Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tanner Debunks Another Obama Claim

In the August 26, 2009 Orange County Register, Michael Tanner debunks President Obama's frequent claim of "If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period."

Here's an excerpt from Tanner's piece, "Like your health plan? Read this":
No, Mr. President. No you can't.

To go straight to the chapter and verse: under Section 59(B)(a) of HR3200, the bill making its way through the House, and Section 151 of the bill that passed out of a Senate committee, every American would be required to buy health insurance.

And not just any insurance: to qualify, a plan would have to meet certain government-defined standards. For example, under Section 122(b) of the House bill, all plans must cover hospitalization; outpatient hospital and clinic services; services by physicians and other health professionals, as well as supplies and equipment incidental to their services; prescription drugs, rehabilitation services, mental health and substance-abuse treatment; preventive services (to be determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Preventive Services Task Force); and maternity, well-baby, and well-child care, as well as dental, vision, and hearing services for children under age 21.

But that's not all. Section 1239(b) of the bill also establishes a federal Health Benefits Advisory Committee, headed by the U.S. surgeon general, which will have the power to develop additional minimum benefit requirements. There is no limit to how extensive those future required benefits may be.

If your current health insurance doesn't meet all those requirements, you won't be immediately forced to drop your current insurance for a government-specified plan. But you would be required to switch if you lose your current insurance or “if significant changes are made to the existing health insurance plan.”

More critically, for the 70 percent of us who get our insurance through work, those plans would all have to satisfy the government's benefit requirements within five years.

More likely, your employer will simply find that the increased cost and administrative burden is not worth it, and will dump you into the government-run "public option."
Tanner also describes more ways in which government policies would destroy current insurance plans, concluding:
Any way you look at it, under the bills currently before Congress, millions of Americans will be forced out of their current health insurance plan, even if they are happy with it. Period.
The government doesn't want you to decide what kind of insurance you can have. Instead, they'll decide for you.

Americans need to decide if they want this kind of government.