President Obama knew millions of Americans would lose their health insurance policies under his signature health care law but continued saying they would not throughout the law’s rollout, including during the 2012 presidential campaign.
That’s according to an investigation by NBC News, which says the Department of Health and Human Services – headed by Obama’s own appointees — wrote regulations guaranteeing that many if not most Americans who have individual policies would lose their insurance. Now, a lot of those Americans are experience sticker shock at what they’re being offered.
Under the HHS regulations, any health care policy that experienced a change after March 23, 2010 – such as a change in co-pay or deductible – would not be “grandfathered” into the new system. The result? Millions of Americans in recent weeks have received cancellation letters from their insurance companies. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, hundreds of thousands in New Jersey alone received such letters.
Four government sources told NBC News that 50-75 percent of Americans who purchase individual policies will receive cancellation letters.
In 2009, after he was elected, Obama said, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” In 2012 he said, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”
Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said the administration knew what the president was saying wasn’t true.
“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” Laszewski told NBC News.
Americans are losing their current policies not only because of the new HHS regulations but also because the Obamacare law itself requires health insurance companies to cover certain conditions – even if, say, a healthy person does not want the expanded coverage.
Off The Grid News recently reported that many Americans will pay double or more for what they currently have.
George Schwab, 62, of North Carolina, told NBC News he was “perfectly happy” with his Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, for which he paid a $228 premium. But he received a cancellation letter and Blue Cross offered him a $1,208 monthly premium for a comparable plan. The deductible is $5,500. He searched for a plan on the exchange but is facing a $948-a-month premium if he goes that route.
“The deductible is less,” he told NBC News, “But the plan doesn’t meet my needs. It’s unaffordable. I’m sitting here looking at this, thinking we ought to just pay the fine and just get insurance when we’re sick. Everybody’s worried about whether the website works or not, but that’s fixable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff isn’t fixable.”
Heather Goldwater, 38, of South Carolina, received a letter from Cigna saying her policy is being cancelled.
“I’m completely overwhelmed with a six-month-old and a business,” Goldwater said. “The last thing I can do is spend hours poring over a website that isn’t working, trying to wrap my head around this entire health care overhaul.”
She told the news organization she worries she won’t be able to afford the new policy.
“I’m jealous of people who have really good health insurance,” she said. “It’s people like me who are stuck in the middle who are going to get screwed.”
Laszewski said he and his wife received a cancellation letter from their insurance company. The best new comparable plan has a 66 percent higher premium, he said.
“Mr. President, I like the coverage I have,” Laszweski said. “It is the best health insurance policy you can buy.”