Obama: Stop scaring people by talking about the horrible unintended consequences of ObamaCare
posted at 5:20 pm on July 29, 2009 by Allahpundit
It’s a long clip, capped by his standard insane nonsense about how national health care’s somehow going to reduce deficits, but the fearmongering bit is right up front. Tapper’s been calling him out for months about his rhetorical sleight of hand in saying that ObamaCare will let you keep your current insurance if you like it. Which is true — unless having to compete with a government plan just so happens to drive your insurer out of business, of course. Why is Tapper trying to scare people? Maybe David Freddoso can explain:
In the Senate Democrats’ bill, individual policyholders can keep their coverage, but they will be penalized under the individual mandate as though they did not have any coverage at all. That would be the death-knell of individual policies, says the Heritage Foundation’s Ed Haislmaier. Insurers, he says, “could exit the market entirely.” (The Senate bill is similarly merciless when it comes to employer-based plans that don’t conform with the rules for the planned government-run exchanges. In other words, the Senate bill, unless changed, will force your employer to change your coverage — maybe just a little bit, but perhaps dramatically.)
House Democrats’ bill, on the other hand, would grandfather individual policy-holders. They could keep their coverage and even add dependents over time. But no new individual policies could be sold as of the first year ObamaCare begins.
Under the best-case scenario, grandfathered individual policies would continue to exist until all of their holders die. But in all likelihood, economic and regulatory forces would conspire against them. The worst case would be a collapse of private insurers, but it doesn’t have to get that bad for individual policies to disappear. For example, if enough individual policy-holders are lured away by the subsidies that will be available for policies in the government-run insurance exchanges, insurers might find that they don’t have a viable risk-pool in the dwindling individual market anymore. They could drop out of the individual market, and they will feel more pressure to do so as patients age.
The bottom line: Under ObamaCare, your individual insurance policy is probably doomed, even if it is grandfathered.
Normally this would be where I segue into a discussion of Megan McArdle’s post about white liberal elites exploiting universal health care to dictate lifestyle choices to the unwashed, but that really falls under the heading of intended consequences. Meanwhile, as you start to hear more about the public plan not having the votes to pass the Senate, do bear in mind that the alternative — a “co-op” which may or may not include government membership — is being heralded by The One himself as basically a public plan by another name.