You remember what the president said, don’t you?
“You like your plan? You can keep it. No one is going to take that away from you.”
The president – among others – drilled that mantra during the push toward last spring’s vote on health care reform. There’s little doubt the message addressed a primary voter concern about the legislation. If there’s anything we hold sacrosanct in this country, it’s freedom of choice.
(Well, mostly – as long as it doesn’t involve public funds. But that’s another story.)
Now we find ourselves facing a debate on Capitol Hill today over Sen. Michael Enzi’s resolution objecting to the administration rules on grandfathered plans. It’s a fair point. The rules for keeping your so-called grandfathered plan intact make it difficult, at best.
In fact, by the administration’s own estimate, more than half of U.S. employers – including two-thirds of those in small businesses – would lose their grandfathered status in as little as three years.
Worst case? Nearly 80 percent of small business plans will be in violation of the administration’s guidelines by 2013. What happened to that debate? How did it miss Congress? Better yet, the “Today Show?” Because I’m pretty sure it’s not making any other headlines.
And today I doubt if any principled, if ultimately meaningless, declaration on the Hill will change that.