New talking point on canceled health coverage: “Blame the insurance companies”

Obama's lie

Now that the White House has finally admitted that President Barack Obama lied to Americans when he promised that they could keep their keep their health insurance coverage under Obamacare, a new talking point has emerged from Democrats.

“Don’t be foooled [sic]. Nothing in the ACA forces people out of their plans. No change is required unless [insurance] companies change their existing plan,” tweeted White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz on Monday evening.

“FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans,” tweeted Valerie Jarrett, an advisor to President Obama, just moments later. “No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

These are very misleading claims, if not completely false, and they’re easily disproven by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s comments during the briefing with reporters on Monday afternoon and admissions from the Obama Administration.

“I think that insurance companies that have existing products that do not meet minimum standards obviously cannot — those products are not — they don’t fit under the Affordable Care Act anymore,” Carney told reporters. “There’s a minimum level of insurance coverage that is part of even the most basic plans under the Affordable Care Act.” [emphasis added]

Obamacare arbitrarily determines what is the “minimum level of insurance coverage” and mandates that insurance companies provide certain benefits in their health policies, even if the insured doesn’t want or need them. For example, a 25-year-old male doesn’t need maternity coverage, for obvious reasons. Yet, he’s required to pay for it because that is a mandated benefit.

Now, it’s true that some health insurance plans were grandfathered, but there is a catch to those regulations, as Robert Laszewski recently noted.

“The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people. Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent as many as 16 million are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal,” wrote Laszewski, a healthcare policy analyst.

“The rules are very complex,” he noted. “For example, if you had an individual plan in March of 2010 when the law was passed and you only increased the deductible from $1,000 to $1,500 in the years since, your plan has lost its grandfather status and it will no longer be available to you when it would have renewed in 2014.”

There is a high turnover rate on the individual health insurance market. And because the grandfather regulations were written in such a strict manner, the intent was, presumably, to make every plan compliant with Obamacare’s mandates.

The Obama Administration knew in 2010 — just months after Obamacare was passed and signed into law — that most Americans on the individual health insurance market would lose their plan, according to an investigative report by NBC News.

“Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, ‘40 to 67 percent’ of customers will not be able to keep their policy,” wrote Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye of NBC News. “And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, ‘the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.’”

The White House can blame health insurance companies, but those claims don’t stand up to even the most basic scrutiny. They knew this law would effectively end most pre-Obamacare health plans, the law ostensibly rigged to guarantee that outcome.

H/T: Hot Air

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