Obama tries to reframe narrative on Obamacare

Barack Obama

Facing a chorus of criticism over the White House’s admission that he lied to Americans when he said they could keep their health insurance, President Barack Obama tried to rally supporters during a speech yesterday at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.

The venue was chosen for a reason. In April 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) signed his healthcare reform proposal, which served as a blueprint for Obamacare, into law at the very same location. Though much of the speech repeated the familiar talking points, President Obama hailed Romneycare and tried to tout perceived successes of the healthcare reform in Massachusetts and went into a defense of his own law, specifically address his broken promise.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, the worst of these plans routinely dropped thousands of Americans every single year. And on average, premiums for folks who stayed in their plans for more than a year shot up about 15 percent a year,” said President Obama.

“Now, if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it. That’s what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made,” he continued. “But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you’ve got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage  — because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.”

But President Obama doubled down on the claim that Americans could keep their health insurance under Obamacare and also framed the issue as a shared sacrifice, which may be a hard sell for the hundreds of thousands of Americans receiving cancellation lettersand facing higher health insurance premiums.

“So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it. For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal,” he added.

This is incredibly misleading. That 5% of Americans accounts for anywhere between 14 to 15 million people. And because the grandfather provision written into Obamacare is very strict, making it difficult for individuals to keep their coverage if they make changes. The Obama Administration estimated that up to 67% of Americans on the individual health insurance market would lose their pre-Obamacare coverage. Robert Laszewski, a healthcare policy analyst, recently noted that that number could exceed 80%.

And not only has the Obama Administration estimated that up to 67% of individual policyholders will lose their grandfathered coverage, they also estimated, as J.D. Tuccille noted at Reason, that “34 to 64 percent of large employer (100 or more workers) plans would lose grandfathered status by 2013, and that 49 to 80 percent of small employer (under 100 workers) plans would lose grandfathered status by 2013.”

Using Laszewski’s numbers, as many as 16 million who purchase individual health insurance will lose their coverage. The HHS report that Tuccille cited, after translating the high-end percentages into actual figures, shows that as many as 119.52 million people could lose their employer-based coverage.

Now, this doesn’t mean that these people won’t have access to health insurance coverage on the exchanges or through their employers. But they will no longer have access to the plan that they before because it was compliant with Obamacare’s arbitrary definition of acceptable coverage.

Yes, folks, President Obama lied, no matter how he tries to spin it or reframe the narrative. Many Americans will lose their health insurance coverage because of Obamacare.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.