The inflammatory Republican meme is that insurance companies are now dropping people due to Obamacare. But is that the real story?
(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)
You hear it on the lips of every single one of the Republican talking heads on every single Sunday news show: President Obama promised that if you liked your healthcare, you could keep it and HE LIED!!! (cue sobbing) Millions of Americans found out that they've been dropped from their healthcare! (hand wringing commences)
Color me skeptical that any conservative actually gives a flying fig to the healthcare woes of any average American, much less ones who had substandard policies.
But David Gregory has never come across a Republican talking point that he didn't love, embrace and swallow up whole to faithfully regurgitate to the masses. So he dutifully confronts Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida CEO Patrick Geraghty about the news that 300,000 Floridians have found their policies dropped because they fall below the minimum standards of coverage set by Obamacare. Problem was, Geraghty wasn't going to play Gregory's gotcha game with people's healthcare:
“We’re not cutting people,” Geraghty said. “We’re actually transitioning people. What we’ve been doing is informing folks that their plan doesn’t meet the test of the essential health benefits; therefore, they have a choice of many options that we make available through the exchange. And, in fact, with subsidy, many people will be getting better plans at a lesser cost. This really is a transition. In fact, the 300,000 figure is the entire year. So it’s really 40,000 people for January 1, and we’re walking them through that transition.”
Now, it's absolutely true that there will be a fraction of people who find that their costs have gone up, the specific number and amount is still up for debate. And if they don't qualify for subsidies, that will mean a higher out-of-pocket cost, at least in the short term. However, short-term partisan gains notwithstanding, the program will factor in long-term the inclusion of healthy, young people on the exchanges, which will help mitigate the ailing people who rushed for the initial coverage. Specifically, the re-insurance tax is being levied for the first three years is intended to help smooth that transition to allow for the long-term sustainability of the program.