Last week I wrote about the “If-you-like-your-plan-you-can -keep-it” fiasco with regard to the Affordable Care Act.
Well, since President Barack Obama got called out on millions of Americans losing their health insurance plans, he conceded that he may have misspoke about that.
Since then, he has been assuring us that only 5 percent of people – those in the individual market – would lose health plans.
The vast majority of Americans – the other 95 percent who have employer-based plans could keep theirs, he repeatedly has said.
Well, according to the reporting I’m seeing this week, that appears to be untrue as well.
This stuff comes from National Review, but my guess is, it won’t take long for other media outlets to catch up.
They reported that the Department of Justice – in a brief filed in federal court last month – conceded that the number of people losing plans will be much higher than that 5 percent Obama has been talking about.
According to the Obama administration’s own numbers, nearly 80 million more Americans, “a majority” of those on employer-sponsored plans also will lose coverage.
The brief was filed in the case of a religious organization fighting the ACA’s mandate that employers cover contraceptives. That’s a separate story, but the brief offered up a pretty stunning revelation.
The Obama justice department lawyers wrote the following in a brief responding to plaintiff’s ACA court challenge:
“It is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants (that’s the Obama administration – my clarification) have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.”
The Justice Department goes on to cite the June 17, 2010, edition of the Federal Register. It says that within the first year of the ACA employer mandate, the insurance plans offered by many employers will be canceled. Seems their policies will not be grandfathered under the administration’s regulations.
More from the Federal Register:
”The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small-employer plans and 45 percent of large-employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013. The low-end estimates are for 49 percent and 34 percent of small and large-employer plans, respectively, to have relinquished grandfather status, and the high-end estimates are 80 percent and 64 percent, respectively.”
Is everybody getting this?
If this reporting is accurate – and I have absolutely no reason to believe it is not – the law essentially requires that a vast majority of people WILL NOT be able to keep their plans. This completely blows up Obama’s long-held claim that, “If you like your plan ...” or “If you like your doctor ...”
But here’s the thing that is most troubling to me.
Lots of people, both politicians and media types – had to know this.
They had to know this.
And they had to know this when Obama kept saying we could all keep our plans.
They had to know that those employee-sponsored plans wouldn’t meet governments standards and millions would lose them. And they just looked the other way.
Alright, so if this is the case, what does this mean?
The price of the premiums has to go up as insurers write ACA-compliant health care plans with expanded coverage.
So then what happens?
Employers have to decide whether to eat the increased cost of premiums, pass it on to employees, or get out of the health care business altogether.
What do you suppose most employers will do?
And this is not just “big” employers with more than 50 employees. This is every employer who provides health care.
So then what happens?
Millions upon millions of people who may have wanted to “keep their plan” will be forced into the ACA exchanges where costs will likely be higher, their employer will be no longer footing part of the bill and their hospital or doctor may no longer be in their network.
After reading this, you can only come to one of three conclusions.
1. Obama had no idea what was really in the Affordable Care Act.
2. Obama wantonly and willfully misled the American people in order to get the law passed.
3. The reporting I just wrote about is false.
I’m pretty sure you can cross No. 3 off the list.