Will The “Keep Your Health Plan Act” Save Us From Obamacare?

by Bob Quasius – I was content to learn this morning from The Hill that the House will schedule a vote  on the Keep Your Health Plan Act (H.R. 3350) for next week! Without this legislation, tens of millions of Americans seem destined to lose their pre-Obamacare individual or employer-based health insurance, through Obama’s administrative chicanery.

The Obama Administration Circumvented the Will of Congress with Administrative Regulations

In all the hoopla leading up to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, or the “Unaffordable Don’t Care Act” Obama repeatedly made promises like these through 2012:

“We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.” – Barack Obama, June 15, 2009

“Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009

A video from New York Magazine compiles video clips of Obama making this same “keep your health plan” promise 23 times from from 2008 to 2010, even as his administration crafted rules that all but precluded Americans from keeping their existing health plan!

Existing employer and individual healthcare plans were to be grandfathered, per the law passed by Congress.

However, insurance plans change constantly, often in response to regulatory changes at both state and federal levels. The Obama administration promptly wrote Obamacare rules that are tightly written so even the slightest change in an insurance policy makes it ineligible for grandfathering under Obamacare.

Around 19 million Americans are covered under individual insurance policies, and it appears the vast majority of these plans will be cancelled.

keep your health plan actThose unlucky enough to lose the insurance most are satisfied with are forced to purchase insurance that meets the high standards of Obamacare, including coverage for maternity, contraception, etc. If you’re a post menopausal woman who has an individual insurance plan without maternity coverage, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise because you’ll have to buy new insurance that includes coverage you don’t need!

Some employers with strong religious convictions, such as Hobby Lobby, are suing over the contraception mandate of Obamacare, and seem likely to drop health insurance rather than violate their religious convictions.

There are widespread reports that most covered by individual plans will now be forced to pay much higher premiums with much higher deductibles.

The Other Shoe Drops – Most Existing Employer Plans Are Not Grandfathered Either

Kathleen Sebelius keep your health plan act

Kathleen Sebelius tells Congress employer health plans are subject to the same grandfathering restrictions that forced cancellation of millions of individual health plans

Kathleen Sebelius recently told Congress that the same regulations that essentially block grandfathering for individual plans also apply to employer-based plans. Since the vast majority of health insurance not provided by government is through employers, we can expect employers to pay substantially higher premiums. Many employers will simply decide to drop health insurance rather than pay much higher premiums, incurring the Obamacare penalties.

The Obama administration, despite the explicit language of Obamacare, has also decided to defer employer penalties for a year, further incentivizing employers to simply drop health insurance, which confirms the suspicions of many critics that Obama’s real agenda is replacing employer provided health insurance with single-payer, and that Obamacare is designed to fail, setting the stage for single-payer.

Single-payer is like “the holy grail” of liberalism, based on the deeply flawed notion that government can always make things better for us.

The Keep Your Health Plan Act

The Keep Your Health Plan Act, H.R. 3350, was introduced last week by Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman. As of today, co-sponsorship has grown to 88 members, but not a single co-sponsor has a “D” for Democrat after their name. It seems Democrats in Congress are ready and willing to follow Obama off a political cliff next November in mid-term elections. Like so many other worthwhile bills addressing Obamacare, it seems likely to pass the House, but will be ‘dead on arrival’ at the Democrat controlled Senate.

Millions more Americans will lose their health insurance, and given the deeply flawed rollout of Obamacare, it seems likely we will have more uninsured Americans next year than this year. There’s nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act. Many Americans will simply decide its more economical to do without health insurance than pay much higher premiums, with deductibles so high they likely won’t benefit from having insurance unless they have high medical costs.

Guess what happens when health insurance is too costly for healthy people? They stop buying health insurance, leaving the insurance pool with more unhealthy people! Obamacare is predicated upon getting more healthy Americans insured, to help drive down costs for less healthy Americans, and particularly older Americans who naturally have more health issues!

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Bob Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe Con Leche Republicans

Obamacare Lie: “keep your healthcare plan.”

by Bob Quasius – Until at least 2012, Obama has been promising that under Obamacare, Americans can keep their health insurance, their doctors, etc.

The Big Obamacare Lies

“We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.” – Barack Obama, June 15, 2009

“Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009

Hear it direct from Obama’s own lips:

Obamacare Lies Exposed

Now, Fox News and other media outlets report the White House knew at least as early as 2010 that ten million or so Americans with individual policies would lose their health insurance, not to mention millions more losing their health insurance when businesses dropped spouses, dropped insurance altogether because the penalty for not providing insurance is less than the cost of the insurance itself, etc.

From the July 19, 2010 IRS 2010 Obamacare regulations:

In the individual market, one study estimated that 40 percent to 67 percent of individual policies terminate each year. Because all newly purchased individual policies are not grandfathered, the Departments expect that a large proportion of individual policies will not be grandfathered, covering up to and perhaps exceeding 10 million individuals.

Obama Obamacare

President Obama – Lied to Americans about keeping doctors and health insurance plans

More than likely, Obama knew from the very beginning, in 2008, that millions of Americans would lose their health insurance. Note the the IRS regulations cited a May 2008 study sponsored by the reputable Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which surely was available to Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in 2008.

Source: Adele M. Kirk. The Individual Insurance Market: A Building Block for Health Care Reform? Health Care Financing Organization Research Synthesis. May 2008. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

It’s implausible that Obama didn’t know about this massive loss of health insurance coverage all along. In other words, Obama has lied to the American people for years, in order to push his agenda.

Kathleen Sebelius obamacare train wreck

Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary Responsible for Obamacare train wreck

Kathleen Sebelius should resign, not just for lying, but the sheer incompetence evident in rolling out Obamacare.

The Obamacare train is rapidly turning into a train wreck, from the broken promises to the failed web site. While it’s fair to say that not everything in Obamacare is bad, it’s clear major surgery is needed. The individual mandate should be delayed for at least a year while the program is overhauled, if not repealed outright. Government should never be in the business of forcing consumers to buy a product!

Repeal Obamacare or Overhaul?

There are parts of Obamacare that I believe should be retained, though in some cases modified:

  • Removing barriers to insurance for treatment of pre-existing conditions.
  • Grants to community health centers, 501(c)3 organizations that often rely on volunteers, private grant funds, etc., which in my opinion to a particularly good job of providing health coverage in under-served communities and groups, such as migrant workers, immigrants, etc.

Congress should start from the position of total repeal, then retain the few good parts, rather than attempt to fine tune Obamacare.

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Bob Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.