From Sarah Kliff at WaPo’s Wonkblog:
“So what would happen if the Obama administration ditched the employer mandate altogether? Not a lot, most health economists say. Slightly more people might get coverage through the exchanges — and slightly fewer through their workplaces. The federal government would lose billions in revenue, from fees levied on companies that don’t provide coverage. But overall, the number of people with health coverage would remain nearly the same, with or without the employer mandate.
“‘At this point, getting rid of the employer mandate is more substantive politically than it is economically,’ adds Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Obama administration on the health-care law.
“‘The employer mandate has extraordinarily little impact on coverage,’ says Linda Blumberg, an economist at the Urban Institute. ‘It doesn’t effect [sic] behavior much at all.'”