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Neal Wooten Headshot

If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It

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As the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) hits its mark of seven million enrollees, we sometimes overlook the other numbers involved. For example, the millions of people who have benefitted from the Medicaid portion of the bill, or the ones who will benefit from the deductions cap, or the millions of young people who get to remain on their parent's coverage, or the fact that every insured person in this country no longer has to worry about that arbitrarily vague concept of "preexisting conditions."

And still, with all these people being positively affected by the ACA, it amazes me that some politicians like Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz still want to repeal the law. Most Republican members of Congress have accepted the fact that there are too many people involved now, but not everyone.

Their ammunition is dwindling. Most of the horror stories they've been able to present have proven false. There is, however, one tiny issue they can cling to, and it came from the president's own lips when he said, "If you like your health plan, you can keep it."

When the health care bill became law, we learned that a lot of people did indeed lose their current coverage. This was the one bright spot for opponents of the law and they ran with it to the point of lunacy, sometimes claiming that everyone who enrolled were simply those that had lost their coverage.

It provided great fuel for the fire. Imagine a president lying to the American people. After all, we all know how the GOP values truth.

However, if you consider the actual words the president used, it's not so wrong. He did not say that no one would lose their coverage when the law went into effect; he simply said if you liked your coverage, you could keep it.

"Like" is a subjective verb of course. For example, I have full coverage insurance on my Hummer H3, but it's as basic as you can get. It has a very high deductible and pays the minimum for personal injuries. It pays off the loan if the vehicle is totaled, so it keeps the bank satisfied. But I would be lying if I said I "liked" the plan.

The reason that so many people lost their coverage because of the ACA had nothing to do with what company they were using, or how they signed up, or anything along those lines. It was because the coverage did not meet the minimum requirements set forth by the new law.

Have you read the minimum requirements for the ACA? It's pathetic. The minimum coverage required is cheap and only covers the bare minimum.

That means that everyone who lost their coverage had insurance plans worse than this. Some of the plans were so horrible, they hardly covered anything at all. Basically it was having health insurance for the sake of having health insurance. So, in fact, there was nothing to "like" about these plans at all.

And, like my auto insurance, if someone were to come along and say that my plan is not good enough anymore, and provide me with a way to get better coverage for less with no loopholes where they could wiggle out of paying, I would be delighted. In essence, that's what the new healthcare law does.

In other words, it wasn't that the president intentionally lied to the public, he simply underestimated the number of ignoramuses we have in this country.