You Don’t Get to Decide About Keeping Your Current Healthcare Coverage, Unless You are One with Your Employer
A number of analysts have begun to note that, under current Democratic healthcare proposals, President Barack Obama’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan” is not reality-based. Under the Democratic plans, “you” don’t get any choice in whether to keep your existing coverage if your employer decides to discontinue coverage under the new rules.
If the President and Congressional Democrats were serious about helping “you” keep the coverage you have now, they would support two basic reforms…
- They would give individuals who purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company the same tax-breaks that are given to corporate-provided health plans. Presently, corporate-purchased health plans qualify for tax-breaks that individually-purchased plans do not; the proposals favored by the President continue this disparity.
- They would end the disparate legal treatment of insurance-company coverage decisions that is an unintended consequence of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. ERISA has driven insurers towards offering their products only through employers, because a wide-range protections from lawsuits over improper coverage decisions is granted to employer-based plans, but not to individually-purchased ones. The effect of ERISA is an important underdiscussed factor in creating the unsatisfying health insurance system we have today.
p.s. Does the fact that this post illustrates that the claim made in today’s USA Today by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer…
[The proposals passed by Committees in the House] will allow every American who likes his or her current plan to keep it.…requires some very heavy qualification mean that I am un-American for posting it?