Nov 11, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Throughout the Obamacare debate, President Obama repeatedly promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Now, Gallup reports that from the first quarter of 2010 (when Obama signed Obamacare into law) to the third quarter of this year, 2 percent of American adults lost their employer sponsored health insurance. In other words, about 4.5 million Americans lost their employer-sponsored insurance over a span of just 18 months.
This is not what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had predicted would happen. Rather, the CBO had predicted that Obamacare would increase the number of people with employer-sponsored insurance by now. It had predicted that, under Obamacare, 6 million more Americans would have employer-sponsored insurance in 2011 than in 2010. The CBO’s projected increase of 3 million under (pre-Obamacare) current law and an additional 3 million under Obamacare). So the CBO’s rosy projections for Obamacare (and even these paint a frightening picture) are already proving false.
Whether the decline in employer-sponsored insurance over the past 18 months is a product of Obamacare or of the Obama economy — and whether Obamacare is the principal cause of the anemic performance of the Obama economy — can be debated. But what’s clear is that, more than 25 months before Obamacare would really go into effect — if it’s not repealed first — employers are already dropping employees from their insurance rolls.
Take Walmart, for example — a prominent Obamacare supporter. Gallup writes,
“The nation’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart, announced in October that new part-time employees who work less than an average of 24 hours a week would no longer be able to get their health insurance from the company. Wal-Mart laid out several other cuts to its health insurance offerings, including some workers’ ability get coverage for their spouses. Other companies have already made and will likely continue to make similar changes to their health insurance benefits….
“If Wal-Mart’s decision is a precursor of how employers intend to manage their healthcare costs, the downward trend in employer-based healthcare will likely continue.”
So in addition to costing about $2.5 trillion over its real first decade (2014 to 2023), looting nearly $1 trillion from Medicare over that time (according to the CBO), forcing Americans to buy government-approved health insurance under penalty of law, and amassing unprecedented power and money in Washington at the expense of Americans’ liberty — if Obamacare stays on the books, you may like your health care plan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can keep your health care plan.