Lies of Obamacare: The Book of Ezekiel

Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly grilled Ezekiel Emanuel last night on the foundational lies of Obamacare, with a focus on Obama’s relentlessly repeated falsehood that if you like your health plan, you can keep it. The older brother of Rahm Emanuel and Ari Emanuel, Ezekiel Emanuel is a physician, a former Obama adviser, a vocal proponent of Obamacare and a big advocate of the government takeover of health care. When Kelly homes in on the issues at hand, Emanuel takes a predictable approach. He changes the subject and decries Kelly’s interruptions seeking to direct him to the point. The video of Kelly’s segment with Emanuel (below) begins with a useful compilation of Obama retailing the foundational lies of Obamacare.

Emanuel’s treatment of the cancellation of individual and family health insurance policies as a result of Obamacare is notably dishonest. For a graphic illustration of the phenomenon Kelly bores in on, see Michelle Malkin’s “Obama lied, my health plan died.” James Capretta addresses the underlying problem in “Obamacare’s mugged by reality moment.” Capretta explains:

The other reality now emerging is that millions of Americans are going to be pushed into these exchanges against their wishes, and they aren’t going to like what they see.

The problem will be most acute for the 19 million or so people who today purchase individual insurance. As industry expert Robert Laszewski has pointed out, today’s individual market is essentially being replaced by the Obamacare exchanges. Some insurance plans can continue operating into 2014 outside of the exchanges if they are “grandfathered.” But very few insurance plans qualify for grandfathered status under Obamacare because the rules strictly prohibit even the smallest changes in coverage or cost-sharing. Consequently, about 16 million Americans will shortly find out that they can’t keep the plans they have.

If and when they are able to look at their options on healthcare.gov or the state-built websites, many of these consumers will quickly become unhappy. The Obama administration keeps arguing that the premiums in the exchanges are below what was expected, based on hypothetical estimates produced by the Congressional Budget Office four years ago. But that’s not the relevant comparison. Consumers want to know how much more they are going to pay for insurance under Obamacare in 2014 than what the pre-Obamacare market offers them today.

The Heritage Foundation has carefully looked at this question, and the results are dismaying. The average family of four will see a premium increase in the exchanges of 10 to 30 percent. For young Americans, the premium hikes are much worse, in the range of 50 to 100 percent or more for 27-year-olds, including 71 percent in Nebraska and 170 percent in Georgia. And these premiums are for plans with, in most cases, very high deductibles, ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 for the so-called silver plans and $4,000 or more for bronze plans.

Coming soon, a proposed law to be titled “If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act,” courtesy of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.

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