Because of a regulation designed to make nearly every plan rapidly lose grandfather status, millions of Americans have received letters informing them their health plans have been canceled. Many of them are unable to even get through the first steps of Healthcare.gov to see what their options there are, and others who are able to see their options are finding they have to pay more and may lose their doctors.
It is therefore a stone-cold fact this famous Obama promise from his June 15, 2009 speech to the American Medical Association (and repeatedly constantly since) has been broken: "We will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."
Now, as those plans are being taken away, the White House and its shifty, dishonest media apologists have decided to denigrate Americans for liking their plans.
Exhibit A is the New York Times, which claims Obama "clearly misspoke" (over 25 times?) when he said you could keep your plan. Their absurd headline? "Insurance Policies Not Worth Keeping." All those millions of Americans just didn't know any better.
Millions of Americans are being told their plans are "lousy" or "crummy" because they are indeed, in a hyper-literal sense of the word, "substandard."
That is, they fail to meet the new standard for so-called Essential Health Benefits required of all plans in the individual and small-group markets when they lose grandfather status. Among other things, plans must include "maternity and newborn care" and "pediatric services, including oral and vision care" - whether you have kids or not.
According to HealthPocket: "The data shows that there will be a near complete transformation of the individual and family health insurance market starting in 2014. Less than 2% of the existing health plans in the individual market today provide all the Essential Health Benefits required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."
Even the best of the best plans are being canceled in the individual market. Bob Laszewski, a top industry analyst, described his cancellation: "I have been in this business for 40 years. I know junk health insurance when I see it and I know 'Cadillac' health insurance when I see it. Right now I have 'Cadillac' health insurance... The new plan would have a deductible $500 higher than the one I now have and... costs 66 percent more than our current monthly premium."
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.