The PJ Tatler

Avik Roy: Obama Admin Knew in 2010 that Obamacare Would Cost 93 Million Americans Their Healthcare

Obamacare: Awful law, or the worst law ever foisted on the American people?

Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34552. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and get canceled, solely due to the fact that there is a high turnover of participants and insurance arrangements in this market. (Plans purchased after March 23, 2010 do not benefit from the “grandfather” clause.) The real turnover rate would be higher, because plans can lose their grandfather status for a number of other reasons.

How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans.

Read the whole thing.

A bipartisan bill is gathering steam in Congress, that would grandfather in far more plans than Obamacare’s regulations currently allow. That legislation isn’t necessary, though. Barack Obama could fulfill his promises with a phone call, since the regulators who have narrowed Obamacare’s original language work directly for him. He could even look like a good guy for using his legitimate authority to order the regulation writers who work for him to undo what they’re doing.

But Obama isn’t doing that. Pressure should be applied to force him to let Americans who liked their healthcare plans keep them. And then his law should be repealed.

Obamacare delenda est.