Back during the campaign President Obama promised that under his vision for healthcare reform, people would be able to keep their doctors and existing health insurance if they chose.  A PDF of his plan is here.

But is that true?  Not exactly, according to The Corner:

…Among other things, they indicate that the committee is considering a requirement that, if an Obama-like plan were to pass, all health-insurance plans would have to conform to one of four benefit designs: lowest, low, medium, and high. That’s it. Four options for everyone in the United States, determined by the federal government.

Of course, the committee is cognizant of President Obama’s promise that Americans who like the insurance they have today will be able to keep it. So they create a carve-out for “grandfathered plans.” Existing insurance can stay just as it is, they say.

Except that’s not really true. Because elsewhere in the document, the committee makes it clear that existing insurance arrangements that do not comply with government requirements cannot enroll new entrants. Nor can any enrollees get the new premium subsidies the committee is contemplating. Consequently, no “grandfathered plan” will be viable, or at least not for long. Understandably, many people would want to leave them to get government’s money, and the pool for spreading insurance risk would become less stable as people exit for a host of reasons (like when they switch jobs or get married) but cannot be replaced with a new entrant.

So the private plans will die off eventually, leaving the government as the only insurer in town.  No matter what the President promises.

H/T The Foundry

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