Sep 10, 2014

An Honest Government Is Not Too Much to Ask

keep-it

“If you like it, you can keep it. Period.” In terms of promises, there was nothing clearer. When tens of thousands of people started losing their health insurance, we all found out that promise was a false one.

People in this country are losing trust in their government, and it’s easy to see why. Last year, the House passed a bill allowing individuals to keep the plans they liked, just as the President promised. Thirty-nine Democrats voted for Chairman Fred Upton’s “if you like it, you can keep it” bill, but that bill now sits in the Senate, waiting with hundreds of other bills while the Senate considers a doomed Constitutional amendment to restrict free speech.

We still urge our colleagues in the Senate to pass Chairman Upton’s bill and save thousands of families from the heartache, uncertainty, and cost of the President’s onerous and complicated health care law. But now there is another problem on the horizon brought on by Obamacare.

Under Obamacare, beginning in 2014, all individuals, employers, and insurers were required to only offer and purchase “qualified health plans” subject to the law’s burdensome mandates and regulations, driving up premium costs and reducing flexibility. However, many small businesses were able to renew their policies early, before the beginning of 2014, allowing them to avoid being forced into Obamacare-compliant plans for one year.

Last year, the President acted unilaterally to allow some individuals and small employers to keep 2013 plans. Earlier this year as the glitches, premium increases and plan cancelations continued to pile up, he acted again to temporarily delay the requirements —that delay was a good start, but done the wrong way. However, beginning this fall, the mandate comes into effect in many states, hitting small businesses and potentially causing tens of thousands more Americans to receive cancelation notices if nothing is done.

Representative Bill Cassidy’s (LA-06) Employee Health Care Protection Act will provide certainty and save more American companies and workers from the harmful effects of Obamacare by allowing insurers to offer all employers group coverage that was in effect during 2013. That means that your employer can still offer your old plan, and if you like it you can actually keep it.