The greatest lie told during the ObamaCare debate was President Obama’s often repeated “if you like your health plan, you can keep it.” It was meant to reassure the tens of millions of Americans who already have health insurance that the new federal mandate wouldn’t negatively impact their lives. Again, it was a lie. My own health insurance coverage will become illegal next year.
I buy health insurance in the individual market. I currently have a plan with a $10,000 annual deductible, meaning I’m generally liable for that amount of medical costs in a year, after which insurance kicks in to cover the tab. The plan provides for routine check-ups and doctor visits with a modest co-pay. I pay around $200 a month for the plan.
Next year, I won’t have that option. New ObamaCare regulations mandate that my deductible can’t be more than $2,000 and that my out-of-pocket medical costs can’t exceed $6,350. (Enforcement of the cap on out-of-pocket costs is being delayed for one year, but plans will still be adjusting for it.) This will no doubt cause a dramatic increase in my monthly premiums.
What I have now is insurance. I pay a modest amount each month to protect myself financially in case I have a serious medical emergency. ObamaCare, by contrast, is designed to be a payment plan for health care. It seeks to control the amount people pay, as well as which procedures cost the patient money and which are “free.” Birth control, for example, must be provided at no cost to the patient. Just…because.
I have no need for birth control. Yet, my premiums will be based on the presumption that not only do I want brith control, but also that I’m unwilling to pay for it.
So, although I’m currently happy with my health insurance, next year I will have to pay more for a plan I don’t want. I can adjust to the higher premium payments. Many Americans, however, will face more radical changes to their coverage.
UPS recently announced that it is dropping coverage for spouses of employees, if those spouses can obtain coverage elsewhere. The consulting group Towers Watson estimates that more than half of employers in America will take steps to reduce or eliminate spousal coverage. Even labor unions are starting to worry that their health coverage is going to change for the worse under ObamaCare.
Minority Leader Pelosi was right. We had to pass ObamaCare to find out what was in it. It has unfortunately turned out to be pretty much the opposite of what supporters promised.