Firms were promised by the Obamacare advocates that we could keep our health plans. Today we received from our broker the conditions, as just announced by the Labor Department, under which we could "grandfather" what we have now and avoid what Obamacare will otherwise impose. Those conditions make it practically impossible for us to keep our plan.
And there is this footnote: unions are exempt from the conditions that make impractical our so-called "grandfathered" plans.
Health-care plans that existed before the new law are "grandfathered" with regard to some of its provisions. The rules released Monday spell out how little these plans can change without losing their protected status.
Health plans would no longer be grandfathered if a business changes insurance companies (a common practice when employers shop for lower prices), raises deductibles more than 5%, drops any existing benefits, or even increases co-pays by as little as $5.
Complying with these new rules would raise costs for companies who provide coverage, reduce competition among health insurance companies, and discourage efforts to make employees more price conscious. The Obama administration itself estimates that these draft rules could cost up to 80% of small employers and 64% of large employers their grandfathered status. This translates to between 87 million and 115 million Americans losing their current coverage. Companies and insurers promise a hardy fight on the proposed regulations, but repeal of the provisions that authorized them are the only guarantee of their defeat.
-From Karl Rove's op-ed in today's WSJ