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Yet Another Broken HealthCare Promise: AP: 3M Seniors Could Be Forced To Switch Drug Plans | Missouri Political News Service

Yet Another Broken HealthCare Promise: AP: 3M Seniors Could Be Forced To Switch Drug Plans

August 26th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Since President Obama signed his massive, unpopular health care overhaul into law earlier this year, there has been a steady stream of news reports showing that it will not be able to live up to the promises made by Democrats as they were pushing the bill. Americans have heard now that the bill won’t slow the growth of health care costs, won’t strengthen Medicare, won’t help small business owners, increases the size of government, increases premiums, and will cost thousands of jobs, despite numerous Democrat assertions to the contrary. And today, we get yet another broken health care promise. Over and over, President Obama assured Americans, “If you like your current [health care] plan, you will be able to keep it.” But today, the AP reports, “A plan by Medicare to try to make it simpler for consumers to pick drug coverage could force 3 million seniors to switch plans next year whether they like it or not, says an independent analysis.”

The AP even points out, “That risks undercutting President Barack Obama’s promise that people can keep their health plans if they like them. And it could be an unwelcome surprise for many seniors who hadn’t intended to make a change during Medicare’s open enrollment season this fall.”

As the article explains, “Medicare has already notified insurers they will no longer be able to offer more than one ‘basic’ drug plan in any given location. Several major prescription plans, including CVS-Caremark and AARP, offered two basic options throughout the country this year, Washington said. Eliminating that particular form of duplication among the top plans would force 2.75 million beneficiaries to find new coverage . . . .” In fact, the AP notes, “When other changes are taken into account, as many as 3.7 million Medicare recipients may have to switch, the analysis concluded. That amounts to about 20 percent of the 17.5 million enrolled in stand-alone drug plans.”

But that’s not the only story showcasing how the administration’s health care plans are likely to break their “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise. Yesterday, Kaiser Health News reported, “Colleges and universities say that some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited-benefit student insurance policies, and they’re seeking federal authority to continue offering them. . . . Without a number of changes, it may be impossible to continue to offer student health plans, says a letter that the American Council on Education sent Aug. 12 to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, signed by 12 other trade associations that represent colleges.”

And this isn’t the only broken health care promise highlighted by a news story this month. A few weeks ago, the AP reported, “the new health care law doesn’t improve Medicare’s solvency by much,” even though Obama claimed, “This law doesn’t weaken Medicare; it strengthens it and extends its life almost by a decade.” And Politico noted that when it came to the “agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law, “Estimating the number is ‘impossible,’ a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count ‘unknowable.’” That’s despite a claim from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) that “this bill does not increase government.”

All along, Republicans warned that the health care bill wouldn’t do what Democrats were claiming, and in fact would often do the opposite: raise taxes, increase premiums, grow government, increase health care costs, cut Medicare, reduce benefits, and force many Americans off the health care plans they currently like. This law is not the health care reform Americans had in mind. It should be repealed and replaced.


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Tags: Healthcare

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