Lewin’s Clarification Highlights Unknowns in Health Bill

Marguerite Bowling /

This past summer, the Heritage Foundation released jaw-dropping estimates, conducted by The Lewin Group, regarding the impact a public health insurance plan from the House health reform legislation would have on private health insurance, especially coverage provided by employers.

Lewin found 103 million people would enroll in a government-run health insurance plan. Meanwhile, critics were quick to point out that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had put that number at 11 million to 12 million people. As Lewin put it, “how could our estimates differ by a factor of 10?”

Turns out there are two big reasons for the difference in Lewin and CBO’s estimates, according to a new report from Lewin. First, the House health care bill does not specify how large of a company would be allowed to enter the exchange and the public plan, leading Lewin and CBO to make different assumptions on what kind of businesses would enroll. Lewin notes: (more…)