You will not be able to stay with your current health insurance plan.
I’m still slogging my way through the mind-numbing 615 page “Affordable Health Choices Act” being pushed by Senator Chris Dodd (D- Conn.), so this is likely to become the first in a series of posts dealing with the issue. But, as “keeping your own plan if you like it” has become a mantra of President Obama, I thought I would address this topic first.
Much has been said about the fact that a government plan will simply undercut the prices charged by private insurers, thus driving them out of business. But, the Dodd plan is even more insidious than that. Regardless of cost, you will be driven into the government plan like it or not, and here is the convoluted path that will get you there.
Under Section 3103(h), the government will determine if the insurance plan you currently have, (and perhaps, like), meets a laundry list of criteria. If it does, your plan will be deemed “qualified”. One obvious problem, here, is that the secretary of Health and Human Services can, by regulation, set the specific criteria for what is and is not a qualified plan… no vote of Congress, no open discussion, no public input. An “all wise” cabinet appointee will decide what’s best for you.
Some will take heart in the language of Section 3101 that provides,
Nothing in this [bill] shall be construed to prohibit [an individual] from enrolling in a health insurance plan where such plan is not a qualified plan.
But, read on.
Section 161 of Subtitle D provides,
In the case of any individual who did not have in effect qualifying coverage for any month during the taxable year there is hereby imposed a [tax]…[The Secretary of the Treasury] in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish the amount [of the tax…which shall be] the minimum practical amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage. [emphasis supplied]
So sure, you can keep your own coverage, and your own doctor, even if they are part of a non qualifying plan, that is, until you are taxed to the point where you are forced into the “Obama” plan.
What kind of sick, twisted mind came up with this idea?