Over the last year or so, Obama has repeated dozens — perhaps hundreds — of times that his health-care “reform” would allow you to keep your existing insurance plan. It’s quite apparent now that this was false. Time magazine is the latest to report:
Now that regulations about existing employer-sponsored plans have been issued, it’s becoming clear that many of the 160 million Americans with job-based coverage will not, in fact, be able to keep what they currently have.
Republican critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act point to the Obama Administration’s own estimates that by 2013, 39% to 69% of employer plans will be subject to new regulations and not grandfathered in, or exempted from the new rules. House minority leader John Boehner issued a press release about the new regulations with the headline “New ObamaCare Tagline Should Be ‘If You Like Your Health Care Plan, Too Bad.’ “
While the reporter feels compelled to call GOP rhetoric “overheated,” she readily concedes that conservative critics have the facts on their side:
The truth is that employer-based plans, which many assumed would easily be categorized as grandfathered, will be subject to the full regulatory thrust of the new law if they are altered in ways that are standard practice in the industry. Plans that increase the percentage of costs patients must pay out of pocket — known as co-insurance — lose their grandfathered status. The same is true for plans that significantly decrease the percentage that employers contribute to premiums or those that significantly increase deductibles or co-payments. An employer that switches health-insurance providers also loses its grandfathered status. These kinds of changes are common year to year in the current marketplace, since employers are constantly looking for ways to limit their expenses in the face of rising costs.
The “keep your plan” hooey was as deceptive as the claim that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit. In short, ObamaCare was sold under false pretenses. In contract law, such a deal would be rescinded. In politics, the solution is for lawmakers to explain that the bill doesn’t do what it promised and repeal it so that they can start over. And what if Obama decides to veto the repeal of his handiwork? Well, there will be an election in 2012 and a campaign to debate just how misleading were Obama’s assurances.