During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama promised healthcare reform where the uninsured would be covered through a government program while the insured would be allowed to keep their current plan. This assauged the fears of people happy with their current health insurance that Obama’s plan would not affect or undermine their health care.
Investor’s Business Daily’s staff is reading the healthcare reform bill that our members of Congress can’t be bothered to read before voting on it. In an editorial published on July 15, they point out that they have confirmed the legislation indeed will outlaw private health insurance in a particularly underhanded way. That is, only persons who currently have private health insurance may keep their coverage, but they may not change carriers and must switch to the government plan if they drop their current carrier — for example, if they change jobs:
When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:
“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
There’s more — please click the link above and go see for youself.
Obama’s healthcare reform legislation makes high unemployment rates good for his purpose of destroying the private healthcare insurance market because when people lose their jobs they have permanently lost access to private healthcare coverage. They are forced into the government program. Obama can still run around telling people he’s not outlawing private health insurance and trick people into supporting it because they do not realize his plan doesn’t have to outlaw private health insurance because it generates the same result by creating the conditions that ensure its rapid death. It’s like Obama saying he’s not going to put out a burning candle, he’s just going to put this lovely bell jar over it to keep it safe.
H/T Instapundit, including the following update Prof. Reynolds added after I wrote this post:
UPDATE: Reader Patrick Ying disagrees:
Investor’s Business Daily did not continue to read the bill to page 19. “Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan. ” It does not outlaw individual private coverage – you can still buy the plan on the Exchange where they will compete with the public option, not be replaced by it. The advantage of the Exchange, is that the coverage no longer has one of the problems of individual coverage – skyrocketing premiums should you become ill.
[Instapundit:] Hmm. We should have more time for all this stuff to be sorted out. Instead they’re ramming it through as quickly as possible. That makes me suspicious.
Michelle Malkin brings in the tax proposals in the healthcare reform bill’s proposal for the death of choice in healthcare coverage here.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air also has a worthwhile post on the Investor’s Business Daily’s assertion above that Obamacare outlaws private health insurance and responds to the update from Patrick Ying at Instapundit as follows:
Well, that [the Exchange] may address the issue, but price-fixing premiums means insurers can’t cover the costs of the risk they assume. Either the insurers will have to start with higher premiums to cover their costs, or they will go out of business when usage increases and premiums remain fixed. Forcing insurers into price-fixing schemes only adds another step to their extinction.