One of the major selling points of ObamaCare was the president’s oft-repeated promise that if you liked the coverage you have now, you would be able to keep it. As Obama’s team drafts the regulations for implementing this massive government takeover of the healthcare industry, it’s becoming evident – if not undeniable – that the president and his supporters misled the American people.
As many as 1.5-million Americans may lose their health coverage this year due to ObamaCare regulations. Now, we’re learning that new regulations may force tens of millions of people to lose their employer-provided healthcare plans.
Here’s what happening: Come 2014, the federal government is going to dictate what kind of coverage you must have. We were told that the federal mandates would apply only to policies sold in the new federal healthcare “exchanges.” Polls found that large majorities of Americans (75%) with health insurance were happy with the coverage they currently have. So, Democrats reassured a nervous public that employer-provided plans would be “grandfathered in”, or exempted from the new requirements. However, that’s not what the latest draft regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services seem to suggest.
James Gelfand, health policy director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “These rules are extremely strict. Almost no plan is going to be able to maintain grandfathered status.” Here’s why: According to the New York Times, “An employer would also lose its exempt status if it increased co-payments for doctor’s visits to $45, from $30 – a 50 percent increase – while medical inflation was 8 percent.”
So, if an employer attempts to offset the increased costs of health insurance by adjusting the co-payments in the policy, it will likely lose its exemption and be forced to cancel the policy entirely. Where’s the incentive for employers to continue to offer health insurance if they can’t protect their bottom lines? There isn’t any. In fact, ObamaCare actually creates a perverse incentive for businesses to drop whatever coverage they do provide, something conservatives repeatedly warned it would do.
What is even more amazing is that Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, had the audacity to claim that this rule is intended to keep the president’s promise. As she put it, “If you like your doctor and your plan, you keep it.” In reality, these new regulations make it far more likely that you will lose your current coverage.
Well over 100 million Americans are currently insured through their employer. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The law could leave more than half of employers without a grandfathered plan in 2013, the draft estimated. Its worst-case assumption is that 80% of small-employers will lose grandfathered rights by 2013.” Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) said, the rules are “more proof that you actually can’t keep what you like. Change is coming for a lot of people, whether they want it or not.”
Writing in yesterday’s New York Post, Dr. Scott Gottlieb notes that the HHS bureaucrats who are writing these new regulations are “true believers” in a single-payer nationalized healthcare scheme. He adds, “They are massaging the law’s vagueness to give themselves the tight federal control over health care that will bring their vision into practice,” by forcing more and more Americans into ObamaCare’s government-approved plans.
ObamaCare was supposed to A) save money, and B) provide coverage for the uninsured. To accomplish these goals,
Democrats created a new trillion-dollar entitlement program that will force tens of millions of Americans to give up the coverage they now have. Does that make any sense to you? Remember that when you head to the voting booth in 140 days.
Gary Bauer is the president of the Campaign for Working Families and a former presidential candidate.