FACT CHECK: Obamacare Allows People To Keep Their Insurance Plans

Congressman Ryan just claimed that 20 million people will lose their employer-based coverage under Obamacare. That’s just not true, and independent fact checkers have said so. The truth is that Obamacare allows people to keep the coverage they have if they like it and incentivizes employer-based coverage. Romney and Ryan aren’t telling the truth about Obamacare because they don’t want the American people to know the devastating impact of what they’d do if elected – they’d allow insurance companies to discriminate against 89 million Americans who have had gaps in coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.

THE CLAIM THAT OBAMACARE WILL CAUSE 20  MILLION PEOPLE TO LOSE THE INSURANCE THEY CURRENTLY HAVE IS FALSE

Tampa Bay Times Politifact: Romney’s Claim That 20 Million People Will Lose The Insurance They Currently Have Is “False.” “Romney said that ‘Obamacare … means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.’ That number is cherry-picked, and he’s wrong to describe it as only including people who ‘like’ their coverage, since many of those 20 million will be leaving employer coverage voluntarily for better options. Romney also ignores that under the status quo, many more people today ‘lose’ coverage than even the highest, cherry-picked CBO estimate. We rate his statement False.” [Tampa Bay Times, Politifact, 06/29/12]

The Congressional Budget Office Does Not Project Major Changes In The Number Of Workers Who Will Get Insurance Through Their Jobs. “Today’s report also does not project major changes in the number of workers who will get coverage through their job. At the time of passage CBO projected a change of 3 million people; last year CBO projected 1 million; this year 4 million – out of the roughly 150 million people get insurance through their job today.” [White House Blog, 03/14/12]

  • The Congressional Budget Office: Employment-Based Health Insurance Coverage May Increase, Based On Massachusetts’s Experience. “One piece of evidence that may be relevant is the experience in Massachusetts, where employment-based health insurance coverage appeared to increase after that state’s reforms, which are similar but not identical to those in the ACA, were implemented.” [Congressional Budget Office, March 2012]

According To The Urban Institute, Employer-Sponsored Insurance Under The Affordable Care Act Would Not Significantly Differ From What Coverage Would Be Without Reform. “Overall ESI coverage under the ACA would not differ significantly from what coverage would be without reform. Small- and medium-firm ESI coverage would be almost unchanged, and large-firm ESI coverage would increase by just over 2 percentage point.” [Urban Institute, 01/2011]

Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf: The Affordable Care Act Provides New Incentives For Employers To Offer Coverage. “The legislation leaves in place substantial financial advantages for many people to receive insurance coverage through their employers, and it provides some new incentives for employers to offer insurance coverage to their employees.” [Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf Committee Testimony, 03/30/11]

According To A RAND Corporation Study, After Full Implementation Of The Affordable Care Act Businesses Will Frequently Choose To Offer Insurance Rather Than Drop Coverage. “After the ACA is implemented, firms making decisions on the basis of costs and benefits of their insurance options, including new subsidies and penalties, will frequently choose to offer insurance rather than to drop coverage and allow their workers to buy individual coverage.” [New England Journal of Medicine, 10/07/10]

Under The Affordable Care Act Beginning In 2014, Americans Cannot Be Denied Coverage If They Have A Pre-Existing Condition. “Up to one in five non-elderly Americans with a pre-existing condition – 25 million individuals – is uninsured.  Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, these Americans cannot be denied coverage, be charged significantly higher premiums, be subjected to an extended waiting period, or have their benefits curtailed by insurance companies.” [Healthcare.gov, Accessed 12/30/11]

  • Those With Non-Continuous Coverage Add Up To Roughly 89 Million Americans, Or 36 Percent Of The Population, Between Age 4 and 65. “89 million Americans had at least a single one-month gap in insurance coverage. They were not, in other words, continually insured. That works out to 36 percent of the population between age 4 and 65.” [Washington Post, Wonk Blog, 9/10/12]