When the public exchanges were first envisioned, some industry analysts thought most employers eventually would head for the exits on financing health benefits and simply steer their employees into the nascent online marketplace. That hasn’t happened, of course, and it’s far too early in the HIX rollout to expect any meaningful change to occur.

But the notion was given fresh legs by Ezekiel Emanuel, a physician, academic and former White House adviser who was instrumental in helping conceive the Affordable Care Act. He recently predicted that private-sector workers who receive health care from employers will fall below 20% by 2025 from the current 60%.

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