"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
This one came out earlier this month, but recent events have shown that it is already proving to be true. Christopher Conover - a research scholar for the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University - has "laid out what he estimates the consequences of Obamacare’s implementation will ultimately be." In his findings:
*"(O)f the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage...if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014,
*"(O)f these, ‘only’...18 to 50 million will literally lose coverage, i.e., have their plans entirely taken away. This includes 9.2-15.4 million in the non-group market and 9-35 million in the employer-based market. The rest will retain their old plans but have to pay higher rates for Obamacare-mandated bells and whistles.”
*"Conover also says it is hard to imagine President Obama didn’t know these statistics when he was "promising Americans they could keep their health insurance if they liked it."
“If President Obama himself believed this the first time he said it, he was poorly advised,” Conover said. “The problem is that he said it at least 24 times, most of which occurred after his own rule-writers had estimated that 49-80 percent of small employer plans would have lost their grandfather status by 2013, along with 34-64 percent of large employer plans. The same rule estimated that each year 40 to 67 percent of non-group plans not already grandfathered would lose their grandfather status. Given how extensively presidential statements — especially to a joint session of Congress — are vetted and fact-checked, it is pretty inconceivable that President Obama was not aware that he was engaged in some degree of truth-twisting.”
*"Technically, every single health plan in the country already has been subject to at least some new Obamacare requirements. That is, even “grandfathered” plans and self-insured plans were required to eliminate lifetime and annual limits and to cover dependents up to age 26 on their parent’s plan. Each of these “improvements” in coverage costs money, just as every feature you add to your car costs money (anti-lock brakes, all-wheel drive). For instance, an Aon Hewitt survey of insurers showed that expanding dependent coverage to age 26 could increase premiums by 1 percent for some in the large group market, 2 percent in the small group market and up to 3.5 percent in the non-group market.
*So strictly speaking, NO ONE who was entirely satisfied with their pre-Obamacare coverage has been able to keep it. But the degree of new restrictions/added costs is a continuum, with the added requirements/costs imposed in the following order (starting with plans facing the least added restrictions):
· Grandfathered plans (in theory, any plan in the large group, small group and non-group market can be grandfathered, but the restrictions are so tight that eventually every plan is expected to lose grandfather status)
· Self-insured plans (most of these are large employers with at least 100 workers)
· Large employer plans that are not self-insured (for now, small group only includes those under 50 workers, but this will grow to under 100 workers by 2016 and states have option to expand the definition further in future years)
· Non-group plans (inside and outside Exchanges)
· Small group plans (inside and outside Exchanges)
Thus, the degree to which you are dissatisfied with the new restrictions imposed by Obamacare or adversely affected by higher premiums depends heavily on what type of coverage you currently have."
*"The plans that come closest to conforming to the president’s original promise are grandfathered plans. But most Americans are not in grandfathered health plans anymore:
· Only 30 percent of large firm workers are in grandfathered plans in 2013, meaning the other 70 percent have already had to upgrade to more expensive policies covering, for example, all preventive services without any cost sharing (including contraception, sterilization and abortifacients).
· Similarly, only 52 percent of covered workers in small group plans are in grandfathered plans.
· It is estimated that 85 percent of non-group plans cannot qualify for grandfather status."
*And what does Conover say about the Dem argument that people will be getting "better" coverage under Obamacare?
"Here’s the problem: for additional coverage to be “better,” it must be worth the added cost from the perspective of the buyer. Prior to March 2010, there was nothing stopping employers or individuals from adding these benefit enhancements voluntarily, and indeed, many did. But tens of millions of others concluded that it wasn’t worth the added premium cost to extend dependent coverage from age 21 to age 26, for example, or to completely eliminate an already generous lifetime cap on benefits (e.g., $2 million). Obamacare essentially says “Uncle Sam knows best” by letting the judgment of government experts and bureaucrats trump that of American citizens, who used to have the freedom to make their own choices on these matters.
It’s true that some Americans will end up with cheaper coverage, but not the vast majority. Study after study shows premiums on average will be higher in the non-group, small group and even large group markets."
*Finally, Conover says this:
"Obamacare is a really bad deal for most young people. As one illustration, all the people who for many years used to be in 34 state high risk pools now will be channeled into the exchanges and the young are bearing the biggest burden of carrying this load (which previously used to be spread across all people with insurance and/or general taxpayers, depending on what state you lived in). As well, they are carrying the burden of paying for many older people who have much higher incomes. Young people only now are discovering this and I think it will become even more obvious this coming year. As young people discover how easy it is to evade the individual mandate penalty — i.e., make sure you don’t have a tax refund due and you’re home free — non-compliance is likely to increase rather than decrease over time even though the penalty itself will keep going up between now and 2016."
These are the facts that the Democrats have tried so hard to bury, and why they are furiously trying to change the subject now. But there will be no hoodwinking the American people when the excrement hits the fan and the above proves true between now and next November.
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