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Report: President Obama Knew Millions Could Not Keep Current Health Plan

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”300″ align=”none” !}

According to a report by NBC News, President Obama knowingly made false assurances (and reassurances) for three years that people who liked their current health plan could keep it. Millions of Americans have lost and will lose their health plans as insurance companies drop various policies to comply with the law and restructure their operations to work with Obamacare.

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

Too bad there is no public option to help drive down costs and avoid some of the sticker shock.

The knowledge that millions of Americans would be losing their health plans was known as early as 2010 in an estimate predicting high turnover.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

As has been noted, the fact that Obamacare is causing people to lose current coverage is not surprising. In fact, that is to some degree, the point. The theory behind Obamacare is that new and better health plans will be created by the insurance companies after the regulations kick in.

But that’s not the issue here. The issue is misleading public statements made by President Obama. “If you like your plan you can keep it” was a major selling point of selling the plan and a continual refrain when defending it after passage. It’s a matter of trust.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Report: President Obama Knew Millions Could Not Keep Current Health Plan

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”300″ align=”none” !}

According to a report by NBC News, President Obama knowingly made false assurances (and reassurances) for three years that people who liked their current health plan could keep it. Millions of Americans have lost and will lose their health plans as insurance companies drop various policies to comply with the law and restructure their operations to work with Obamacare.

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

Too bad there is no public option to help drive down costs and avoid some of the sticker shock.

The knowledge that millions of Americans would be losing their health plans was known as early as 2010 in an estimate predicting high turnover.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

As has been noted, the fact that Obamacare is causing people to lose current coverage is not surprising. In fact, that is to some degree, the point. The theory behind Obamacare is that new and better health plans will be created by the insurance companies after the regulations kick in.

But that’s not the issue here. The issue is misleading public statements made by President Obama. “If you like your plan you can keep it” was a major talking point of selling the plan and a continual refrain when defending it after passage. It’s a matter of trust.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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