Under Obamacare, People Pay More for Inferior Health Plans

November 11, 2013 - 1:25 PM

A Colorado woman who championed Obamacare lost her insurance plan. As a CBS TV station in Denver noted, "Millions of people are getting cancellation notices, including about 250,000 Coloradans. For years the president said that those who like their current plan would be able to keep it, but it turns out that's not the case."

So did a former host at MSNBC, whose coverage of Obamacare touted Obama's since-broken pledge that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it," and depicted critics of Obamacare as lying haters.

President Obama has recently acted as if the millions of cancellations were a surprise to him, but that is not the case (indeed, the Department of Health and Human Services has long projected in the Federal Register that its narrow interpretation of the Affordable Care Act's grandfather clause would eliminate a substantial fraction of America's existing health plans).

As Liberty Unyielding notes, "If you trust Barack Obama to tell the truth (and if you do, have we got a bridge to sell you!), he learned only within the last month or so that millions of Americans would receive cancellation notices from their health insurers. The president even said [so] on Thursday, during his "confessional" interview with NBC's Chuck Todd" after "repeating at least 36 times that if you liked your health care, you could keep your health care." But "someone dredged up video of him acknowledging as early as February 2010 - before the bill had even been passed into law - that 8 to 9 million Americans will in fact lose coverage."  The video can be found here.

Obama has claimed that the canceled policies are lousy "junk" policies that only an unsophisticated person would buy, and that are being replaced by better ones. But in reality, many people, including health care experts, have lost valuable existing health insurance policies and been forced to purchase plans with higher deductibles and much higher premiums. "Because of Obamacare," health policy analyst Hadley Heath lost her existing health insurance plan, and "the most affordable" replacement "plan available to her now through the Washington, D.C.," Obamacare "exchange would double her insurance premium, and her new deductible would be about $3,500 per year," $800 higher than her old deductible.

Similarly, notes the Washington Examiner,

Obamacare is making Robert Laszewski, a respected health insurance expert, lose his top-notch insurance plan, with which he "can access every provider in the national Blue Cross network ... without higher deductibles and co-pays ... Wellness benefits are without a deductible. It covers mental health, drugs, maternity, anything I can think of." Obamacare offers Laszewski a plan that costs 66 percent more each month, severely restricts his doctor network, and carries a deductible $500 higher than his old plan. So tell me - which plan is "junk?" Such stories abound. At the Daily Beast, David Frum describes in greater detail what he had earlier summed up in one tweet. "I already had a high-deductible plan," he wrote. "Now I can buy a plan with double the deductible for only $200 a month more." . . .Washingtonian contributing editor Art Levine, an Obamacare supporter, wrote at the Huffington Post that he's losing his relatively expensive ($530 per month premium) but comprehensive plan. A comparable Obamacare plan will cost him twice as much. "The spin being offered now is that the plans being canceled by and large don't cover mental health or reasonably-priced medications or maternity care," he writes. "But that's simply not true, as my plan's benefits indicate."

Journalist David Freddoso is going to have to pay more under Obamacare for an inferior plan. His new "plan has a deductible more than twice as great as the one that was costing me only $62 per month, and an out-of-pocket maximum that's about $500 higher than that cheaper plan. Both plans were similar in that they had no lifetime or annual coverage limits. Both had free wellness visits as of 2013."

In The Washington Times, a physician debunked six other "unkeepable Obamacare promises" that have already been shown to be false.

Obamacare has many other flaws.

It contains massive marriage penalties that discriminate against married people, and huge work disincentives for some people.

It has also reduced hiring and induced employers to replace full-time workers with part-time employees, driving even unions that once backed it to seek its repeal or replacement.

It has also caused layoffs in the medical device industry. Two doctors recently argued in The Wall Street Journal that Obamacare is "bad for your health," and that "venture capital investment in medical devices has all" due to it. They predict that Obamacare's effect on medical innovation will be "devastating."