Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Co-Opted Private Health Care Option

Obama was asked repeatedly at the June 23, 2009 press conference about the public option component for health care insurance. When reporters suggested the government plan would be able to offer health coverage at lower cost, Obama dismissed the question and the critics as illogical. Crooks and Liars provide the transcript and video:

Q: Won't that drive private insurers out of business?

THE PRESIDENT: Why would it drive private insurers out of business? If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality healthcare, if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government -- which they say can't run anything -- suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical.
Obama lied.

Investors Business Daily discovered on Page 16 of the 1,018 page H. R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 a provision that actually times private health care coverage out of existence. IBD was unsure they had understood the section and verified their conclusion with the House Ways and Means Committee.

The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.
The full and exact wording is:




4 ERAGE DEFINED.—Subject to the succeeding provisions of

5 this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable cov

6 erage under this division, the term ‘‘grandfathered health

7 insurance coverage’’ means individual health insurance

8 coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the

9 first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:


11 (A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in

12 this paragraph, the individual health insurance

13 issuer offering such coverage does not enroll

14 any individual in such coverage if the first ef

15 fective date of coverage is on or after the first

16 day of Y1.


18 MITTED.—Subparagraph (A) shall not affect

19 the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an

20 individual who is covered as of such first day.


22 CONDITIONS.—Subject to paragraph (3) and except

23 as required by law, the issuer does not change any

24 of its terms or conditions, including benefits and

25 cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day be

26 fore the first day of Y1.
The full 1,018 page bill: H. R. 3200 To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.

Private insurers are not only restricted to the insured on the rolls before the first day of Year 1, but they also cannot make changes to the existing policies. Timed out and obsoleted, and Obama says it's "not logical" to conclude the government plan will drive the private sector insurance from the marketplace. Unbelievable.

The logic is that private insurers must negotiate costs and services while the government can simply legislate costs and services. The private sector must market and sell the superiority of their product to a skeptical consumer; the government, however, can force the issue by law and punishment for noncompliance.

Choice is better than coercion even if the choice is inferior. Coercion under color of law is not a choice, it is not freedom, it is not American.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

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