(b) GRACE PERIOD FOR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT BASED HEALTH PLANS.—
(1) GRACE PERIOD.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commissioner shall establish a grace period whereby, for plan years beginning after the end of the 5-year period beginning with Y1, an employment-based health plan in operation as of the day before the first day of Y1 must meet the same requirements as apply to a qualified health benefits plan under section 101, including the essential benefit package requirement under section 121.
The foregoing excerpt from the House bill gives the lie to President Obama’s promise that “if you like your present plan you can keep it.” After the “grace period”, the reform measures mandates will drive a substantial number of employer-based plans from the marketplace. Yet, President Obama continues to promise what he must know is untrue.
Consider this from ABC News:
At a rally in Holmdel, New Jersey, today, President Obama continued making a promise about health care reform that he has acknowledged isn’t literally true.
The report continues:
Importantly, the government might create circumstances – say, a public health care option that is less expensive since profit is not a concern and overhead is lower – where you might find your business forcing you into that public plan.
Pressed by Diane Sawyer in an interview that same day, the president acknowledged this, saying, “I can’t pass a law that says, ‘I’m sorry, employers, you can never make changes to the health care plans that you provide your employees.’ What I can say is that the government is not going to force you to, your employer or you to join a government plan, for example. If you’re happy with it, and your employer’s happy with it, keep it.”
Contradicting President Obama’s claims (also noted by ABC News), John Sheils, senior vice president of The Lewin Group, a health care policy research and management consulting firm, estimates that up to 70 percent of those with private insurance would end up on the public plan. The reasons are several, ranging from tax disincentives, subsidized squeeze out by the nationalized “public option” mandate, to benefit mandates and “audits” by the newly coronated “Commissioner” of health care authorized under the proposed legislation.
This is the first in a series of fact checks on the pending health care reform proposal which, if enacted, will lead to the ultimate natioinalization of health insurance in America (not unlike the Canadian model). President Obama, despite his rhetoric, disingenuiously seeks this shift of health care insurance to a system controlled by the public sector as the ABC News report corroborates.