Broken Promise #4: If You Like Your Health Insurance Plan You Can Keep It

Mar 22, 2012

Throughout the debate over health care reform we all heard the line: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” President Obama used this line in practically every speech he gave to sell his reform in an attempt to sooth opposition the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Now we know better, and that’s why “if you like your plan, you can keep it” is the latest subject of my series on broken promises.

In 2010, Kate Pickert wrote in TIME magazine:

The truth is that employer-based plans, which many assumed would easily be categorized as grandfathered, will be subject to the full regulatory thrust of the new law if they are altered in ways that are standard practice in the industry. Plans that increase the percentage of costs patients must pay out of pocket — known as co-insurance — lose their grandfathered status. The same is true for plans that significantly decrease the percentage that employers contribute to premiums or those that significantly increase deductibles or co-payments.

By 2013, it’s estimated that as many as 69% of all employer plans and 80% of small businesses’ plans will lose their grandfathered status and thus be subject to all of the law's burdensome mandates and regulations.

Bottom line: Even if workers like their health insurance they won’t be able to keep it. Promise broken.

Millions of Americans in employer-sponsored health care plans will be affected. Last year, the McKinsey Group found that more than 50% of employers that are highly aware of the law could stop offering health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that “about 3 million to 5 million fewer people, on net, will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022” and that total could be as high as 20 million.

If you like your health insurance, beware, because under the PPACA, you will not be able to keep it.

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