President Obama Actually Meant, ‘If You Like Your Insurance Plan, Too Bad’

He didn’t say it just once.

No, the president said it at least twenty-three separate times over a four-year period: “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Hundreds of thousands of people recently received notices from their insurers informing them that they would not be able to keep their plans under Obamacare. Millions more will discover the same thing over the next few weeks.

They’ll lose the reliable, affordable plans they have now. And they’ll instead have the option to purchase more expensive, more comprehensive plans that they may not need or want.

Some will no doubt find the coverage available under Obamacare unaffordable. So they’ll go without — and pay the individual mandate penalty of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.

Thanks to Obamacare, more than two millions Americans have received letters denying renewal of their existing policies. That’s triple the number of people who have attempted to buy new plans under the law.

In California, 279,000 people have been told they’re being stripped of their coverage; in Michigan, 140,000; in Florida, 300,000; and in New Jersey, 800,000.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Of the 19 million people with individual-market health insurance, approximately 16 million could lose their current plans.

The rash of changes to Americans’ existing insurance coverage will soon extend to the employer marketplace.

That shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the Department of Health and Human Services predicted back in 2010 that by the end of this year, 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large health plans would lose the “grandfather status” that exempted them from the law’s many expensive mandates.

According to Duke University’s Christopher Conover, more than 100 million people in the large-group market will be forced into plans different than the ones they previously had. The same is true for another 16.6 million people in the small-group market.

The new coverage available under Obamacare will typically come at a higher cost. For example, the cheapest new plan that Fullerton, California, resident Jennifer Harris can find is $238 per month. Her old plan — now cancelled — cost $98 per month. On average, California residents will pay 30 percent more under Obamacare.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina small businessman Tom Luebchow recently told the Wall Street Journal that his coverage through Blue Cross & Blue Shield had been cancelled — and that the alternative available to him would feature premiums three times higher.

A couple in Wisconsin, both suffering from cancer, recently learned that their existing coverage through the state’s high-risk pool will be taken away. They’ll be eligible for subsidies through Obamacare’s exchanges — that is, if the exchanges ever get up and running. Thanks to the technical difficulties plaguing, they haven’t been able to get a clear read on their insurance options.

Even with subsidies, this particular couple is looking at out-of-pocket costs that are double what they previously paid.

And these are the sorts of folks with pre-existing conditions that Obamacare was supposed to help!

One independent study projects rate increases in 45 of 50 states. In Virginia, the average single 27-year old purchaser of an individual plan will go from paying $165 per month to $581.55 — a jump of more than 252 percent.

Another study — this one by the nonpartisan American Society of Actuaries — says that rates will increase in 47 of 50 states.

These rate hikes are a function of the many cost-inflating mandates imposed by Obamacare — including required coverage of mental health therapies, maternity care, and substance abuse treatment. The law also caps out-of-pocket expenses and bans annual and lifetime limits on coverage.

All those requirements may make for more comprehensive coverage. But they come at a price — namely, higher premiums. Consequently, people who cannot afford high premiums — as well as those who feel that they may not use their coverage enough to justify paying for it — may go without.

And as people increasingly make that decision, the pool of insured people will grow sicker and sicker — and premiums will race higher and higher. With the low enrollment rate of young Americans thus far, it’s more than likely that some insurance companies will be forced out of business.

Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation that would stem this rash of insurance cancellations. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) is leading the charge for a bill that would grandfather into the future all plans in place at the end of this year. A bill from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), meanwhile, would extend grandfather protection to plans in the individual market for one more year.

If their efforts are unsuccessful, Americans won’t just lose their insurance and perhaps their doctor, in direct contrast to President Obama’s promise. They’ll have to pay more for the privilege of having done so.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

Scroll to Top