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Why Would Obama Want People to Keep Their Old Plans?
By merely adding up recent media reports of insurance providers sending out cancellation notices, as conservative blogger David Hogberg did the other day, one can find that nearly 1.5 million Americans have already lost their health insurance plans as a result of Obamacare.
As Hogberg points out, this number really just scratches the surface, because it only includes the notices that have been documented by the media, and the media have only reported on a handful of insurance providers in a handful of states. Cancellation notices that have yet to be added to that total include the ones recently sent out in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. And there are surely many more to come.
What also hasn't been added to that total are the number of cancellations that took place prior to this past month. As I found out first-hand a couple of years ago, health insurance providers like Aetna figured out early how the Affordable Care Act would affect the way they did business. The individual plan my family was covered under at the time was dropped, with the letter we received from Aetna specifically stating that the reason for the cancellation was that the plan wouldn't comply with the ACA.
In fact, health policy expert Bob Laszewski believes that up to 16 million people could have their policies cancelled as a result of Obamacare by the time all is said and done.
No one knows what the real number will be. What we do know, however, is that when President Obama repeatedly told the American public that no one would lose their current policies as a result of the Affordable Care Act, he was outright lying.
Sound a little harsh? I used to keep open the possibility that our president was just dangerously naive when it came to Obamacare, not fully understanding the ramifications of the healthcare bill he, himself, signed into law. However, according to numerous reports including this one from NBC News (a network that has been very favorable to this president) the administration has known for at least three years that millions would indeed lose their policies.
And when you factor in how practically every other promise made by our president regarding the ACA has turned out to be false, it becomes clear that this wasn't just a case of painful ignorance or gross incompetence. There was a willful intent (similar to what we saw with the Benghazi attack and YouTube video scapegoat) by the administration to lie to the country.
To understand why the administration would lie about such a thing isn't all that hard. They of course wanted to sell Obamacare to the American public, thus they had to paint it as something it clearly wasn't in order to get the bill passed.
It seems to me, though, that there could be an additional explanation for such dishonesty: Enrollment numbers in the Obamacare exchanges.
The ACA can't possibly hope to function unless a large number of people enroll in the exchanges. And if people are happily insured and have no need for the exchanges, that hurts enrollment and thus adversely affects the funding mechanism behind the program.
As many in the media have recently pointed out, Obamacare relies on young, healthy people entering the exchanges in order pay for the healthcare expenses accrued by older people in the system. Many have also pointed out, as syndicated columnist George Will did back in July,the big flaw in relying on that logic.
"What Obamacare requires for it to work - mass irrationality," Will said on ABC News, before pointing out that young people are expected to "pay 3, 4, 5 times more for health insurance than it would cost them to just pay the fine (for not having coverage) and ignore it."
He was right. Obamacare can't just rely on young people signing up for it. It needs as many people enrolling in it as possible. With that mind, what possible incentive would there be for the administration to allow people to keep their private healthcare plans?
There is none.
Did the administration want a large number of people to lose their private plans? It's hard to say. But clearly, they had absolutely no incentive to prevent people from losing their plans, because those people's losses are the Affordable Care Act's gain. While some people will be able to switch plans under their current provider and begrudgingly accept a more expensive policy with a higher deductible, others won't, and in some cases can't. Just like with what will surely happen when the employer mandate kicks in, and companies decide to drop their employees' coverage in favor of paying a government fine, Obamacare might become the remaining option for those left behind.
Thus, the lie that people could keep their current plans probably wasn't a hard one to tell for an administration that always looks out for its own best interests over those of the American public.
When you think about it, this isn't all that different than how many on the left now portray our slowly dropping unemployment rate. Democrats view any drop in that rate is good for their party, and that's the way the media paints it as well. It's not good for the nation, however, because those drops are largely coming at the expense of Americans who have either left the workforce or can only find part-time work (thus are no longer counted as 'unemployed').
Does anyone really believe that if Obamacare enrollment picks up as a result of people being kicked off of their private plans (because of Obamacare), it will be portrayed as anything less than a success by both the administration and the media?
Yes, that was a rhetorical question.