Most brokers who plan to stay in the industry in 2014 are learning to embrace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But as two health policy minds from opposite sides of the political spectrum discussed Wednesday at America’s Health Insurance Plans conference in Washington, unknown effects of PPACA and rising costs of health care should still be on the minds of carriers and brokers alike.

James Capretta, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said during the panel that the individual mandate is hypocritical and “there could be a very powerful magnet in the exchanges to draw people out of the employer based system.” Capretta, who worked in the White House Office of Management and Budger for three years during the George W. Bush-era from 2001-2004, provided an example to the audience where a family of three, with earnings of $60,000, could save about $4,000 by moving to the public exchange rather than continuing insurance under their employer. Capretta accounted for employer taxes and fees as a result of the family exiting their system. It also saved the employer money. His take is that it “remains to be seen” whether people will follow the law as an “obligation of citizenship.”

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