After consulting the House Ways and Means Committee to confirm the meaning of the specific language, Investor's Business Daily reports:
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:
"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
So, President Obama isn't lying when he says we'll all be able to keep our individual coverage. What he's not telling you, however, is that we won't be able to change that coverage. At all. Nor will people who leave a company to go to work for themselves be able to purchase a new insurance plan from a private insurer.
I've always thought that Obama's "public option" would eventually drive private insurers out of business and that we'd lose our choices of insurance options. It never occured to me that Members of Congress would be brazen enough to just write a bill to be rid of private insurance altogether.
The fact is that the "public option" won't be an option at all--it will be a mandate for purchasing government-run care.