Thursday, January 18, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact: Majority of companies not affected by employer mandate

The statement

The employer mandate "affects only 5 percent of businesses in this country."

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., in an interview with Fox News

The ruling

We contacted Van Hollen's office, and the staff there referred us to a couple of key sources. First, the Census Bureau surveys the business community and in 2010, it counted about 5.7 million firms. Of those, about 211,000 had 50 or more employees. Do the math and you find that 3.6 percent of all firms would be subject to the employer mandate.

Van Hollen's other source is a report from the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan think tank for Congress. The study published last month found that 96.3 percent of firms would be exempt from the employer mandate because they were too small. Flip that around and 3.7 percent would be affected by the requirement to offer insurance.

So if anything, Van Hollen overstated the fraction of firms that would need to worry about the mandate.

You have to use a certain amount of care when looking at estimates of the number of firms, because different groups use different methods. The highly respected research center the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 7.3 percent of firms have 50 or more workers. Kaiser, however, only surveys companies with at least three employees. That eliminates more than 2 million firms that the Census Bureau includes.

Another widely used source, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, located within the Department of Health and Human Services, produces the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. According to its tally, about 25 percent of all establishments are firms with 50 or more workers.

We did not find a clear explanation for these differences, but experts suggested to us that they could be due partly to varying survey methods and partly to varying definitions of establishments (as a place of work) and firms (as a single owner of several establishments).

That said, the Census Bureau enjoys broad trust, and we weigh its numbers accordingly.

As one caveat, looking at the mandate through the lens of business does not tell the whole story. During his television interview, Van Hollen began by talking about the number of people and then brought up the number of companies. The two are quite different. According to the Census Bureau, about 72 percent of workers in companies — which is not a complete count of all workers — are in firms with 50 or more employees.

While over 90 percent of those firms offer insurance, Christopher Conover, a policy analyst at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, cautioned that just because you work at a company that offers insurance, that doesn't mean you actually get it.

"With 44 percent of working uninsured located in firms with 50-plus employees," Conover said, "it's obvious that the employees lacking coverage do not work exclusively for the tiny fraction of such firms not offering coverage."

These people might work part time, or might have declined coverage, or they might be waiting to be eligible for coverage.

We rate the claim Mostly True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Chris Christie left the New Jersey governor’s office with his popularity in tatters, but at least he didn’t break a leg. Christie is the first elected New Jersey governor in more than two decades not to suffer a broken leg ...
Published: 01/17/18
Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Desmond Meade says everywhere he goes in Florida, he hears the stories.From whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, blue collar laborers and white collar wage earners. People from all walks have walked up to him with a common request.They’re c...
Updated: 11 hours ago
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Published: 01/16/18
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Published: 01/16/18
North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea’s official news agency responded Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s controversial "nuclear button tweet," describing it as the "the spasm of a lunatic," according to AP."The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental st...
Published: 01/16/18
‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

Sun Sentinel (TNS)PALM BEACH — About 500 Haitian-Americans and their supporters used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to protest derogatory comments President Donald Trump reportedly made about immigrants from majority-black countries."What do we w...
Published: 01/15/18

U.S. forced to renew DACA permits as furor over Trump’s immigration slur persists

Los Angeles Times (TNS)WASHINGTON — The Trump administration, under court order, said it would resume taking applications to renew temporary protections from deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the country illegall...
Published: 01/14/18
GOP senator: Reports of Trump’s ‘s---hole’ comments a ‘gross misrepresentation’

GOP senator: Reports of Trump’s ‘s---hole’ comments a ‘gross misrepresentation’

A Republican senator is insisting that President Donald Trump did not use a vulgar term in referring to African countries during a closed-door meeting on immigration that he and five other senators attended last week.Georgia Sen. David Perdue called ...
Published: 01/14/18
The Trump-O-Meter: PolitiFact rates Donald Trump's first year

The Trump-O-Meter: PolitiFact rates Donald Trump's first year

By Angie Drobnic Holan PolitiFact Editor Much of Donald Trump’s presidency has been defined by provocative tweets and gloves-off fights. But Trump has used the power of the presidency to move the country toward the overarching vision he ran o...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/16/18
Ethics panel advised to deny legal fees in unfounded Ken Hagan complaint

Ethics panel advised to deny legal fees in unfounded Ken Hagan complaint

A Florida Ethics Commission staff attorney has drafted an order denying Hillsborough County’s request for reimbursement for attorney fees from one of four citizens who filed unsustained ethics complaints against Commissioner Ken Hagan.The commission ...
Published: 01/12/18