AS a candidate for the presidency in 2007, Barack Obama promised that under his proposed re-engineering of U.S. health care, the cost of premiums would be the only thing that would change for Americans who already had insurance. And “that will be less than what you're spending now,” Obama said in May 2007.
As president, Obama has said frequently that Americans who liked the insurance plans offered by their employers, or through Medicare or Medicaid, would be able to keep them under the Affordable Care Act.
Not so fast. Obama's fanciful promises are proving to be false. More and more evidence piles up daily.
The Los Angeles Times reported that thousands of Californians, particularly middle-class residents with individual health coverage, are finding they need polices that cost more than before Obamacare went on the books — provided they're not dropped by their insurance carriers.
Blue Shield of California notified 119,000 customers last month that their policies were being dropped because their plans don't meet Obamacare guidelines, which were prompted by a requirement by that state's new insurance exchange. “People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn't have been part of the common risk pool,” Peter Lee, executive director of the exchange, told the Times. “We are better off all being in this together.” Sure we are.
This is precisely the kind of paternalism that Obamacare opponents warned against from the beginning. Washington doesn't always know best. It certainly doesn't know how to design and test a website.
The California experience is hardly unique. Insurance carrier Florida Blue has sent out 300,000 cancellation notices. Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia is canceling 45 percent of its equivalent plans; Insurance Highmark in Pittsburgh is cutting 20 percent of its individual plans. CBS News reported this week that more than 2 million Americans have been notified they can't renew current policies.