Donald Lambro

Now we know what President Obama knew all along -- that millions of Americans would not be able keep their health insurance plans under Obamacare.

Contrary to his oft-repeated promise that if you like the medical care insurance policy you have now, you'll be able to keep it. "No one can take that away from you," he told us in countless speeches since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010.

Obamacare critics knew better and told anyone who'd listen that this wasn't true and the administration knew it wasn't true.

Now the ugly truth has been reported on all of the nightly network news programs, dealing a devastating and maybe politically lethal blow to the trouble-plagued Obamacare law before it has even begun delivering on its promises.

Here's the thrust of what NBC NEWS reported this week on their nightly news show as it was further elaborated on the network's web site:

"Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a 'cancellation' letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don't meet the standards mandated by the new health care law."

"One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience 'sticker shock.'"

The Obamacare law clearly states that policies that were in the enacted legislation on March 23, 2010 would be "grandfathered." In other words, people would keep their policies, even if their plans failed to meet the mandated health care requirements as spelled out in the law.

But then the Department of Health and Human Services drafted regulations in July 2010 that sharply tightened this provision in a way that clamped down on private policies.

These regulations declared that "if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would not be grandfathered," NBC reported.

Indeed, the HHS regulations went further, estimating that about "40 to 67 percent" of policy holders would not be able to retain their plans as presently written. And that those losing grandfather status could well exceed the 67 percent top estimate.

"That means the administration knew that more that 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them," the network reported.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.