If you like your healthcare, you can(‘t) keep it, part II

Well, I’m sure most people will be able to keep their healthcare, right?  I mean, what’s a million or so people on those lower premium limited benefit plans?  After all, most people get their health insurance through their workplace, right?  Yeah, I’ll just keep doing that. 

Or will you?  (via Instapundit)

Under interim regulations, current employer-based coverage would not be grandfathered and hence subject to the health care laws’ consumer provisions if:

* The plan eliminates benefits related to diagnosis or treatment of a particular condition.

* The plan increases the percentage of a cost-sharing requirement (such as co-insurance) above the level at which it was on March 23, 2010.

* The plan increases the fixed amount of cost sharing such as deductibles or out-of-pocket limits by a total percentage measured from March 23, 2010, that is more than the sum of medical inflation plus 15 percentage points.

* The plan increases co-payments as a total percentage measured from March 23, 2010, that is more than the sum of medical inflation plus 15 percentage points or medical inflation plus $5.

* The employer’s share of the premium decreases more than 5 percentage points below what the share was on March 23, 2010.

According to the report, by 2013 51% of all employers — 66% of small employers (3-99 employees) and 45% of large employers — would have to relinquish current coverage. In a worst-case scenario, 69% of firms would lose their grandfathered status.

So, if you like your health insurance, and you are part of a lucky minority, you can keep it.  Well, that’s basically what Obama said.


If you like your healthcare plan, you can(‘t) keep it

We’ve all come to understand that everything that President Obama says has an expiration date  (Jim Geragahty has a great list here, BTW).  However, I’m starting to understand that everything Obama says has an asterisk, too.  For example, remember this:

At the same time — I just want to be completely clear about this; I keep on saying this but somehow folks aren’t listening — if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan.  Nobody is going to force you to leave your health care plan.  If you like your doctor, you keep seeing your doctor.  I don’t want government bureaucrats meddling in your health care.

And you know that was important, because of how completely clear he was.  Of course, fortunately, he was only being completely clear, and not absolutely completely, unqualifiedly clear.  If he had been, he would have included this:

Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms. 

 Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.

This market’s limited-benefit plans, also called mini-med plans, are priced low because they can, among other things, restrict the number of covered doctor visits or impose a maximum on insurance payouts in a year. The plans are commonly offered by retail or restaurant companies to low-wage workers who cannot afford more expensive, comprehensive coverage. 

 Depending on how strictly the administration implements the provision, the ban could in effect outlaw the plans or make them so restrictive that insurance companies would raise rates to the point they become unaffordable. 

 Choice and competition?  Anyone?

“Shut up”, he explained

At least based on the behavior of White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs (a person who seems so shockingly bad at his job I often wonder if he has any authorization whatsoever for his assertions), the White House refuses to discuss in any way the president’s broken promise to ensure open, C-Span televised healthcare negotiations. 

On Wednesday, Gibbs was asked again about the C-Span commitment. The story had gotten pretty big in the intervening time, and presumably Gibbs had had a chance to familiarize himself with it. So reporters tried for a second day to get him to comment on the president’s commitment to holding televised health-care talks. Gibbs’ answer? “We covered this yesterday.” Gibbs referred reporters to the transcript of Tuesday’s briefing and said, “The answer I would give today is similar.”

But of course, he hadn’t answered the question at all. Here is the transcript from the Tuesday briefing:

QUESTION: C-Span television is requesting leaders in Congress to open up the debate to their cameras, and I know this is something that the President talked about on the campaign trail. Is this something that he supports, will be pushing for?

GIBBS: I have not seen that letter. I know the President is going to begin some discussions later today on health care in order to try to iron out the differences that remain between the House and the Senate bill and try to get something hopefully to his desk quite quickly….

The article goes on to offer four separate questions about this topic, on separate occasions when he would have had more than enough time to come up with a response to this issue, but they are promptly evaded by Mr. Gibbs. 

My understanding was that one of Obama’s biggest selling points was his thoughtful and deliberative nature.  He was supposed to discuss things and examine them.  I thought that he was to usher in a new kind of politics. 

But here, he can’t even pretend to give the slightest consideration to upholding his own campaign promise.  It’s like he’s not even trying.

Update: John Stewart: “Oh, yeah!  We’re gonna do it on mother-**** C-Span!” , also “They can promise emphatically, they just can’t promise specifically.”

Change we can beleive in

The South used to be a Democratic stronghold.  Now, not so much. 

Blacks once consistently voted for the party of Lincoln.  Not anymore. 

Tennessee was considered a swing state as recently as 2000- now it’s so red candidates don’t even bother trying. 

How long until gays give up on the Democratic party that clearly feels no need to keep promises to them?  Could Obama spark the change? 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked twice during Thursday’s press briefing about the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Both times, he reverted to his standard talking points on the subject.

When would the White House push Congress to repeal the policy, asked on reporter?

Gibbs reiterated the president’s support for repeal, then added, “He does not think the policy is working in the national interests and is working with the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon, and others to bring about a change in that policy.”

Another reporter noted that although Gibbs keeps saying the president is working for repeal, he had been told by staffers for the chair of the subcommittee (probably the military personnel subcommittee) that the House repeal bill isn’t likely to come up for a vote until next year.

“Sometimes the legislative process doesn’t move that quickly,” Gibbs responded.

Update: Gay Patriot more, including a round up of reactions, and:

Hey, Gays Who Support Democrats:  You are suckers.  Hopeandchange, hopeandchange!



Up-Update: From Politico (Via Ann Althouse) Gay groups grow impatient with Barack Obama