Duke Healthcare Expert: 68 Percent May Lose Insurance Under Obamacare

Image: Duke Healthcare Expert: 68 Percent May Lose Insurance Under Obamacare

Monday, 04 Nov 2013 08:20 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Sixty-Eight percent of privately-insured Americans may not be able to keep their current health coverage once Obamacare is fully implemented, despite the president's repeated promises that anyone who wanted to keep their plan would be able to do so, according to a Duke University health expert.

An analysis by healthcare economist Christopher Conover at the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University found that an estimated 129 million people could lose their previous health coverage due to a combination of factors including the cancellations of existing plans as well as changes and "improvements" to existing coverage that will be required under the new healthcare law, The Daily Caller reported.

"Bottom line: of the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage, I estimate that if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014," Conover told the conservative Daily Caller.

As early as 2009, President Barack Obama made the promise, "If you like your healthcare plan, you'll be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period." The White House has recently admitted, however, that a small number of people would not be able to keep their plans.

Conover said that the president must have known it was inaccurate to say that everyone could keep their existing health plans.

"If President Obama himself believed this the first time he said it, he was poorly advised," he said. "It's pretty inconceivable that President Obama was not aware that he was engaged in some degree of truth-twisting."

Conover gave a further breakdown of the figures, saying that between 18 and 50 million people will have their existing plans entirely taken away, including 9.2 million to 15.4 million in the non-group, or individual, market and 9 million to 35 million in the employer-based market. The rest, he said, will retain their old plans but have to pay higher rates for Obamacare-mandated "bells and whistles."

"It's true that some Americans will end up with cheaper coverage, but not the vast majority. Study after study shows premiums on average will be higher in the non-group, small group and even large group markets," he added.

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