Free Markets, Free People

Like your health insurance? Too bad …

Because internal White House documents estimate that 51% of employers are likely to have to give up their current health care coverage due to ObamaCare. And that’s the conservative estimate. Worst case, the percentage goes to 69% of all employers and 80% of smaller firms.

Why? Well, ObamaCare states that existing insurance plans will be “granfathered in” (i.e. you can “keep your plan”) if they meet certain criteria. Main among them is employers may not make any changes to their existing insurance plan after March 23rd of this year until the ObamaCare implementation of this provision on Jan. 1st, 2014. Those changes an employer might make that would bar it from being grandfathered in include:

• It eliminates benefits related to diagnosis or treatment of a particular condition.

• It increases the percentage of a cost-sharing requirement (such as co-insurance) above its level as of March 23, 2010.

• It increases the fixed amount of cost-sharing such as deductibles or out-of-pocket limits by a total percentage measured from March 23, 2010, that is more than the sum of medical inflation plus 15 percentage points.

• It increases co-payments from March 23, 2010, by an amount that is the greater of: medical inflation plus 15 percentage points or medical inflation plus $5.

• The employer’s share of the premium decreases more than 5 percentage points below what the share was on March 23, 2010.

Most of us who have and have had insurance for any amount of time know that those are fairly routine changes driven by cost increases, benefit changes, and the like. However, any of those puts the plan outside the “grandfathered” status and the ObamaCare law requires the firm to either adopot a new plan or drop coverage and pay a penalty.

How likely is it employers won’t make those sorts of changes in the next 3 years? Not very:

Analyzing data on employer-provided plans from 2008 and 2009, the report stated: “Many employers who made changes between 2008 and 2009 that would have caused them to relinquish grandfather status did so based on exceeding one of the cost-sharing limits.”

In total, 66% of small businesses and 47% of large businesses made a change in their health care plans last year that would have forfeited their grandfathered status.

. Essentially government has taken away the ability of employers to manage their plans and will, by force of law, force any of them that do so within the criteria above to drop that plan for another or drop coverage altogether and pay a penalty.

The document in which this information was found is a draft HHS, Labor and IRS joint study of the impact of the bill. When asked about it, a White House spokesman said:

“This is a draft document, and we will be releasing the final regulation when it is complete. The president made a promise to the American people that if they liked their health care plan, they can keep it. The regulation, when finalized, will uphold that promise.”

That, of course, is the official talking point position, aka spin, or if you prefer, smoke and mirrors. The same official then conceded:

“It is difficult to predict how plans and employers will behave in the coming years, but if plans make changes that negatively impact consumers, then they will lose their grandfather status.”

That is the unspun or “it’s exactly as you said it” version. And of course the government will waste no time blaming the loss of the insurance “you like” on your employer.

Because, as we’ve witnessed for 16 months – that’s what this administration does best – blame-shifting. Simple fact: no law, no loss of the “insurance you like”.

End of story.



25 Responses to Like your health insurance? Too bad …

  • As we learn with greater detail every day…the Deemocrats and Obama lied.  Then they lied.  After that, they lied some more, followed by…

    • {sigh} I really must protest all these fevered accusations about lying. It’s clear that you don’t understand post-modernism. Which I don’t buy. Except when I do. Which is part of the magic of the subject!

      See, anything that’s said in pursuit of the humanitarian, well-intentioned goals of the left, which is in engaged in a glorious march to worldly salvation in the form of a leftist utopia, by definition cannot be a lie. Especially since a lie can only be defined in opposition to a truth, and post-modernism has demonstrated that there are multiple truths.

      Obama, with his Christlike visage, is going to save us all, no matter how many dense righties he has to deceive confuse to do it. For example, as I have often asserted, he’s going to cut spending. But I worry about debt, though somehow I never seem to find anything that Obama does that I wish he wouldn’t spend boatloads of money on. And Obama’s stratospheric deficits don’t shake my confidence that he’s going to cut spending, no sir, because I have faith confidence in him and his Christlike visage.

