Friday, November 01, 2013


When quoting cautious Norwegians, Garrison Keillor, the St. Paul raconteur, makes common use of the word “mostly;” as in “Lutherans are hard-working people, mostly.”

If President Obama had followed that pattern when promoting his healthcare reform bill, he would have said something like “People who like their present health care insurance policies can keep them, mostly.”

But he left off the qualifier. For that he is getting the Pinocchio award.  And deservedly so.

Actually, what he should have said to be completely forthcoming was that people who like their present health care insurance policies can keep them, if they continue to be offered by the insurance company.  The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, prescribes the basic benefits that health insurance policies must cover, but it exempts policies that were in effect at the time the law was passed.

As it happens, however, insurance companies change their policies frequently –notifying subscribers by means of unintelligible documents sent in the mail - and so by now, some three years later, many of the policies that were grandfathered have been modified and have lost their exemption.  A common reason for not meeting requirements is that the benefits are too skimpy, meaning that policies that qualify for approval offer more coverage and often cost more.

That may give the President a technical out, but does not let him off the hook, in my opinion.


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