Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Some of us have been telling you all along that the only reason and the only way this thing passed was that it passed with the blessing, and I would say with the great excitement and anticipation of, number one, large chains and large hospital organizations, and number two, large insurance companies that are going to ultimately provide most of the exchange coverages. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people that liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years. [Mike: Three, count them three, uno, dos, tres.]
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.”
Mike: There was a story yesterday of a woman who is currently paying for a boutique-level health insurance plan. When I say boutique, this is what I mean: you get to shop from a menu, an a la carte menu, and say: All I want to purchase is major medical. If, God forbid, something horrific happens to me, or if I contract or become afflicted with some horrific disease that requires hospitalization or surgeries for any extended amount of time, then I have some coverage. But going to the doctor, I’ll pay cash. Going to the ER, I’ll pay cash. If I have to get a prescription filled, I’ll pay for the prescription. All I want is specifically major medical insurance coverage, and I’ll even fork over five large of my own money as a deductible. Those types of plans are out there. I don’t know that those are going to exist anymore because they may not meet the standards set forth by the new Affordable Care Act.
Some of us have been telling you all along that the only reason and the only way this thing passed was that it passed with the blessing, and I would say with the great excitement and anticipation of, number one, large chains and large hospital organizations, and number two, large insurance companies that are going to ultimately provide most of the exchange coverages. If you’re having minimum standards set in here, that means everyone has to buy the minimum. If the government is setting the minimum and not the market, then you’re probably not going to like the minimum, and I would hazard a guess to say this would also put more money into whose pockets? Insurance providers. It makes common sense.
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That’s how you got people to go along with this. That’s why the Pelosi Congress could ignore 60 percent of the public that was saying “Hell no!” and is still saying “Hell no!” because the providers were in on it from the start. There are many that are going to blame all of this on politicians. Politicians are certainly responsible for this. They actually have to enact the legislation, and the president is one of those. Make no mistake, folks, there is collusion, unbelievable, criminal collusion that’s going on here. This is exactly what the corporatist State does.
Remember yesterday during the conversation I asked the young lady who called who is a nurse — she’s a nurse today, but she probably won’t be one in three weeks. They’re going to eliminate that occupation. I asked her what the bane of most businesses is. What is the thing that most businesses have to contend with that poses the greatest threat to their survival. Some people are going to say capital, regulations, government. No, it’s competition. If you want to try and ensure your survival, what’s one of the ways you can do this? You can eliminate or seek to eliminate competition. How can this possibly be done? Well, you’d have to use the power of the State. The State can put your competition out of business. That’s exactly what’s happening here. The competition is going to be put out of business. T here’s not going to be any competition. Back to the story:
None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But 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.” [Mike: In other words, more than two-thirds of people that have individual health insurance policies are going to lose them. If they lose them, is there a chance that they also lose their doctor?]
That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.
Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”
“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” said Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms. Laszewski estimates that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which generally requires a richer package of benefits than most policies today. [Mike: If you have to buy more insurance, folks, who are you buying it from? You’re buying it from an insurance company. Who is netting the profits? The insurance company.]
The White House does not dispute that many in the individual market will lose their current coverage, but argues they will be offered better coverage in its place, and that many will get tax subsidies that would offset any increased costs.
Mike: Don’t worry, if your plan is going to go up, you get to become a teat suckler. That’s right, you get to hop on one big, giant federal government boob and suckle your way all the way to the hospital and back. What if you don’t want to suckle? What if you don’t want a subsidy? What if you say: I was doing just fine before. I didn’t need to become a ward of the State. Why do I have to be a ward of the State now? Good question.
“One of the main goals of the law is to ensure that people have insurance they can rely on – that doesn’t discriminate or charge more based on pre-existing conditions. The consumers who are getting notices are in plans that do not provide all these protections – but in the vast majority of cases, those same insurers will automatically shift their enrollees to a plan that provides new consumer protections and, for nearly half of individual market enrollees, discounts through premium tax credits,” said White House spokesperson Jessica Santillo.
“Nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their health plans: The law allows plans that covered people at the time the law was enacted to continue to offer that same coverage to the same enrollees – nothing has changed and that coverage can continue into 2014,” she said.
Individual insurance plans with low premiums often lack basic benefits, such as prescription drug coverage . .
Mike: You have to read this with a clear and suspicious eye. Why is a prescription drug subsidy a benefit? That would be like saying that when I go to State Farm, and because I don’t like having to replace windshields that are busted or cracked or chipped by marauding, mad concrete trucks driving in front of me, dropping beer-can-sized rocks out of the back of them, I buy what’s called a zero deductible comprehensive plan. I have comp insurance. Many of you probably have it, too. When I need a new windshield, there is no deductible. Is that a benefit or did I purchase additional coverage because I don’t want to have to pay for a windshield?
This entire endeavor and this entire discussion, now we’re going to be stuck with this if we don’t do something about it, and I fear it is too late to do something about it. Now the health insurance industry, just as predicted, is no longer an industry. Now it is what? It’s charity. The people that work in it are kind, benevolent, the most giving and the most loving and the most tender and caring people in the history of caring, tender people. Indeed, there may be some kind, caring, tender people that are doctors and nurses and work in the health insurance or health services industry. They, just like you, got into the business and expect to be paid. That is the driving force, the price mechanism. Yes, there was competition for those services. There won’t be any competition now.
Now that everything is a benefit and now that there are only minimum acceptable benefits, we now have the government playing the role of God yet again, determining what is a benefit and what is not. Since it’s in their interest to say that everything is a benefit, now we have entire health insurance plans that are nothing more than benefit plans. Benefit implies that some entity is granting or giving you something. You’re gaining the benefit of something. You’re not gaining security through the purchase of insurance, which is what insurance is. Why do we buy insurance? Andrew, you paid cash for your GM car. Why do you keep insurance on it? You don’t have to. You don’t have a mortgage anymore. Why do you keep insurance on it? Maryland may have a law that says you do.
Mike: But if Maryland didn’t tell you that you did and you owned the vehicle, you probably would anyways. Why?
AG: To offset potential costs for getting in an accident.
Mike: That’s right. It’s security. Let’s say you get in an accident and someone claims that it’s your fault and they try to drop the hammer of the law on you. Your insurance policy probably has some liability component in it and you have to pay out a certain amount. In other words, you buy insurance as a hedge against future difficulties. Whether that is a difficulty because your appendix needs to be removed or whether that is a difficulty because a mad rock hit your windshield and destroyed it, it is still a hedge against future expense. To remove the pricing mechanism from that and to remove the ability for people to choose whether or not they want to purchase the hedge, you’ve now made it nothing more than a commodity. Now they’re trying to make it so that it is a “benefit,” meaning everyone is going to expect it. If everyone expects it but few people are paying for it, what’s going to happen? We’ll have Louie Gohmert, member of Congress, here with us the last hour of the show. Congressman Gohmert has been saying: Mike, there ain’t enough money to go around to pull this thing off. It just can’t work.
End Mike Church Show Transcript