by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute devotes his latest National Review Online column to an assessment of the impact of the 2010 federal health care reform law.
[U]nlike fine wine, the ACA is not getting better with age. A torrent of recent studies and reports has provided new evidence — as if we needed more confirmation — that nearly everything we were told about this law was untrue.
Compare these promises to what we’ve found out about the law in just the past two months:
If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period.
— President Obama, June 15, 2009
People are finding it increasingly difficult to do what the president promised. According to the California health-care-consulting firm HealthPocket, in a study of more than 11,000 plans on the individual market released this month, less than 2 percent of existing plans are in compliance with the law’s benefit requirements. While current plans are technically grandfathered in, allowing people to keep them for now, any change in the plans requires that their coverage be brought into full compliance, even if that means more expensive plans that include new and unnecessary benefits. Moreover, because non-compliant plans cannot enroll new members, most of the existing plans will eventually disappear, requiring even those members who have been grandfathered in to switch plans eventually.
The same applies to many business plans, especially for employers in the “small group” market. In a survey of small businesses, the National Federation of Independent Business found that 12 percent of companies have already been notified that their current coverage will be canceled or will not be renewed because it doesn’t meet Obamacare requirements.
At the same time, the CBO has raised, from 4 million Americans to 7 million, its estimate of the number of workers who will be dumped from their employers’ health plans and forced into the exchanges.