The Left's latest talking point is that "only" five percent of the US insurance market is affected by President Obama's "keep your plan" lie. Left unmentioned is that this small-sounding slice of the population amounts to millions of human beings. But as Avik Roy and others have pointed out, the White House's go-to stat is a lowball estimate. The real number of affected Americans will be an order of magnitude higher than Obamacare's defenders are willing to concede. McClatchy's analysis concludes that tens of millions of Americans will experience the president's broken promise firsthand once the law is fully implemented:
Even as President Barack Obama sold a new health care law in part by assuring Americans they would be able to keep their insurance plans, his administration knew that tens of millions of people actually could lose those their policies. “If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period,” Obama said as he pitched the plan, the unqualified promise he made repeatedly. Yet advisers did say in 2010 that there were large caveats and that anyone whose insurance plan changed would lose the promised protection of being able to keep existing plans. And a report in 2010 said that as many as 69 percent of certain employer-based insurance plans would lose that protection, meaning as many as 41 million people could lose their plans even if they wanted to keep them and would be forced into other plans. Another 11 million who bought their own insurance also could lose their plans. Combined, as many as 52 million Americans could lose or have lost old insurance plans.
It's impossible to waive away 52 million (or more) citizens as "anecdotes," or a rounding error. Will Harry Reid allow a vote on the "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It" Act? NBC News and the Wall Street Journal have reported that the administration explicitly knew that the the president's categorical pledge was false. They chose to perpetrate the deception for cynical political purposes. This clip from 2010 demonstrates that Obama knew exactly what he was doing:
The president isn't surprised by, or sorry for, this outcome. His half-assed non-apology was nothing more than a naked attempt to change the subject. Beyond that, the notion that Americans losing their coverage are simply being "upgraded" to "better" plans simply isn't true for many. Click through for just a few examples of people being forced to pay more for inferior plans. And that's before we even consider countless Americans in the employer-based insurance market whose premiums and costs are increasing because of the law. That was another big presidential promise that won't pan out for tens of millions. Philip Klein and Allahpundit have argued that perhaps even more politically damaging than cancelled insurance plans will be the rash of people who will learn that their new, "better" plans won't let them keep their doctors -- which, naturally, Obama unequivocally told people they could. "Period." Access shock (Klein's term) has already started to rear its head in California, New York and New Hampshire. The dumped doctor problem is intensifying:
The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, claims the Affordable Care Act is responsible for forcing it to boot doctors from its Medicare Advantage program that serves thousands of elderly patients in the New York metro region. CEO Jack Larsen, under fire for separating seniors from their MDs, took out full-page ads to explain that cuts in Medicare spending forced the insurer’s hand. “We are working to collaborate with a more focused network of physicians to help us provide higher quality and more affordable health care coverage to meet the needs of our members, and help them get more from their health plan benefits,” Larsen said. “This work has become even more urgent in light of the severe funding reductions for Medicare Advantage plans that have come from Washington.” Even fervent supporters of ObamaCare are investigating complaints that elderly patients are being unnecessarily separated from their doctors.
Democrats will try to shovel the blame onto insurers, but shifting fault from the chaotic and mandate-heavy "Affordable" Care Act will be a tall order. And angry senior citizens vote. Finally, Obamacare's fraud issues show no signs of subsiding. Beyond the security glitches and damning report showing that the administration knowingly moved ahead with a porous, vulnerable site, fraudsters are capitalizing on the current confusion and preying on innocent people. And as some website fixes are achieved, new snags have arisen -- with the White House's November 30 deadline less than three weeks away.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography