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    Obamacare Reality Check: If you like your plan, maybe you can keep it

    08/11/2009

    3 (a) GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COV

    4 ERAGE DEFINED.—Subject to the succeeding provisions of

    5 this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable cov

    6 erage under this division, the term ‘‘grandfathered health

    7 insurance coverage’’ means individual health insurance

    8 coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the

    9 first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:

    From Page 16 of H.R. 3200

    We hear again and again that under the president’s health plan, we can keep our current insurance. Kavita Patel, who works with Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, said in the White House’s “You can keep your own insurance” video, “if you like your insurance, if you like the kind of health care you have right now and the plan you have, you can keep it.” President Obama at a June 23, 2009 press conference stated that: “If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing. You keep your plan. You keep your doctor. If your employer is providing you good health insurance, terrific, we're not going to mess with it.”

    While that is technically true that people can keep the plan they have according to the section of H.R. 3200 quoted above, the bill gives government the power to make it extremely difficult if not impossible for insurance companies to continue providing those plans—even if you want to keep it. Following the above paragraph, restrictions are listed. This is one of them:

    1 (3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES.—

    2 The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in

    3 the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific

    4 grandfathered health insurance coverage without

    5 changing the premium for all enrollees in the same

    6 risk group at the same rate, as specified by the

    7 Commissioner.

    From Page 17 of H.R. 3200

    In other words, an insurance company cannot raise the price of the insurance plan.  That might sound good, but when combined with the fee placed on private insurance under H.R. 3200, it will make it difficult for private insurers to continue to provide the coverage with which those Americans who are happy with their coverage can keep.

    Once an insurance company is forced to raise rates with the government fee to remain profitable, then the plan loses its special “grandfathered” status. Once an individual’s insurance loses grandfathered status, then the only way to purchase insurance is through the H.R. 3200 created national exchange.  **Edit 3:02 PM Aug. 11, 2009** Even if the insurance company raises rates in accordance with the Commissioner on all enrollees in the same risk group at the same rate to compensate for the government-imposed fee on private insurance, then, as one of the gracious commentors pointed out, "nobody is going to subscribe."  Individuals will drop their now-more-expensive plans and they'll be required by law to purchase insurance through the government-controlled national exchange.  Either way--whether insurance companies stop offering the same insurance at the same rate or if they raise rates and individuals go looking for other options, H.R. 3200 will drive Americans away from health insurance plans that they have and like right now. **End edit**

    23 (c) LIMITATION ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE

    24 COVERAGE.—

    with BILLS

    1 (1) IN GENERAL.—Individual health insurance

    2 coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance

    3 coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered

    4 on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-par

    5 ticipating health benefits plan.

    From Page 16 of H.R. 3200

    The bill technically offers Americans the right to keep their own coverage, but once they seek out different insurance or their company is forced through fees to drop the plan, Americans will be forced to purchase insurance through a government-operated national exchange.