Why McKinsey Put Out Its ‘Employers Will Drop Coverage’ Report

Rick Ungar asks why McKinsey would be willing to put its reputation on the line by producing a very questionable study that predicts a much larger number of employers would drop coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act — more than anyone else has predicted. The group has refused to release its methodology, even as several McKinsey employees are telling reporters that the “survey is not a good tool for prediction.”

Ungar explains McKinsey is not a right-wing ideology shop, and speculates that they’re simply interested in generating greater business for the firm:

Ask yourself this question — What does McKinsey & Company do for a living?

They consult and advise large corporations on how to solve business problems and properly innovate and organize their future.

If a major shift in — or the termination of — a corporations’ long-standing employee health care benefits program is not a major business issue requiring the greatest of care in the planning and execution, then I don’t know what is.

Who will these companies turn to in order to get advice on the benefits of unraveling their complicated and extensive employee benefit plans and for assistance in executing any new plans for the same?

McKinsey & Company.

What we have in the McKinsey survey is little more than a company “pitch piece” designed to drive customers to their door.

There are, after all, endless hours to be billed for conducting reviews of corporate employee benefit plans to better assess the impact of the new health care law and even more to be banked should McKinsey conclude that a revision and revamp of a benefits plan is in order as McKinsey will be performing that revision and revamp- for a fee.

If this is the case, then McKinsey misread the political climate and greatly underestimated the willingness of reform opponents to use any possible piece of data to discredit health care reform as a whole — and the media’s willingness to cover that fight. Certainly the controversy this generated cannot be worth any new business the report brought in.


Late last week, Senate Finance Committee Charmain Max Baucus (D-MT) sent a letter to McKinsey “calling on the company to answer more than 30 questions about its clients and the study itself. The company has already agreed to allow representatives to meet with staffers from the Senate Finance Committee.”