Cooper: If you like your plan, you have to change it

Cooper: If you like your plan, you have to change it

October 13th, 2015 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

The Chattanooga headquarters of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is shown in an aerial view.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee isn't the first to do it and won't be the last. But its announcement last week that many people who purchased the company's health insurance plans before the advent of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) now will have to buy new plans continues the lies told by the Obama administration with the passage of its health care law.

Oh, the Tennessee insurer is well within its rights under the law to force such a change on those enrollees who were previously grandfathered in, and from a business sense it's understandable the company would not want to continue to "support essentially two individual markets under different sets of coverage requirements," as a spokeswoman said.

But that isn't how the law was "sold" in 2010, when Obama and other supporters assured the American people if they liked their health care plan, they could keep it. The president publicly made such a statement at least 37 times, according to Politfact.

One of the last times the president used such a phrase, to a meeting of Organizing for Action in 2013, he threw in a new wrinkle, and that's the one that's caught so many policy holders. At that time, he said, " what we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed."

Of course, Obama hadn't said that before, but the law does say the plans can lose their grandfathered status if costs or benefits changed significantly.

BlueCross had the option to continue the plans, but the premiums would increased substantially. In addition, the plans would not have the most desired benefits — such as no lifetime maximum of payments and a child being able to remain on a parent's plan until age 26 — and they did not have the ACA's tax credits.

What BlueCross did, like so many insurers before it and like so many will after it, is just what the Obama administration wanted and expected. No insurer competing against goody-laden plans constructed by the federal government, or against tax credits given by the same government, would be able to sustain the same number of enrollees. So it is terminating the plans.

That's because of the law of supply and demand. If an insurance company offers the same coverage for fewer people, the cost of plans would be expected to rise. The administration's long-range hope, of course, is that because of the higher price of private insurance more and more people will want its sponsored, tax-credited plans and eventually demand an entirely government-run program.

Before that happens, we should listen to the voices of reason that predicted each of the steps that have happened and take preventive measures.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...