      He thinks like me, and I’m so thankful that the Bush regime is over (finally!) that Obama certainly deserves some time to sort out all the Bush messes. Why, Obama has already succeeded in Iraq where Bush made the biggest foreign policy disaster in history. And don’t start up with how he did it by following Bush’s plan, just don’t start! It’s different, because Obama’s Lightworker status influenced the Iraqis in ways that Bush never could.

      Of course, Iran is going to come out as the beneficiary in all that, anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. As I’ve said many times, those Iraqi wogs can’t really govern themselves, and they’re just quivering with anticipation to give complete control to their Persian masters because religion trumps everything over there.

      But we can’t interfere in Iran, oh, no. Even if there is a popular uprising. Even if they get nuclear weapons, which they would never use anyway. I decree it. Interference would be morally wrong. In a pragmatic way that’s based in random principles created by carbon-based life forms, of course. And how our interference is morally wrong and completely ineffective, but Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons even though they have threatened Israel with annialation is OK is a complex political-sciency thing that you thick righties couldn’t possibly understand. So stop laughing!

      I understand all of Obama’s actions much, much better since I returned from my pilgrimage visit to Europe. Those guys certainly understand how to run a society, and they are so enlightened they can detect racism even in code words. So don’t start about the collapse of the Euro or any of that stuff. The Europeans are the next phase of civilized societies, and they’ve grown beyond the need for icky armies except for a token force to march in parades.

      Anyway, you Neanderthal righties need to shut up about Obama’s brilliant healthcare plan. It will bring us into the collection of other advanced societies that have government-guaranteed healthcare. Though you guys just can’t shut up about it, can you. You’re all like “Obama promised this and he lied” and “Britain’s system is bankrupt” and “Canada’s system is bankrupt” without any understanding at all of the post-modern refutation of those so-called “arguments.”

      Healthcare is a moral right, and Obama just had to do something, and if he had to put the screws to some dense righties running businesses, well, that’s just what he had to do. That’s just additional motivation for you grunt engineer types to figure out all the trivial details now that we enlightened leftists have committed society to the wise, humanitarian, totally-not-opposed-by-the-laws-of-economics policies of universal, government guaranteed access to healthcare of all sorts, no matter how much it costs, and don’t start up with your silly rationing stuff! You doth protest too much!

      Or, even worse, those fictional death panels. Oh, I know you guys are just mesmerized by Sarah Palin’s full lips and ample bosom, and when she winks at you through those naughty librarian glasses, you just melt and go along with anything she says. Come on, guys! Death panels! How silly! Nancy Pelosi says there’s no such thing, and there’s a woman of stature and leadership that you should be looking up to. Though I confess that I don’t completely understand that perpetually surprised look she has.

      You’ll understand all these issues much better when you read the book I’m working on, “Righties in the Mist: Analyzing why dense rightie aborigines are so taken in by Sarah Palin’s full lips.” The publisher likes that title much better than earlier ones I’ve suggested, though I’m not sure why.

      • Oh.
        That clears it all up…

        • Well, thank you, that’s very kind. I so seldom get recognition for my rich, creamy analys

          *** Unhandled error at EC92A626 in module function DetectSarcasm: Invalid stack pop. This error often results when code enters a recursive, self-referential calling loop due to lack of coherent code path. Program restart initiated.

      • I am leaning towards McQ being Ott Scerb if only because McQ already writes so damn much that adding on these beauties is like nothing for him.

    • They just have to lie once.  The Media then relays it without question and attack and criticism and critics of the lies.
      The guiltiest people for the scam being foist upon us is the Media by far.

  • In a way, I am glad to see this.  It will probably take a while to play out.  But, think how delicious it would  be if this fall, just before elections, employees and retired people are confronted by these changes.  That would change a lot of votes.

    • Things have been timed specifically to avoid that.  And to avoid the worst of the impact for the 2012 election as well.

      • But things like this keep leaking out, Jimbo.  I realize the whole thing was timed so as not to really go into effect until 2014, but there are so many screwups in this 2500 page monstrosity, I fully expect the drip, drip, drip to continue.

    • No, no, you’re doing it wrong. You have to use braces for that world-weary, cool effect that I achieve, like this: {sigh} {eyes rolling} {chuckle}

      Only LOL should be used without braces. LOL.

