Health Insurance CEO: ‘We Have to Break People Away From the Choice Habit'

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | May 13, 2014 | 11:22 AM EDT

“We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has,” Marcus Merz, chief executive of PreferredOne, a Minnesota health insurer, told the New York Times.

“We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks,” he added.

Years after President Obama’s promise that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” has been thoroughly debunked, insurance companies are not bothering to hide the fact that Obamacare is going to limit health care access and choices.

In fact, the New York Times reports that, “While the sizes of the networks vary considerably, many plans now exclude at least some large hospitals or doctors’ groups. …Insurers, ranging from national behemoths like WellPoint, UnitedHealth and Aetna to much smaller local carriers, are fully embracing the idea, saying narrower networks are essential to controlling costs and managing care.”

All of this means less choice and less access for the insured – or what was once called the “consumer,” before Obamacare obliterated the meaning of that word.

“If you like your plan, keep your plan.  I don’t believe we should give government or the insurance companies more control over health care in America.  I think it’s time to give you, the American people, more control over your health,” President Obama said on March 19, 2010 in Fairfax, Va.

My, how times have changed.