Barack Obama gave a speech in Boston today in which he tried to cover his rear with respect to the growing Obamacare debacle. In the modern style, he purported to take responsibility for the administration’s web site issues, even as Kathleen Sebelius has assured Congress that Obama is not to blame. But a buggy web site is the least of Obamacare’s problems. The story that has gained tremendous momentum is Obamacare’s causing hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans to lose existing insurance coverage with which they were perfectly happy.
In many cases, consumers liked their insurance because it was relatively cheap. The policyholder took responsibility for a significant portion of routine medical costs while guarding against catastrophic illness or injury. Or the policyholder chose the coverages he needed, without having to pay for, say, maternity benefits if he is a single man. But one of the central purposes of Obamacare has always been to ban cheap insurance, and make everyone pay more for lavish coverage. This is part of the reason why the insurance industry lobbied in favor of the “Affordable Care Act”–they knew it would make health insurance less affordable, but mandatory. A pretty good deal for insurers, if you think about it.
On this issue–Obamacare’s depriving millions of Americans, potentially, of their health insurance, Obama was unrepentant. On the contrary, he implied that it is all the insurers’ fault:
Obama during a speech in Boston sought to cast the issue Wednesday as trying to weed out “bad apple insurers” who don’t provide enough coverage.
“One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured but also the under-insured,” Obama said. “And there are a number of Americans, fewer than 5 percent of Americans, who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.
“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy.”
So if you had a “cut-rate” plan, congratulations! You will now have the privilege of paying for a more expensive one. The arrogance of the Obama administration is breathtaking.
Betsy McCaughey has the real story on how the Obama administration has deliberately waged war against Americans who want to provide for their families’ health care, independent of the state:
Sec. 1251(a)(1) of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) says that no one can be required to give up a plan in effect on March 23, 2010, when the law was passed. Those plans are “grandfathered.” But following that guarantee is a list of costly requirements that made it difficult for insurers to keep offering your plan.
It gets worse. Union plans were “grandfathered” with none of those fine-print tricks and exceptions. Sec. 1251(d).
The law also left open the possibility that the president could impose additional requirements on grandfathered plans (except union plans). Two months after ObamaCare was passed, the IRS, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services — all reporting to the president — churned out hundreds of additional rules to make it even harder for grandfathered plans to survive.
The rule makers knew that they were turning the president’s promise into a flimflam. They estimated that up to 69% of individual plans and 89% of small-group plans would be canceled by the end of 2013 as a result of their rules (Federal Register, June 14, 2010).
So President Obama’s endlessly-repeated promise that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it, was always a lie. Most people have figured that out by now, and people who are angry about losing their coverage are not going to be mollified by being told that their insurance carriers were “bad apples.”