Avik Roy fact checks President Obama’s apology-resembling statement, and reminds us of some basic facts which, if better known in 2009-2010, would have sunk Obamacare. Let’s go through some of them:
- Back in 2010, the Obama administration admitted–despite the president’s promises to the contrary–that 92 million Americans would not be able to keep their health care plans. And that may be undercounting the number of Americans who will lose their plans. As Roy reminds us, this is only in relation to private plans; the number of canceled plans will go higher once we take into account Medicare cuts and cancellations of employer-sponsored plans. The president said that only about “5 percent of the population” will be affected by canceled plans. Roy convincingly shows that this is not true.
- Equally untrue is the president’s claim that people whose plans are canceled will be able to get better plans at cheaper rates.
- People are not being moved into different plans because they want different plans. They are being moved into different plans because they have no choice–because Obamacare is forcing them to adopt different plans with higher premiums and higher deductibles, and services that are not needed or wanted, like maternity care coverage for men.
- Contrary to the president’s promises, his administration is not doing “everything [they] can” to fix the problems with Obamacare. Roy notes Senator Ron Johnson’s bill, which would allow people to keep their health care plans if they like them. The president could support the bill, as could other Democrats in Congress. But the president has done nothing whatsoever to back Johnson’s bill, which makes one wonder just how committed he and his administration are to doing “everything [they] can” to fix the problems with health care “reform.”
While we are revisiting the president’s statements on health care reform, let’s recall his address to Congress back in 2009. Specifically, let’s consider the following passage from his speech:
That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.
(Emphasis mine.) Consider some of the differences between Obamacare and the automobile insurance market:
- I can choose not to have car insurance if I don’t want it; all I have to do is to not own or lease a car. By virtue of being alive, however, I am compelled to have health insurance.
- Unlike Obamacare, I am not restricted by regional exchanges when shopping for automobile insurance. This allows me to shop for the best deal available throughout the country when considering my monthly premiums, and my deductible, as opposed to being forced to only consider deals offered by insurance companies within a certain geographic region.
- Obamacare forces me to carry coverage for services that I don’t need. Private automobile insurance does no such thing; no company forces me to carry motorcycle or boat insurance, despite the fact that I own neither a motorcycle nor a boat.
- Obamacare restricts choice in seeing doctors. Private automobile insurance does not restrict choice in seeing auto mechanics, or in buying cars, or in . . . well . . . anything of consequence at all.
- Private automoble insurance websites work just fine, despite the massive amounts of traffic they must have from their many, many, many customers.
- If I like my car insurance plan, I can keep it.
I am sure that there are other differences between the private auto insurance market and Obamacare, but this little list of differences should suffice in showing that the private auto insurance market works much better than does Obamacare, and meets the needs of its customers far more effectively than does the health care “reform” that has been dreamed up by the president of the United States. Since the president cited the auto insurance market in his speech urging the enactment of Obamacare, it would have been nice if he took the time to learn what companies like Geico, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual do right. Alas, his administration went a different route, and we are suffering the consequences as a result.