President Obama wants you to understand what he really meant when he said you could keep your health insurance plan under Obamacare. The Washington Post reports:
Fact-checkers and journalists have ruled that Obama wasn’t being truthful when he claimed that people who liked their insurance could keep it. Obama during a speech in Boston sought to cast the issue Wednesday as trying to weed out “bad apple insurers” who don’t provide enough coverage.
“One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured but also the under-insured,” Obama said. “And there are a number of Americans, fewer than 5 percent of Americans, who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.
“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy.”
In other words, if President Obama likes your plan, you can keep it. This slight revision to his previous claim should be embraced on account of it serving your best interests, the president claims. Before Obamacare, those pesky insurance companies were providing you with precisely what you contracted for and not a penny more. Our national savior can’t have that.
It would have been nice if the president had led with this message from the start. Certainly, those of us who understood Obamacare when it was proposed knew that liking our plan would not necessarily mean we could keep it. After all, that’s the whole point of passing a law, interfering in chosen behavior. You don’t need to pass a law to let people keep what they have. You just need to leave them alone.
The president’s revision proves particularly egregious when he claims that “bad apple insurers had free rein… to limit the care that you received.” That’s utter nonsense. Unlike President Obama and the government he administrates, no insurance company has the ability to dictate what care someone receives. They adhere to the agreements they make with policyholders, trading the value of risk mitigation for the value of premium payments. No one is forced to buy a policy. Or at least they weren’t before Obamacare. If a patient needs or wants care under the free market, they buy it. No insurance company can tell them otherwise.
Conversely, and with no small degree of irony, Obamacare will inevitably limit the care which patients receive. Indeed, by removing the natural rationing mechanism of price signals, Obamacare will necessitate an arbitrary rationing mechanism. That means someone else decides what you get. Oh, and the law jacks up premiums and drives the entire country into bankruptcy.
Thanks, President Obama. May we have some more?