- Barack Obama repeatedly told us that under ObamaCare, if you like your current health insurance, you could keep it. But nothing could be further from the truth. According to numerous independent studies, tens of millions of Americans will be forced off of their current health care plans if ObamaCare is allowed to stand. Many already have. In fact, a study done by The Heritage Foundation and the Lewin Group predicts that as many as 88 million Americans will lose their current insurance under ObamaCare.
- Barack Obama promised that under ObamaCare, the average American family would save thousands of dollars on their health insurance premiums. The Republican Study Committee predicts that ObamaCare will force premiums for the average family of four to more than double over the next ten years - from $15,073 in 2011 to a whopping $32,175 in 2021.
- Nancy Pelosi said ObamaCare would add 400,000 new jobs. The NFIB predicts that ObamaCare will result in more than 700,000 job losses. And the Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that Obama's government-run healthcare scheme will cost over 800,000 jobs - this at a time when our struggling economy can least afford it.
- Barack Obama claimed that ObamaCare would give more people access to health care. In reality, a Phsyicians Foundation study showed that 40% of doctors are thinking about quitting after ObamaCare kicks into full gear in 2014.
- As President Obama's top advocate, Supreme Court Justice Kagan headed the office responsible for formulating the Administration's defense of PPACA [ObamaCare] - and oversaw the arguments both on appeal and in the lower courts because of PPACA's national importance. She must ethically recuse herself from the case.
Child-Only Health Insurance
A child-only health insurance policy is a policy that parents or grandparents can purchase to cover one particular child. Obamacare requires that insurers who sell child-only plans offer coverage to all new applicants without regard to the child’s preexisting health condition.
Many insurers fear that this new requirement encourages parents to wait until their child is sick before securing health insurance, increasing costs. Trying to avoid a massive exodus of these plans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruled that insurers may limit enrollment to open-enrollment periods as long as insurers do not “selectively deny enrollment for children with a pre-existing condition while accepting enrollment from other children outside of the open-enrollment period.” Moreover, the Administration decided that insurers “can adjust their rates based on health status until 2014, to the extent state law allows.”
Two years later: The unintended consequences remain. In an August 2011 report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 17 states indicated that no insurers were selling child-only policies to new enrollees, and 39 states responded that at least one insurer exited the child-only market since the new law took effect.
Annual Limits and Mini-Med Plans
Many health plans, particularly so-called mini-med plans, limit annual benefits as a way to reduce premiums and make health care more affordable. Obamacare prohibits insurance plans from limiting lifetime benefits and prohibits group plans from limiting annual benefits. But many employers, such as McDonald’s, offer mini-med health coverage plans. Their employees would likely lose their current coverage if the plans were subject to the annual limit requirement.
Under HHS regulations, plans that were in effect between September 23, 2010, and September 22, 2011, were prohibited from limiting annual coverage of certain health benefits (e.g., hospital, physician, and pharmacy benefits) to any amount below $750,000.The restricted annual limit is $1.25 million for plans in effect on or after September 23, 2011, and $2 million for plans in effect between September 23, 2012, and January 1, 2014. Finally, the regulations prohibit any limit on coverage for the yet to-be-defined essential health benefits (EHB) for plans issued or renewed beginning January 1, 2014.
Two years later: The Department of Health and Human Services has granted temporary waivers for more than a thousand plans. On June 17, 2011, the Administration announced that it would not accept waivers beyond September 22, 2011, thus ending the waiver option. As of January 2012, 1,722 sponsors of health plans covering more than 4 million individuals have received approval for waivers from Obamacare’s annual limit requirements. The two largest approved waivers are for the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund with its 351,000 enrollees, and for the District Council 37 Health and Security Plan with 303,164 enrollees.
As these waivers expire, the 1,722 employers will have to decide whether to change their current policies to more expensive coverage, or drop coverage for the 4 million people
- Obamacare puts the United States health care system on the wrong track and will expand the role of the federal government in every component of Americans’ health care. It allows Washington to define the health plans that Americans must purchase. It gives bureaucrats the power to influence medical decision-making, which rightfully belongs in the hands of doctors and their patients. And its new taxes and expansion of government health care programs are unaffordable to current and future taxpayers.And that’s just the beginning. Every American will experience the impact of the health law, and in many cases, the consequences are already negative and far-reaching. To get the health care system on the right track that empowers patients, reduces cost, and ensures access, Obamacare must be repealed.