Corker Finds Upside In Obamacare: Employers Can Stop Providing Insurance

Sen. Bob Corker meets with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Credit: Nashville Chamber via Flickr

Sen. Bob Corker meets with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Credit: Nashville Chamber via Flickr

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker sees at least one good outcome from the Affordable Care Act. He says employers should be able to stop providing health insurance to workers.

Enrollment in the insurance exchanges has been slower than the White House forecast. But Corker says he expects it will pick up, calling it a “great idea” for individuals to shop for their own plan and compare prices.

“Please don’t write that I’m saying I like the health care bill,” Corker said to the one journalist in a roomful of executives in Franklin last week. “But with every piece of legislation there is something that happens that can be constructive.”

Corker points to people who get stuck in jobs instead of striking out on their own, all because they need the company-provided health insurance. He gives the example of the construction company he built in Chattanooga. The carpenters got health care through their union so they’d have coverage no matter who they were working for.

Looking into the future, Corker figures every mid-size company will get out of the health care business and have employees shop on the exchange instead.

“There’s a lot of people in this room that may throw tomatoes at me, but the one positive thing that could come out of this is that people will own their own healthcare plans.”

Corker was asked what Republicans could do to replace Obamacare. He responded by saying that train has left the station. Previously, Corker has called attempts by Tea Party Senators to defund the Affordable Care Act “silly.”

Still, Corker is no cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act. In his view, it does nothing to drive down health care costs.

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