Empowering patients with consumer-driven health care is a proven way to reduce the growth in medical costs. ObamaCare empowers government agencies and insurance companies instead of consumers by restricting the ability and of patients to take ownership of their health care decisions. “Rising health care costs represent the largest threat to the nation’s fiscal solvency, and unfortunately, Obamacare does little to change that. But empowering consumers can cut costs.”
Gov. Daniels gave a presentation demonstrating how ObamaCare would hurt state budgets and undo many innovative and successful state reforms already in place. Under ObamaCare, the Healthy Indianans Program, which covers the uninsured, will be replaced with a forced expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, which will provide inferior care and reduce flexibility for consumers.
The federal government has finalized the specific changes employers are allowed to make to their insurance plans to still remain “grandfathered” and exempt from ObamaCare’s new restrictions. Accordingly, the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Labor estimate that 51% of all employers will lose their “grandfathered” status because of small changes they make to their health insurance plans and be subject to the full force of ObamaCare’s coverage restrictions by 2013.
New rules determining how much a company’s insurance plan can change before it’s considered a new plan, and thus no longer exempt from ObamaCare’s mandates, are likely to lead to people losing the plans that they currently have and like. “The regulation, released by the Department of Labor, the Treasury and HHS, estimates that 13 percent to 42 percent of employers would lose their grandfathered status by next year, and 34 percent to 80 percent would by 2013. Small businesses are considered more likely than larger companies to lose their grandfathered status.”
“The number one question on my patients’ minds as the new health reform bill passed was whether they would be able to keep their current health care plan, like the president promised. This past week, when the new 83-page draft of regulations was released jointly by the IRS, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor, an answer was offered. Unfortunately, it’s a resounding no.”
Consumer-directed health plans have been tremendously successful at controlling otherwise rising health care costs for families and businesses. High-deductible health policies, coupled with health savings accounts, empower patients to choose the best care for the best value, but ObamaCare threatens to take away such plans, because of new regulations to standardize health insurance policies and mandate more expensive, less flexible plans.
When drafting ObamaCare, Congress left the decision of how to manage the transition for current plans to meet the new Washington-approved health care mandates up to the Administration. The Department of Health and Human Services has issued new rules, which will require many firms to drop their current coverage to comply. “Although President Obama and many Democrats promised during the health care reform debate that ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ the health insurance plans that are now offered by small businesses probably will not survive the transition to a regulated marketplace.
An ill-conceived provision of ObamaCare is already threatening to upend insurance policies for millions of Americans. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported to HHS recently that they would not meet a regulatory deadline because of the massive disruption strict adherence to the new law would precipitate. According to some sources, there is potential for millions of people to lose their insurance next year based on rules which are supposed to control premiums by regulating the amount insurers are allowed to spend on administrative costs but actually just drive insurers out of the marketplace altogether.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels expressed his dissatisfaction with ObamaCare during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute — claiming that the health-care overhaul is anything but “reform,” and stating that Indiana is “only just beginning to grapple — reeling might be the term — with what this will mean at the state level.”
The Massachusetts health-care program provides a clear blueprint for what would happen nationwide under ObamaCare: Increased demand and decreased supply would raise costs and lengthen lines; increased mandates would increase costs still further; and increased costs would lead to employers bailing out and insurers going out of business, with government-run health care being the inevitable end-result.