A bombshell report from The Colorado Observer this morning finds that the oft-repeated talking point from Obamacare proponents — that you can keep your insurance plan if you want — was a complete fabrication.
DENVER – Four years after Democratic Party leaders promised a skeptical public that passage of Obamacare wouldn’t interfere with their existing health care coverage, a very different reality is taking shape — as thousands of Coloradans receive notices from their insurance providers that they will not be able to extend their current health care plans.
“Changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act) continue to take effect in 2014,” a September 10 letter from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield to one policyholder begins. “To meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued.”
“We would like to notify you that your current policy will be discontinued or not renewed…on December 31, 2013, because Humana will no longer offer your current health plan in the State of Colorado,” read a similar letter sent by that company to many of its policyholders earlier this month.
The letters stand in stark contrast to the assurances provided by President Obama during the height of the health care battle.
That is the exact opposite of what national political leaders, from President Barack Obama to U.S. Senator Mark Udall and then-Congresswoman Betsy Markey, told the American people during the Obamacare debate. They said, verbatim, that people would be able to keep their insurance plans if they want:
“We will keep this promise to the American people,” said Obama in 2009. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away.”
“If you have an insurance policy you like, doctor or medical facility that provides medical services to you, you’ll be able to keep that doctor or that insurance policy,” said Udall [in 2009].
“If you like what (insurance coverage) you have you should be able to keep it,” said Markey.
What TCO has uncovered is that, no, you cannot keep your plan if you want. Even Republican Congressman Cory Gardner had his family’s insurance plan dropped. (Gardner has chosen to forgo government insurance and buy his own for his family).
According to the Observer story, Gardner is far from alone. He is joined by thousands of fellow Coloradans who are being dropped by their insurance companies:
“Last month, Humana sent letters to approximately 8,800 individually-insured policy holders in Colorado whose plans are not considered ‘grandfathered’ under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” Humana’s Western Region Spokesperson Marina Renneke told TCO in an e-mail. “The letters outlined two Humana plan options for 2014 and encouraged recipients to learn more about the health care reform law.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield hasn’t confirmed how many drop letters they sent to Colorado policy holders.
Sure seems like a great story for the mainstream media to follow up on.
Thousands of Coloradans are losing their health insurance plans despite promises to the contrary. But, sure, go ahead Colorado media, please tell us more about who is eating fried chicken for lunch.