Karl Rove: Obamacare 'Designed' to Cost Americans More

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 10:54 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Faulty implementation of Obamacare didn't cause millions to lose their insurance — the fault lies with its design, which forces millions of Americans into "bells-and-whistles" coverage they don't need, Karl Rove said Wednesday.

In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush said President Obama's apology to those whose policies were canceled was hollow and "nonsense."

"The Affordable Care Act was designed to make unavailable health-insurance policies that didn't include its extensive, expensive, and often unnecessary provisions," he said.

For example, an "essential health benefits" provision requires every policy to offer a wide range of benefits including mental health and addiction treatment, and maternity care — even for single men or women past childbearing age — and cover 100 percent of the cost of an array of preventive services, he wrote.

"All this drives up the cost of insurance," he said, as does the law's "medical loss ratio" provision that "reduces an insurer's ability to build a reserve for years where claims are more than 100 percent of premium income."

Policies that aren't in compliance will occur in the individual market and group policies, he wrote, and the president's assertion most people will be able to get a new plan at the same or less cost "is also likely to be false."

"The higher premiums that result from Obamacare's bells-and-whistles coverage mandates may be offset for some by subsidies, but most people will pay more," Rove wrote.

He said an analysis by McClatchy Newspapers suggested as many as 52 million people, including many covered by their employers, could lose their plan under Obamacare.

The president "has no easy out," Rove said.

"White House aides floated a trial balloon of covering premium increases for people with canceled insurance who don't get subsidies," he wrote. "Good luck convincing congressional Republicans to pay tens of billions to fix a problem the president created, shoved down the country's throat, and then misled people about."

For Democrats, Obamacare will likely prove toxic next year.

"[W]hile the president may think everything about Obamacare will be OK soon, fear is growing among Democrats who see little time and few ways to avoid a 2014 slaughter," he wrote.

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