What we said all along

Obamacare is going to cost people their health insurance:

Documents unearthed by [Waxman’s] investigation highlight companies that are considering dumping employees from their current health-care plans in the face of new costs from the health-care law. President Obama repeatedly promised his health-care law would let Americans keep their current insurance if they’re happy with it.

A March 3 internal Verizon memo on the impact health-care law said new taxes on insurance companies and health-care equipment manufacturers will be passed onto employers through higher prices.

Facing such increased costs, employers like Verizon “may consider exiting the health-care market and send employees to the exchanges,” the memo says.

Under the law, companies would pay fines for not providing insurance companies coverage. But, the Verizon memo said, the fines would be “modest” compared to providing coverage for employees.

In a March 25 e-mail, John Deere’s director of labor relations, Kenneth Hugh, said, “We ought to look at … denying coverage and just paying the penalty … we would need to figure out which one was more expensive.”

This is what opponents of the bill said would happen all along. By the time the bill was passed, its supporters weren’t even denying it. At first they said “You won’t lose your insurance”, but by the end their promise was delicately and legalistically phrased: “Nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have.” Perhaps nothing in the bill requires it, but it does make it happen.

ASIDE: Actually, it’s not even true that nothing in the bill requires that you give up your insurance. If you’re insurance does not satisfy the government’s requirements, it’s not allowed.

Anyway, Henry Waxman started his investigation and scheduled hearing when he thought that Verizon, Deere and other were trying to score political points against Obamacare. In fact, the opposite was true. Their announcements were inarguable and legally required, and we now know they were actually holding back the really bad news. No wonder Waxman cancelled his hearings; I’m sure he wishes he could undo his investigation as well.

(Via the Corner.)

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