Tuesday, November 5, 2013


By now we all know the story: "water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink," or, in its latest revision, "words, words everywhere, but not a syllable of truth anywhere."

"If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period."

Ooops, not 'zackly "period," more like a comma from a president who must have been in a coma when he misspoke so badly and so carelessly on 15 June 2009 when he recklessly promised so much only to deliver so little four years later.

The new version of "period" is "if it (your health care plan) hasn't changed since the law was passed." The president's awkward attempts to shred and parse his previous language are downright embarrassing particularly to those among us who trusted him at the time.

Here's the latest horror story we have, relayed by a subscriber who has asked us not to publish his name but whose revulsion at the deception he's been offered is palpable.

Joe B, we'll call him, had an individual policy with Blue Shield in which he enrolled in 2012 and which he intended to keep especially since his president told him that if he liked his health-care plan he could keep it, "period!"

Joe B's plan was HSA compliant with high deductibles, $4,000 individual, $8,000 family-embedded. There was no so-called "lifetime maximum." Joe B recently was advised by Blue Shield that the health-care plan he liked and expected to keep would not be available after 12 December 2013. He was told that the plan he liked and had intended to keep was not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, that his new premium for a plan he didn't want would be increased by 40%,  that his deductibles would go up by 12.5%, and that his co-pays after the deductible was met would, in Joe's own words, "skyrocket."

Next Joe B  checked out CoveredCA. Too bad for Joe B, because CoveredCA did not offer him any HSA compliant plans. Joe B's conclusion, sadly on target, is that "the lies which were told that both got the law passed and got many elected or re-elected (Obama) are insidious and cause for great concern for our country."

Next, Joe B learned about the IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) from our blog and finds that  provision of the ACA "cause for great additional concern."

Joe B's conclusion: "Stealthily setting up a plan to redistribute income through the healthcare system is what is resulting, and it's just not right."

Our conclusion: if the president wants to ease into a more socialized system, or a single-payer model, he should have the intestinal fortitude to tell that to the voting public.  What he is doing now is an attempt to deceive the public and re-write history. It is likely that the computer glitches in the sign-up process will eventually be fixed, but Joe B has just found out that the HSA compliant health care plan that he liked and was told he could keep is out the window -- that, my friends, is not a computer glitch. It was false when the promise that Joe B could keep his health care plan was initially floated and remains so today -- a sad commentary and severe blow to our ability to trust our president's promises on healthcare or anything else.


1 comment:

  1. We are receiving comments by e-mail about the president's initial touting of the Affordable Care Act and how we'd be allowed to keep our doctors and health care plans, "period!" Now that the "period" has turned out to a comatose comma, interest has shot up. Readers who want to comment can send their remarks on-line directly to the blog or to me personally. Be sure to say if you want your name withheld. - Robert L. Weinmann, MD, Editor, www.politicsofhealthcare.com