  • Unfortunately this is going to get a delayed realization by those who are either for it, or still like Obama.  And since that realization will come with the Republicans have control of Congress, it will be their fault.  As well as the collapse of Healthcare in General.  It probably one of the reasons why the Democrats don’t seem too upset about losing office.
    1) Democrats sow seeds of Healthcare’s collapse
    2) Republicans take office
    3) [optional]The Republicans don’t repeal it or find a ‘compromise’ solution
    4) Ownership of Healthcare gets assigned to Republicans from with or without #3, but it doesn’t help.
    5) Healtcare collapses, everyone panics
    6) Democrats offer a solution of the Single Payer System

    • I have an optimistic nature, and I believe people are, in fact, waking up and taking positions.

      And here’s a policy suggestion that I offer free and for nothing. If New York offers its citizens IOUs instead cash, citizens should do the same come April.  After wading through the pages of gibberish that our legislators have thoughtfully provided under the rubric of your tax returns, they should enter the amount owed, sign on the dotted line, and enclose an IOU instead of a check. If an irresponsible and fiscally incontinent state can hold on to your money (and you should never forget that it is your money), then you are justified in practicing a little self-defense and treating the state with a little of the contempt with which it treats you.  If five or ten or a hundred people did it, it wouldn’t make much difference.  What if five or ten thousand people did?

      We have tools in the box that we have not really dreamed of using…yet.  Unlike many conservatives, I think one of the most powerful is civil disobedience.   It has worked admirably in the past, and it is…by definition…non-violent.

      • It has worked admirably in the past, and it is…by definition…non-violent.

        >>>>  It’s a different world now.  The Dems have already rolled out the violence.

        • Well, yes and no. Small-scale political violence isn’t unheard of no matter what the era. I am grateful that the disarmament meme has made it into political Leftism and that gun ownership has largely remained a non-leftist thing to do or we could be in some trouble. If Antonio Gramsci had it to do over again I suspect he’d include a meme about how it is necessary to be prepared to violently put down the resisters for their own good and therefore how important it was for the left to arm themselves and become familiar with how to use their weapons.
          (Being in control of the police is good for them but elections can still solve that problem, and we’re still a ways in this country away from being able to use the police to actually enforce political orthodoxy. Perhaps we’ll get there, but we’re still a ways from it.)

        • Non-violence is not for the other side…that is, you don’t commit to it for them.  You do that for yourself, and because it is morally powerful.  Moral right is what makes it work, when it does work.  Behind that, there is always the armed way.

  • But healthcare is FREE?!!?  How could this happen!??!

    • It’s not just free, it’s a RIGHT!  Even though there aren’t really any rights, there are only things we vote for.

  • I think the Dems may think they can eventually get to single payer through failure of Obamacare, but I wonder if they will not run into problems before that can even be attempted. The problem being a japan-like 10 years of no growth along with bad demographics means it won’t be easy to pay for it. Sure, Japan could borrow but now international finance is far more skeptical.
    The way they could do it, would be if growth picked up solidly. Fine by me, I’d rather have growth than 10 years of twiddling my thumbs.

  • McQ[T]he government will waste no time blaming the loss of the insurance “you like” on your employer.
    Because, as we’ve witnessed for 16 months – that’s what this administration does best – blame-shifting. Simple fact: no law, no loss of the “insurance you like”.

    And the morons who voted for and continue to support Imeme and the dems – this includes their lapdog mouthpieces in MiniTru – will wholeheartedly support the regime’s line that ANY degradation in health care coverage (and, eventually, quality) will be due to the eeeeeevil insurance companies, health care providers, and employers.

    What we see routinely from the left is not only garden-variety political dishonesty; all politicians lie and shift the blame when they can.  Instead, we’re seeing here a policy of balkanization and anti-business / anti-capitalism that attempts to pit the American people against the businesses who employee them and the doctors who provide their health care.  This policy is based on the phony idea that people who (gasp!) actually want money for services rendered and (horrors!) wish to make a profit are greedy, wicked, and deserving of punishment by the government.  The goal is greatly increased government power.  And the really disgusting this is that the government’s increased power will NOT result in better things for the common person.  Punishing health care providers, insurers, and employers won’t provide so much as an aspirin for the common man.