The WSJ exposes perhaps Obama's biggest lie regarding the healthcare bill: his claim that those who like their current insurance will be able to keep it:
So when Mr. Obama says that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” he’s wrong. Period.
Turns out that large employers who self-insure and enjoy some freedom from state insurance mandates and federal regulations will be forced to comply with new bureacratic standards.
ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) allows employers that self-insure—that is, those large enough to build their own risk pools and pay benefits directly—to offer uniform plans across state lines. This lets thousands of businesses avoid, for the most part, the costly federal and state regulations on covered treatments, pricing, rate setting and so on. It also gives them flexibility to design insurance to recruit and retain workers in a competitive labor market. Roughly 75% of employer-based coverage is governed by Erisa’s “freedom of purchase” rules.
Goodbye to all that. The House bill says that after a five-year grace period all Erisa insurance offerings will have to win government approval—both by the Department of Labor and a new “health choices commissioner” who will set federal standards for what is an acceptable health plan. This commissar—er, commissioner—can fine employers that don’t comply and even has “suspension of enrollment” powers for plans that he or she has vetoed, until “satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur.”
In other words, the insurance coverage of 132 million people—the product of enormously complex business and health-care decisions—will now be subject to bureaucratic nanomanagement. If employers don’t meet some still-to-be-defined minimum package, they’ll have to renegotiate thousands of contracts nationwide to Washington’s specifications.
ERISA is the primary reason that insurance premiums for large employers have risen at a much slower rate than those of small businesses and the individual market. Obamacare would end that; after all, the authoritarians in the Obama administration can't allow for any free decision-making in the healthcare industry.
It's no wonder why Obama wants to ram this legislation down our throats as quickly as possible. Just like his stimulus bill, the more the public learns about it, the more they disapprove of it.