I do believe someone famous once said of Obamacare, "if you like your plan, you can keep it." And by "once said," I mean, "said over and over again, ad nauseam." Not only was that promise a lie -- which the White House knew at the time -- for millions of Americans who were booted off of their existing coverage when the law was first implemented, it's an ongoing lie for consumers who are participating in the law's exchanges. The next big shake-up is looming, directly caused by Obamacare's unsustainable model and lack of affordability -- via Bloomberg:
A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise. At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage. Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals. It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink.
"Keep your doctor" was also an Obama pledge, as you'll of course recall. As we keep saying, and as more Democrats are being forced to admit, the law is failing. And those ramifications are just in the individual market. If Democrats get their way (again) by implementing a "public option" or eventually single-payer, many millions people with satisfactory employer-based coverage should expect to be uprooted and shunted into government-run programs. In the meantime, Obamacare is still hurting people. The Washington Post paints a dreary portrait in North Carolina:
As major insurers jilt their ACA customers, nowhere in the country will more people be left with only a single insurer when the marketplaces open for a fourth year of business. These defections are causing turbulence for a quarter-million North Carolinians whose insurance companies are leaving the state — and for the main insurer that will remain. Such turbulence is especially palpable in the rolling Piedmont in and around Greensboro. Of more than 30,000 people here who have gained ACA insurance, 80 percent have been relying on United Healthcare or Aetna Health, the companies pulling out at the end of December. “Wow, it is going to be huge,” said Natalie Cunningham, a 30-year-old hairdresser who had been uninsured for years before she got her first ACA coverage in 2014. Her health plan enabled her to see a chiropractor who diagnosed her neck and back pains as arthritis that probably was a remnant of a decade-old car accident. As of a week ago, Cunningham had not yet received the letter required of her current insurer, an Aetna subsidiary called Coventry, informing her that she needs to find different coverage. But she is like many residents in worrying how much insurance will cost in the coming year. Or whether they will be able to continue to see the same doctors. Or how their narrowing choice will affect the hopscotch they’ve been playing year to year in pursuit of a health plan they can afford.
It's a trifecta of betrayals: People can't keep their plans, are being forced to pay more, and have sharply diminished options for care. I'll leave you with Ed Morrissey's analysis of Obamacare rationing. This mess is starting to run on fumes in hard-hit areas, as Congressional Republicans are ramping up legal pressure against the Obama administration's alleged scheme to skirt the law and bail out insurers through backdoor payments:
Maybe this unfairly-maligned victim will whine some more about Fox News doing horrible things such as noticing and reporting the news above: