During a speech on the Affordable Care Act in Boston on Wednesday, Pres. Obama addressed the rising health insurance costs and cancellations throughout the country, placing the blame on “bad apple” insurance companies rather than on the act’s requirements.
“One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured but also the under-insured,” Obama said. “And there are a number of Americans, fewer than 5 percent of Americans, who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.
“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy.”
While Obama has shifted the blame away from the act for the increase in premiums and cancellations, a recent investigation by NBC News reveals that the president has known for three years that these premiums would increase in price or be cancelled due to Obamacare.
“Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock,’” NBC reported.
Obamacare was written to allow the “grandfathering” of premiums that were purchased before March 23, 2010, meaning that those premiums could be kept without having to meet the Affordable Care Act’s mandates; however, “the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.
“Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, ‘40 to 67 percent’ of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, ‘the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.’”
As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have been notified that their coverage is being cancelled because it doesn’t meet the requirements set up by Obamacare, and others are seeing an increase in cost.
According to a study by the Manhattan Institute, premiums will increase on average for men by 99 percent and 62 percent for women as a result of Obamacare.
A man in Austin, Texas revealed that he received a notice from insurance company Humana informing him that his premiums will be increasing by 290 percent, from $264.84 to $711.42 a month. This is being done in order for the company to have an “ACA Compliant Policy.”
Another Humana customer in Texas was recently notified that his premiums would be increasing from $212.10 a month to $1,356.60 a month, an increase of 539 percent.
All of this seems to contradict Obama’s promise that “if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.”
Obama addressed this on Wednesday, also placing the blame on insurance companies.
“That’s what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is, you’ve got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage because that too was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.”