The reason why Obama repeatedly lied about people being able to keep their current plans and doctors is obvious: Obamacare wouldn't have passed
During the debate over the law, the president had a difficult balancing act. He had to argue that the status quo in health care was a disaster while at the same time not threatening the status quo for those people who were happy with their health care or who feared it would get worse under his changes. A CBS poll at the time showed that people were quite afraid that whatever the president did, it would hurt their plans. Sixty-nine percent worried that the ACA would affect the quality of their care. Almost three-quarters thought it would limit their access. There was a lot of pressure on the president to send the message that nothing would change. . . .How does Obama think that he can get out of the current problem?
That wasn't what the president promised. But wait, the president can explain. It's not what we think. People won’t have the same insurance—they will have better insurance, administration officials assure. That's not the way some of the people receiving these letters see it. The president's original promise was so ironclad and repeated so often that any explanation now sounds like dissembling. . . .Of course, we could require that everyone buy Porsches to drive. I think that it would be great fun to buy a Porsche and for almost everyone a Porsche would clearly be a "better" car. But would requiring people to buy Porsches make people better off? Of course not. Not even close. The point I would have made is that people could always buy that "better" coverage before Obamacare, but they chose not to do so. Economists call this "revealed preference," and it is clear that people didn't think that buying that increased coverage was going to make them better off.
Take one of the benefits that Obama is not even allowing to take place on time. Obamacare promised limits on out of pockets health care costs. Limits on co-pays will increase the cost of insurance for two reasons: 1) in the simple case, you are willing to pay more of your treatment costs as you go along the insurance company won't have to charge you as much up front and 2) larger co-pays cause people to be a little more careful on what treatments that they receive. If the insurance company were to pay 100% of the cost of any treatment, people would get treatment in many cases when there might be cheaper ways to solve the problem or they might get treatment for problems that are very trivial. Both of those actions would increase total costs to the insurance company and mean more money would have to be charged in the annual premium.
The fact that Obama has put off this part of the law simply means that some of the increase in insurance premiums won't hit until next year.
The newest explanation for the lost insurance coverage is that it is the fault of greedy insurance
Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.
Before the Affordable Care Act, the worst of these plans routinely dropped thousands of Americans every single year. And on average, premiums for folks who stayed in their plans for more than a year shot up about 15 percent a year. This wasn’t just bad for those folks who had these policies, it was bad for all of us -- because, again, when tragedy strikes and folks can’t pay their medical bills, everybody else picks up the tab.
Now, if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it. That’s what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you've got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage -- because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.