Analysis: Tens Of Millions Could Be Forced Out Of Health Insurance They Had Kevin G. Hall and Anita Kumar McClatchy Newspapers November 10, 2013
Even as President Barack Obama sold a new health care law in part by assuring Americans they would be able to keep their insurance plans, his administration knew that tens of millions of people actually could lose those their policies. â€œIf you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period,â€? Obama said as he pitched the plan, the unqualified promise he made repeatedly. Yet advisers did say in 2010 that there were large caveats and that anyone whose insurance plan changed would lose the promised protection of being able to keep existing plans. And a report in 2010 said that as many as 69 percent of certain employer-based insurance plans would lose that protection, meaning as many as 41 million people could lose their plans even if they wanted to keep them and would be forced into other plans. Another 11 million who bought their own insurance also could lose their plans. Combined, as many as 52 million Americans could lose or have lost old insurance plans. Some or much of that loss of favored insurance is driven by normal year-to-year changes such as employers changing plans to save money. And many people could end up with better plans. But it is not what the president pledged. Caught in the firestorm of his broken promise, Obama on Thursday apologized.
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News Thursday evening. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.” The shifting narrative started as Obama worked to sell the entire health care overhaul to a skeptical nation and Congress. To win support from those who already had insurance, he made the promise that no one who liked their plan would lose it. The key was that millions of plans would be “grandfathered” in the new law, thus protected from any new requirements. Yet as insurance companies started notifying hundreds of thousands this fall that their current policies were being canceled in preparation for new ones, it became clear that many were not guaranteed to keep their plans. The White House and Congress have focused on cancelations of plans in the individual market, where people buy their own policies. Obama insisted anew Thursday that the problem is limited to people who buy their own insurance. “We’re talking about 5 percent of the population who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buying health insurance on their own,” he told NBC. But a closer examination finds that the number of people who have plans changing, or have already changed, could be between 34 million to 52 million. That’s because many employer-provided insurance plans also could change, not just individually purchased insurance plans Administration officials decline to say how many employer-sponsored plans could change. But those numbers could be between 23 million to 41 million, based on a McClatchy analysis of estimates offered by the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2010. Obama aides did acknowledge around the time the law was enacted in 2010 that some people could lose their coverage if their plans changed after the law was passed. Those people would in turn receive what the administration described as superior coverage. But in the years since the law’s passage, HHS officials have downplayed that consequence of the hard-fought law.
“If health plans significantly raise copayments or deductibles or significantly reduce (them) . . . they’ll lose their grandfather status and their customers will get the same full set of consumer protections as new plans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a June 15, 2010, news conference. Many changes in the old insurance plans could trigger the loss of the protected status. Regulations issued by HHS state that the grandfathered status would be lost if the policies eliminate coverage for a particular condition, reduce the annual dollar limit on benefits, increase copayments by as little as $5 or 15 percent, or increase out-of-pocket maximums by more than 15 percent or premiums by more than 5 percent. Later in June 2010, Sebelius’ department published estimates in the Federal Register that 39 percent to 69 percent of employers’ fully insured plans would relinquish the coverage they had prior to the March 2010 passage of the ACA and thus would have to cancel or change policies. About 60 million people are covered in fully insured plans, which make up about 40 percent of employer-provided health plans. Fully insured plans are usually offered by large employers. These plans have the insurance company rather than the employer assume the financial risk of annual health care expenses exceeding expectations. The rest of employers self-insure. To escape having to provide the new law’s minimum required benefits, plans would have to largely maintain the co-pays, premiums and out-of-pocket limits that existed prior to March 2010. Already this year, only 36 percent of employer plans were pre-2010 plans, compared with 56 percent in 2011, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leading health care research organization. That means that millions of people’s plans already had changed or were canceled in the three and a half years since the law was enacted in March 2010. That doesn’t automatically mean the plans were changed or canceled because of the new law. “I think there needs to be great emphasis that plans are not being canceled because of ACA requirements,” said Jon Gabel, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago’s Health Care Research Department. “They’re being canceled because insurers do not want to ‘grandfather’ some plans.” This week, after millions of Americans mostly in the market for individually purchased plans began receiving cancellation notices or price hikes from their insurance companies, Obama added the caveat that people could lose their plans if insurance companies changed the plans. “Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,” he said, adding the qualifier Monday during a Washington event with supporters.
For The First Time Ever, A Prosecutor Will Go To Jail For Wrongfully Convicting An Innocent Man Mark Godsey Huffington Post November 10, 2013
Today in Texas, former prosecutor and judge Ken Anderson pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man, Michael Morton, to prison for the murder of his wife. When trying the case as a prosecutor, Anderson possessed evidence that may have cleared Morton, including statements from the crime’s only eyewitness that Morton wasn’t the culprit. Anderson sat on this evidence, and then watched Morton get convicted. While Morton remained in prison for the next 25 years, Anderson’s career flourished, and he eventually became a judge. In today’s deal, Anderson pled to criminal contempt, and will have to give up his law license, perform 500 hours of community service, and spend 10 days in jail. Anderson had already resigned in September from his position on the Texas bench. What makes today’s plea newsworthy is not that Anderson engaged in misconduct that sent an innocent man to prison. Indeed, while most prosecutors and police officers are ethical and take their constitutional obligations seriously, government misconduct–including disclosure breaches known as Brady violations–occurs so frequently that it has become one of the chief causes of wrongful conviction. Read more
Obama To Cantor In 2010: 8 To 9 Million Americans Will Lose Coverage Patrick Howley November 10, 2013
President Barack Obama admitted in 2010 that 8 or 9 million Americans would lose their existing health insurance plans under Obamacare. “The 8 to 9 million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about — would be folks who the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better,” Obama said to Rep. Eric Cantor at a February 25, 2010 White House summit on health insurance regulation. The millions of Americans recently thrown off their existing health plans are finding the deals in the Obamacare exchanges to be not better, but actually much, much worse. Obama and Cantor at Health Care Summit VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKO868Vbizs The Obama Deception The Truth About Barry Soetoro AKA Barack Obama VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Fall of the Republic Obama's Final Destruction Of America VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU EndGame Blue Print to Global Enslavement VIDEO BELOW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-CrNlilZho&ob=av3e
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Published on Nov 11, 2013
Even as President Barack Obama sold a new health care law in part by assuring Americans they would be able to keep their insurance plans, hi...