UPDATED! "Yes, You Can Keep Your Health Plan" or, What Part of *Screw You* Don't You Understand?
Note: This post was updated at 8am ET on October 30. Scroll down for latest.
…A key point to remember is that while the Act makes many changes to the individual market, it specifically allows those who want to keep their current insurance to do so. Most of the Act's protections apply only to new policies, allowing people to stick with their current plan if they prefer. It is true that a few protections apply to all plans, both new and old, but these protections—like limiting the share of premiums that insurers can devote to administrative costs—are designed to help consumers and cut health care costs.
The bottom line is that the Act allows people to keep the insurance they have, while also providing more and better options for all.
How important was it to the passage of Obamacare that you could keep your coverage if you liked it? Pretty damn important, I'd wager, since it offered comfort to vast majority of folks who were happy with their insurance and rightly feared that the president's transformative, sweeping reform would wipe out a lot of stuff.
Which is exactly what's happening. Check it out, via CBS News:
People across the country are finding out they're losing their existing insurance plans under Obamacare because requirements in the law, such as prenatal and prescription drug coverage, mean their old plans aren't comprehensive enough.
In California, Kaiser Permanente terminated policies for 160,000 people. In Florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage.
That includes 56-year-old Dianne Barrette. Last month, she received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield informing her as of January 2014, she would lose her current plan. Barrette pays $54 a month. The new plan she's being offered would run $591 a month—10 times more than what she currently pays.
Barrette said, "What I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can't keep what I have. Why do I have to be forced into something else?"
But hey, Obama won the election. Get over it. What part of screw you don't you understand?
[Update: Mediaite reports on further reporitng by Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren and The Washington Post's Erik Wemple that complicates Dianne Barrette's story above. Barrette's insurance plan has in fact been dropped because it doesn't meet the minimum requirements for individual coverage under Obamacare. While it cost very little, it also covered virtually nothing as well and, in an interview on Susteren's Fox show, Barrette displayed effectively zero knowledge of her plan and what it covered. After factoring subsidies in, her premium costs would be around $200 a month. All of that was left out of the original CBS News report, which is not so much wrong as lacking in meaningful context.
For clearer, more-informed cases of how Obamacare has stripped people of existing plans in the individual market, read David Frum's "The Obamacare Ripoff" and the story of Sue Klinkhamer, an Obamacare supporter and former staffer to a Democratic congressman who has been forced to buy more expensive coverage for next year. End update]
And here is an NBC News report that argues
Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, "40 to 67 percent" of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, "the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range."
That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.
Nancy Pelosi be damned! It sure seems as if the O-Team knew what it was doing all along. And it had nothing to do with keeping your health plan if you liked it.
Time to bring in, you know, The A-Team to fix it all (watch this 15 second vid):