Welcome to ObamaCare, Part IV
President Obama has continually promised the American people that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it.” This was good rhetoric, since over 80% of the American people rate their health care plan as “good” or “excellent” according to Gallup and Rasmussen.
As AFP activists across the country fought to preserve their fundamental right to keep their own health care plan, we knew that millions of Americans would lose that right if the legislation passed. And we were right.
A recent CQ Politics article discussed the effect the cuts in Medicare Advantage would have on over 11 million seniors. They said:
when seniors in Medicare Advantage — the popular program of private health care plans in Medicare — open their mail this fall and find out how their coverage will change next year, they won’t be happy. The program has been a big draw because it offers extra benefits, such as dental and vision care. It’s also a much cheaper way than supplemental “Medigap” plans for getting coverage for the out-of-pocket charges not picked up by traditional Medicare. But chances are seniors soon will be staring at higher premiums, and slimmer benefits, for Medicare Advantage. They’ll no doubt be told the new health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) is to blame. The reason: As medical costs rise, the overhaul will at first flatten, then cut, federal payments to Medicare Advantage plans as part of an effort to finance coverage of the uninsured and allocate benefit dollars more equitably throughout the program.
In other words, cutting $500 billion from Medicare will lead to rationed care, less accessibility and higher premiums, just like the Center for Medicare and Medicaid warned us in two separate reports. The Wall Street Journal wrote a similar article describing the effects on MA, further explaining, “the health overhaul will impose drastic payment cuts to insurers that run the plans, and consultants say insurance companies need to begin adapting now.”
And it doesn’t stop there. On June 14th, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released new regulations for implementing the health care plan. The AP noted that under the new regulations, “many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers — 51 percent — will be in plans subject to new federal requirements.” This doesn’t even include the fact that millions of small businesses will have to pay more because of the mandate to cover all of their employees and provide more benefits. But many businesses will find that it will be much less expensive to pay the $2,000 in fines than pay the increasing premiums from the new mandates, causing them to drop millions of health plans of hard working Americans and pushing them into new government exchanges.
Even the New York Times examined the new regulations and came to the following conclusion: Referring to businesses, “you’ll probably be asked to absorb even bigger cost increases than in the last few years.” They go on to discuss that premiums will rise at a faster pace than current increases, putting even more of a burden on businesses to deal with rising costs. I thought the President promised we were going to cut the cost curve, not accelerate it.
Finally, Politico recently reported over a million part-time, low-income workers could lose their private health care plans under the new regulations because “insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.”
The American people continue to support repealing this government takeover of our health care system. The latest Rasmussen poll shows over 55% of Americans want to repeal the new health care plan. More importantly, an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal describes how major swing states like Ohio continue to support repealing it, especially the independent voters within those states.
Welcome to ObamaCare.