poking up on her back. She took pleasure in walking very slowly in front of me, but I just changed aisles, and passed her fat butt like it was standing still. All this nonsense about Obzo care is just about fat, lazy, and stupid americans seeking a free hand out from uncle stupid. I bet fat butt will be first in line for free bariatric surgery!


June 21st, 2011
1:43 pm

Obsesity is a medical concern, imagine if that “fat” butt had preventive care when she was younger @tar and feathers..

Whether people make use of the system or not, people would still use the system, that goes for both Republicans and Democrats. Imagine how much money would be saved to the working families. So go ahead, call the President names, heck call us Dems names, at least we’re not the people who vote against OUR interests. You folks vote against your interests and vote to allow Big Business to continue to get bailed out while robbing you at the same time….

Just sayin…

Health Insurance

June 21st, 2011
1:45 pm

To “THE ‘REAL” TRUTH…Wait, you’re griping because your health insurance went up $9 a month each year over 12 years? REALLY??? WOW! And you call that “through the roof”? You’re kidding right? You’re a wimp! If your salary has not gone up AT LEAST $9 a month over 12 years – you’re doing something wrong! Please do us all a favor and move abroad (I’ll help you pack) – That way you can pay more taxes in order to get your healthcare for “free”…and I’m CERTAIN the tax rate will amount to more than your measly $9. But, good luck to ya!

Go cry on someone else’s shoulder.


June 21st, 2011
1:48 pm

I may be poor, uneducated, and have to work until I’m 90 years old. I may not get a single day off in a year, and my standard of living may the worst in the entire OECD, but damn it I’m American…and that means it’s okay!

Health Insurance

June 21st, 2011
2:21 pm

And another item “THE “REAL” TRUTH…This “life saving” operation you had – how much did it cost? For example, let’s say it was a low estimate of $50,000 (I mean if it was truly “life saving” then $100,000 is low amount)…so, even if you paid for the past 12 years $165 a month, that’s only $23,760 – which means you are a loss for the insurance carrier of over $26,000. If you claim your premiums should not have risen…then whose should to pay for your expense? Somewhere, somehow that bill must be paid or else you wouldn’t have health care at all. Are you sure you are (or were) a VP…at a bank no less…really? REALLY? and you cannot solve simple financial formulas.
What bank? Because I want to make sure my checking account is safe.


June 21st, 2011
2:54 pm

Truth: I do not view insurance companies as “villians”. Can they make bad decisions or deprive people of deserved care on occasion? Yes, they are not perfect, and some legislative reforms were in order. Unfortunately, the legislative reforms went almost 180 degrees off-track.

When my insurance doesn’t cover a health care service I feel I need I pay for it out of pocket. I have done so many times, and would do so again. When I was not a W-2 employee and Cobra ran out I incorporated my personal services business and provided my family with coverage through the business, without lapse, at considerable out-of-pocket cost. I am not a rich man – at the time I was making far less than a six figure income annually.

My point is that the system prior to Obamacare provided perfectly adequate coverage for those people willing to work within the system. Some people I know personally lost jobs and were not willing to do what it takes to provide health care coverage for themselves and their families. Vanity, primarily.

The whole point of Obamacare is an incremental move towards government provided socialized health care and control over people’s life and death decisions. People who favor it almost invariably favor taking my money to satisfy their needs and desires. I consider that wholly immoral.

a reader

June 21st, 2011
2:57 pm

“You folks vote against your interests and vote to allow Big Business to continue to get bailed out while robbing you at the same time….”

worth repeating.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 21st, 2011
3:41 pm

Funny how libtards think Republicans are greedy AND vote against their own self interest.

Liars need good memories but libtards can’t even remember what they’ve said at the beginning of a sentence by the time they get to the end of it.

tar and feathers party

June 21st, 2011
5:03 pm

The only preventive care that would have helped fat butt would have been to cut off her arms so she could not stuff food into her mouth. Hmmm, a new weight loss procedure, we will call it the TF method, just remove their arms, they will quickly start to lose weight! My work on health care is now complete, I have solved the obesity problem.


June 21st, 2011
5:31 pm

Maybe tar and feathers party should stop watching Fox news. Hmmmm, a new education procedure, we’ll call it the “saywhat? method”, just turn off Fox and get smarter! My work on education is now complete, I have just solved the stupidity problem.

conservatives are maggots

June 21st, 2011
5:53 pm

a little cheese with that whine? Lil Barry ? Get a life, girl.


June 21st, 2011
6:33 pm

The study was obviously ordered for the purposes of advancing the Republican agenda of killing the health care bill. Glad to hear that there still may be an honest group out there,
because most environmental studies commissioned around the country are still being performed by hacks. The government might as well save the money, everybody know the studies are a joke and the courts are filled with political appointments that look for any excuse to validate the government’s finding of no significant impacts.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 21st, 2011
8:45 pm

The McKinsey Survey: Inconvenient Truths on Obozocare