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