Yes, we know this is a major surprise to you. It has to be – after all, it’s a major surprise to NBC News…
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.”
The basis of the braying jackass in the White House’s claim that “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan” was a provision in the Obamacare law which purported to “grandfather” all insurance policies in place on March 23, 2010 from any of the new requirements in it – virtually all of which have the effect of making it more expensive for insurance policies to cover you.
But in order for that “grandfathering” to take place, the insurer can’t make “significant” changes in the policy – and the Department of Health and Human Services gets to decide what changes are significant.
Which means it’s a matter of time before everybody’s individual insurance policy, except for maybe some of the gold-plated ones, goes by the boards and Obamacare takes its place.
“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” said Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms. Laszewski estimates that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which generally requires a richer package of benefits than most policies today.
That “richer package of benefits” means a whole bunch of things that you probably wouldn’t agree to pay for if you had the choice. Pre-natal care, for example, for a woman who doesn’t want to have kids. Or substance abuse counseling for churchgoing Baptists. In other words, the same one-size-fits-all mandates that have blown up the cost of health insurance at the state level.
And this has played out in millions of households across the country, where individual and small-business health insurance customers are being told their plans are going by the boards and they’re being thrown into the Obamacare exchanges. Where, of course, they’re finding out that the cost of health insurance is about to explode.
George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, said he was “perfectly happy” with his plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also insured his wife for a $228 monthly premium. But this past September, he was surprised to receive a letter saying his policy was no longer available. The “comparable” plan the insurance company offered him carried a $1,208 monthly premium and a $5,500 deductible.
And the best option he’s found on the exchange so far offered a 415 percent jump in premium, to $948 a month.
“The deductible is less,” he said, “But the plan doesn’t meet my needs. Its unaffordable.”
“I’m sitting here looking at this, thinking we ought to just pay the fine and just get insurance when we’re sick,” Schwab added. “Everybody’s worried about whether the website works or not, but that’s fixable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff isn’t fixable.”
Heather Goldwater, 38, of South Carolina, is raising a new baby while running her own PR firm. She said she received a letter last July from Cigna, her insurance company, that said the company would no longer offer her individual plan, and promised to send a letter by October offering a comparable option. So far, she hasn’t received anything.
“I’m completely overwhelmed with a six-month-old and a business,” said Goldwater. “The last thing I can do is spend hours poring over a website that isn’t working, trying to wrap my head around this entire health care overhaul.”
And when Jay Carney was asked about this today by Fox News’ Ed Henry, the only actual reporter willing to ask actual journalistic questions at White House press briefings, this was the result…
Admitting one lie, and then covering it with several other lies. Does anyone actually believe that Jay Carney, or his boss, can guarantee (1) “better” insurance for all these people who will have to buy Obamacare, and (2) that this new insurance will cost less?
On the second part, the allegation he’s making is based on the promise of federal subsidies to people of lower incomes. From the evidence trickling in from those who have been foolhardy enough to put their behavioral and financial information at the government’s fingertips by signing up at Healthcare.gov, that’s not likely in as many cases as Carney would have you believe.
There is no truth in this administration. It is a mountain of lies piled one on top of another. And a presidential administration which lies again and again about its own policies is a dangerous thing, which is something millions of people are starting to find out about.
UPDATE: Via Hot Air, here comes Valerie Jarrett, on Twitter, to tell an absolutely amazing lie…
FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.
— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) October 29, 2013
Mary Katherine Ham has the correct response…
Even the most reliably hacky Obamacare supporters have at least conceded that people are losing their old plans because of Obamacare. They spin it with the notion that these new plans are way better, so why would you have liked that dumb old plan anyway (which fit within your family’s budget and served you well)? But the act of spinning requires at least some reckoning with the truth.
What level of denial and/or mendacity is necessary to tweet this? What confidence that the media will be there to cover your lies? This is the mindset of the people surrounding President Obama, and because no one’s ever held accountable for screwing up, this is the mindset of those who are “fixing” Obamacare’s problems.
In this case, I think Jarrett’s confidence in media to toe her line is misplaced. The dam seems to be breaking, at long last, on this falsehood. But who could blame her for thinking it’d hold up? This is the level of compliance she’s used to.
UPDATE #2: Oscar suggested we send this along…