Politics & Policy

Obama Lied, My Health Plan Died

Obamacare is delivering a death knell to insurance plans on the individual market.

Like an estimated 22 million other Americans, I am a self-employed small-business owner who buys health insurance for my family directly on the individual market. We have a high-deductible PPO plan that allows us to choose from a wide range of doctors.

Or rather, we had such a plan.

Last week, our family received notice from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado that we can no longer keep the plan we like because of “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA).” The letter informed us that “to meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued beyond your 2014 renewal date.”

In short: Obama lied. My health plan died.

#ad#Remember? Our president looked America straight in the eye and promised: “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.”

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) also lied when she pledged: “Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them.”

This isn’t just partisan business. It’s personal. Our cancellation letter states that Anthem is “not going to be selling new individual PPO plans.” When we asked whether we could keep our children’s doctors, an agent for Anthem told my husband and me that she didn’t know. The insurer has no details available yet on what exactly they’ll be offering. We either will be herded into the Obamacare federal health-insurance-exchange regime (launching October 1), a severely limited HMO plan, or we’ll be presented with costlier alternatives from another insurer. If they even exist.

My family is not alone. Across the country, insurers are sending out Obamacare-induced health-plan death notices to untold tens of thousands of other customers in the individual market. Twitter users are posting their Obamacare cancellation notices and accompanying rate increases:

Linda Deright posted the news she received from her insurance company, Regence of Washington State: “63 percent jump, old policy of 15 yrs. cancelled.” Karen J. Dugan wrote: “Received same notice from Blue Shield CA for our small business. Driving into exchange and no info since online site is down.” Chris Birk wrote: “Got notice from BCBS that my current health plan is not ACA compliant. New plan 2x as costly for worse coverage.” Small-business owner Villi Wilson posted his letter from HMSA Blue Cross Blue Shield canceling his individual plan and added: “I thought Obama said if I like my health care plan, I can keep my health care plan.”

Few among Washington’s protected political class are paying attention, because they enjoy their lucrative taxpayer-funded government benefits and are exempted from Obamacare’s destructive consequences. But one of my state’s Republican congressional representatives, Cory Gardner, also lost his individual-market plan. Unlike most politicians on Capitol Hill, Gardner chose not to enroll in the federal health-insurance program. When I asked him why he opted to participate in the private market, he said, “Because I wanted to be in the same boat as my constituents — and now that boat is sinking!”

Gardner points to recent analysis showing rate increases in the individual market of 23 to 25 percent in Colorado. “After my current plan is discontinued,” he wrote last week, “the closest comparable plan through our current provider will cost over 100 percent more, going from roughly $650 a month to $1,480 per month.” He now carries his Obamacare cancellation notice with him as hard-core proof of the Democrats’ ultimate deception.

Maryland announced that its post-Obamacare individual-market rates could also rise by a whopping 25 percent. The National Association for the Self-Employed is recommending that its small-business owners and freelancers plan for at least a 15 percent increase nationwide. One of the reasons for those rate hikes, of course, is that Obamacare’s mandated-benefits provisions force insurers to carry coverage for services and items that individual-market consumers had deliberately chosen to forgo.

Americans who had opted for affordable catastrophic-coverage-style plans now have fewer and fewer choices. This includes a whole class of musicians, photographers, artists, writers, actors, and other creative people who purchased health plans through the individual market or through small professional organizations. As St. Vincent College arts professor Ben Schachter reports in The Weekly Standard, groups such as the College Art Association, the Modern Language Association, and the Entertainment Industry Group Insurance Trust are dropping their plans. Young, healthy members of these groups “are far more likely to see their rates go up — or to face the individual mandate penalties.”

Thanks to Obama, access is down. Premiums and health-care spending are up. Research and development on lifesaving drugs and medical devices are down. Because of Obamacare costs and regulatory burdens, at least 300 American companies have cut hours and benefits, according to Investor’s Business Daily. And the Obamacare layoff bomb continues to claim victims.

Obamacare is destroying the private individual market for health insurance by design, not accident. For hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of self-employed job creators, three fundamental Obamacare truths are becoming as clear as Obama’s growing nose: 1) You can’t keep it. 2) We’re screwed. 3) The do-gooders don’t care.

Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. © 2013 Creators.com

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More