Obama Lied, My Health Plan Died

Like an estimated 22 million other Americans, I am a self-employed small-business owner who buys health insurance for my family directly on the individual market. We have a high-deductible PPO plan that allows us to choose from a wide range of doctors.

Or rather, we had such a plan.

Last week, our family received notice from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Colorado that we can no longer keep the plan we like because of "changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA)." The letter informed us that "(t)o meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued beyond your 2014 renewal date."

In short: Obama lied. My health plan died.

Remember? Our president looked America straight in the eye and promised: "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also lied when she pledged: "Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them."

This isn’t just partisan business. It’s personal. Our cancellation letter states that Anthem is "not going to be selling new individual PPO plans." When we asked whether we could keep our children’s doctors, an agent for Anthem told my husband and me she didn’t know. The insurer has no details available yet on what exactly they’ll be offering. We either will be herded into the Obamacare federal health insurance exchange regime (launching October 1), a severely limited HMO plan, or presented with costlier alternatives from another insurer. If they even exist.

My family is not alone. Across the country, insurers are sending out Obamacare-induced health plan death notices to untold tens of thousands of other customers in the individual market. Twitter users are posting their Obamacare cancellation notices and accompanying rate increases:

Linda Deright posted her letter from Regency of Washington state: "63 percent jump, old policy of 15 yrs. cancelled." Karen J. Dugan wrote: "Received same notice from Blue Shield CA for our small business. Driving into exchange and no info since online site is down." Chris Birk wrote: "Got notice from BCBS that my current health plan is not ACA compliant. New plan 2x as costly for worse coverage." Small-business owner Villi Wilson posted his letter from HMSA Blue Cross Blue Shield canceling his individual plan and added: "I thought Obama said if I like my health care plan I can keep my health care plan."

Few among Washington’s protected political class are paying attention, because they enjoy their lucrative government benefits and are exempted from Obamacare’s destructive consequences. But one of my state’s congressional representatives, GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, also lost his individual market plan. Unlike most politicians on Capitol Hill, Gardner chose not to enroll in the federal health insurance program. He told me that he opted to participate in the private market "because I wanted to be in the same boat as my constituents. And now that boat is sinking!"

Gardner points to recent analysis showing individual market rate increases of 23 percent to 25 percent in Colorado. "After my current plan is discontinued," he wrote last week, "the closest comparable plan through our current provider will cost over 100 percent more, going from roughly $650 a month to $1,480 per month." He now carries his Obamacare cancellation notice with him as hardcore proof of the Democrats’ ultimate deception.

Maryland announced that its post-Obamacare individual market rates could also rise by a whopping 25 percent. The National Association for the Self-Employed is recommending that its small-business owners and freelancers plan for at least a 15 percent increase nationwide. One of the reasons for those rate hikes, of course, is that Obamacare’s mandated benefits provisions force insurers to carry coverage for items that individual market consumers had deliberately chosen to forgo.

Americans who had opted for affordable catastrophic coverage-style plans now have fewer and fewer choices. This includes a whole class of musicians, photographers, artists, writers, actors and other creative people who purchased health plans through the individual market or through small professional organizations. As St. Vincent College arts professor Ben Schachter reports in the Weekly Standard, groups like the College Art Association, Modern Language Association and the Entertainment Industry Group Insurance Trust are dropping their plans. Young, healthy members of these groups "are far more likely to see their rates go up — or to face the individual mandate penalties."

Thanks to Obama, access is down. Premiums and health care spending are up. Research and development on lifesaving drugs and medical devices are down. Hours and benefits have been cut because of Obamacare costs and regulatory burdens by at least 300 American companies, according to Investor’s Business Daily. And the Obamacare layoff bomb continues to claim victims.

Obamacare is destroying the private individual market for health insurance by design, not accident. For hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of self-employed job creators, three fundamental Obamacare truths are becoming as clear as Obama’s growing nose: 1) You can’t keep it. 2) We’re screwed. 3) The do-gooders don’t care.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

  • Wil

    It is possible that Malkin’s insurance company thought she was a bad risk. With
    her mind and mouth I would agree that she is. I think she is an ideological
    typhoid Mary and dangerous to the health of the public.

