Obama’s ‘5 Percent’ Con Job
It’s a 100 percent lie, according to the White House’s own figures.
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But that’s not the half of it. Obama’s claim that unwelcome cancellations are confined to the individual-insurance market is another brazen lie. In the weekend column, I link to the excellent work of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who has demonstrated that, for over three years, the Obama administration’s internal estimates have shown that most Americans who are covered by “employer plans” will also lose their coverage under Obamacare. Mind you, 156 million Americans get health coverage through their jobs.

John cites the Federal Register, dated June 17, 2010, beginning at page 34,552 (Vol. 75, No. 116). It includes a chart that outlines the Obama administration’s projections. The chart indicates that somewhere between 39 and 69 percent of employer plans would lose their “grandfather” protection by 2013. In fact, for small-business employers, the high-end estimate is a staggering 80 percent (and even on the low end, it’s just a shade under half — 49 percent).

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That is to say: During all these years, while Obama was repeatedly assuring Americans, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan,” he actually expected as many as seven out of every ten Americans covered by employer plans to lose their coverage. For small business, he expected at least one out of every two Americans, or as many as four out of every five, to lose their coverage.

Avik’s eagle eye also catches that, even as Obama was spinning on Thursday about how his broken promise affects only the teeny-weeny individual-insurance market, his administration was telling a much different story to state insurance commissioners. In a letter about Obama’s proposed “fix,” the head of the relevant consumer-information office referred to “all individuals and small businesses that received a cancellation or termination notice with respect to coverage” (emphasis added). This, Avik observes, “contradicts assertions from the administration that only people in the individual market — people who shop for coverage on their own — are affected by the wave of Obamacare-related cancellations.”

It gets worse. My friends at the American Freedom Law Center (on whose advisory board I sit) are representing Priests for Life, a group aggrieved by Obamacare’s denial of religious liberty — specifically, the ACA’s mandate that believers, despite their faith-based objections, provide their employees with coverage for the use of abortifacients and contraceptives. On October 17, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services, represented by the Obama Justice Department, submitted a brief to the federal district court in Washington, opposing Priests for Life’s summary judgment motion. On page 27 of its brief, the Justice Department makes the following remarkable assertion:

The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. [Citing, among other sources, the Federal Register.] Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.

HHS and the Justice Department cite the same section of the Federal Register referred to by John Hinderaker, as well as an annual survey on “Employer Health Benefits” compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2012.

So, while the president has been telling us that, under the vaunted grandfathering provision, all Americans who like their health-insurance plans will be able to keep them, “period,” his administration has been representing in federal court that most health plans would lose their “grandfather status” by the end of this year. Not just the “5 percent” of individual-market consumers, but close to all consumers — including well over 100 million American workers who get coverage through their jobs — have been expected by the president swiftly to “transition to the requirements under the [Obamacare] regulations.” That is, their health-insurance plans would be eliminated. They would be forced into Obamacare-compliant plans, with all the prohibitive price hikes and coercive mandates that “transition” portends.

Obamacare is a massive fraudulent scheme. A criminal investigation should be opened. Obviously, the Obama Justice Department will not do that, but the House of Representatives should commence hearings into the offenses that have been committed in the president’s deception of the American people.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.