There’s spin. There’s deflection and misdirection. And there’s outright fabrication. The left’s campaign to save Obamacare from itself, as well as salvage Barack Obama’s presidency, is well into the make-stuff-up phase of damage control, completely changing the pretext under which the disastrous Affordable Care Act was enacted.
President Obama and congressional Democrats assured Americans that Obamacare would insure the uninsured and reduce health insurance costs. The president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and dozens of other elected Democrats made and repeated an iron-clad promise: those who already had insurance would be able to keep their coverage.
But the president and his administration knew Obamacare would accomplish precisely the opposite. Because the law imposed such stringent, expensive minimum coverage standards, millions of noncompliant policies would have to be canceled, forcing consumers to buy far more expensive plans through federal-state insurance exchanges that still don’t work.
The public’s growing outrage over millions of cancellations and the costs they face in replacing the plans they liked has spawned a new Democratic rallying cry: Your canceled policies were junk. President Obama never wanted Americans to keep insurance he didn’t like. He wanted all Americans to have better insurance. It was a common refrain last week, when the House passed the bipartisan Keep Your Health Plan Act to restore policies canceled under Obamacare rules.
"The bill allows health insurers to continue selling predatory health insurance plans that have high deductibles, high out-of-pocket costs and provide very little coverage," said Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who voted against the bill. "We are trying to wean people off of those plans and into better health insurance," said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who also voted against the bill.
So the insured were part of the problem all along. The people who were responsible enough to purchase coverage that fit their needs and their budgets, without being threatened with a penalty tax, were too dumb to understand they were actually buying "predatory" garbage. The people who gave themselves an economic incentive to take care of their health, who willingly paid cash for routine medical care, needed to be forced to pay even more for coverage they didn’t want or need.
Does anyone remember that debate in 2009 and 2010? Neither do we.
As for Rep. Horsford’s goal of getting insured Americans out of their high-deductible, high-cost plans, well, good luck with that. Bloomberg reports that for insurers to meet the added costs of Obamacare mandates, including no-cost preventive care, many ACA-compliant policies have even higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the "junk" policies Democrats want to eliminate. In some states, deductibles exceed $6,000 for individuals and $12,000 for families.
Obamacare strikes out on premium affordability, too. According to the Manhattan Institute, Obamacare is projected to increase individual-market premiums by 179 percent in Nevada, the biggest jump in the nation. Sticker shock, not technical failure, is the major reason why so few people are buying insurance from Obamacare exchanges. The Twitter account @MyCancellation documents the cancellation notices Americans are receiving, as well as their outrageous new premium quotes. One tweet this week read "From Alabama: Old plan canceled was $180/mo w/ $6,700 ded. New plan under #ACA $400/mo &ded nearly doubles $12,000."
Americans were lied to. No amount of revisionist history can save this law or make its awful consequences acceptable. Are you paying attention, Sen. Reid? Repeal and replace.
This editorial appeared Nov 21 in the Las Vegas Review-Journal