  • Sheila Warner

    In NJ permitted insurers don’t want to do business here. Aetna announced it was pulling out of the exchanges as we approach October 1. It’s state regs that often strangle competition, not the Feds. You should acquaint yourself with the history of car insurance here. NJ offers very little choice in insurance. That is not the President’s fault, it has been reality for decades.

    • Royalsfan67

      I am well aware the president isn’t the reason you can’t sell insurance across state lines. It has been that way for many years. But it was one of the major proposals the R’s put on the table and it was totally ignored. The dims and Prez Obama could have considered this and forced states to allow this.

  • Wil

    >don’t understand how the free market<
    .
    There is no such thing, as the 'free market', since the Middle Ages!

  • pat brady

    Bernie – I think you’re forgetting the part about plans meeting a minimum requirement. It was said from the beginning that high deductible bare bones plans wouldn’t met the new requirements. Not a lie, just not paying attention is all.

  • Sheila Warner

    I don’t think the politicians lied when they promised we could keep our current plans and doctors. I believe that this result is an unintended consequence from people who are short sighted. It seems that no one is able to look down the road to see where an action will lead. This is why Obamacare needs to be fixed. I don’t subscribe to repealing it, because the system before Obamacare was just as bad, except in other places. Self employed Americans often did not have any means to buy health insurance. And those with insurance found out that their insurers refused to pay for certain treatments. Or, they were dropped when they got sick. Even obtaining what the premiums pay for is difficult, with precerts, formularies, and capitation. Trust me, the entire system is a disaster.

  • Wil

    Michelle Malkin husband might have to get a job. The horror!

    • Jeff Webb

      You still around here, eunuch?

      If you must stain us with your presence, then go ahead and show some facts refuting Ms. Malkin’s column. Please start by trying to prove Obama was telling the truth about people keeping their plans.

      And this time stay focused on the column topic, distraction-boy

      • Wil

        Well, I’m keeping my plan. Too bad for Michelle Malkin, but I am sure she will survive. And, as for you KMA!

        • Jeff Webb

          Nicely done, Wil. People will no doubt be as impressed by your capacity for petulance as your limp failure to prove Obama isn’t a liar.

          • Wil

            As long as I can keep you upset, my job is done.

          • Jeff Webb

            As long as you avoid the subject, your job is done.

        • PeterFitzwell

          Good for you. It pays not to work or be productive in todays USA.

          • Wil

            Really? Where did that come from?

  • Reggie

    Is there any way that ObamaCare can come before the people in the form of a vote? Or can it ever be repealed in later years?

    • ElvisWasAHero2Most

      I’m sure it will be amended going forward.

  • Bruce A.

    Someone please inform Cong. Gardner that not only is the ship sinking the USA is sinking with it.

  • Wheels55

    Proof that politicians are very disconnected from the real world. As long as the free market provides health insurance, these providers will drop plans and create new ones. But we still have choices.
    Michelle makes a great point, but she can find another plan suitable for her family – it just may not be as affordable thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

  • Royalsfan67

    Amen Michelle. If most Americans had realized all the coverages insurers were going to be forced to offer they would never have fallen for the line “If you like it you can keep your plan”.

    All the doomsayers (like Bernie) who think Ted Cruz’s stand will kill the GOP should grow a spine. For the next 2 election cycles just play that Obama quote and Pelosi’s quote of “We have to pass it to see what is in it” and even low information voters will get the picture of how reckless and irresponsible this regime really is.

    • Sheila Warner

      Low information voters will happily enroll in the exchanges. If they are, by the Right’s estimation, lazy good for nothings who refuse to work, the chances are that they don’t have any health insurance right now. Their premiums will be subsidized, and they will feel as if they are better off now. This is the group the GOP needs to target. I’m really not sure how the GOP can do so. Once someone obtains a freebie, it is hard to take it away again. That’s the uphill battle the GOP is facing. It’s why the President was re-elected. And, it’s why the Dems will continue to win elections, no matter how hard the conservatives protest. The answer is to fix this bad bill. Add in across state line competition, and allow insurance companies to fashion their own policies, instead of having to be “Obamacare compliant”. I’m not sure if tort reform will have a big impact. The nation needs more flexibility, not less.

      • Wil

        I suppose we should just be thankful they (GOP) didn’t vote to stick more medical equipment up women.

    • Wil

      What is Pablo Cruz’s health care plan?

      • Jeff Webb

        Racist.

        • Wil

          A-Hole!