In the final presidential debate Thursday night, after taking fire from President Donald Trump about the Democrat’s health care goals, former Vice President Biden repeated President Barack Obama’s most famous lie, and made a promise that goes almost directly against his current proposed health care plan.
“Not one single person would lose their private insurance under my plan, nor did they under Obamacare.” Biden said on stage. “They did not lose their insurance, unless they chose they wanted to go to something else.”
#Trump on health care: “We have done an incredible job on health care. And we're going to do even better.” #Biden: “Not one single person with private insurance would lose their insurance under my plan, nor did they under Obamacare.”
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) October 23, 2020
The claim that no one lost their private insurance under Obamacare unless they “wanted to” is an outright lie. Following the Obama administration’s repeated promises that “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” the policy’s harsh rules devastated the individual market for private health insurance, canceling the plans of around 4 million Americans.
Instead of keeping their plans and their doctors, those Americans were mandated to pay for expensive new plans, with coverage sometimes little better than their old private insurance. This very deception, which evidently Biden thought wouldn’t be caught on to Thursday night, was awarded 2013 “Lie of the Year” by none other than left-wing commentator PolitiFact.
Whether Biden is denying the existence of the entire affair, or whether he’s insisting losing private plans is what those 4 million Americans really wanted, we are left to guess. Neither is a flattering look. And those who were left out to dry by Obamacare certainly did not fail to notice Biden’s claim.
My four lost plans would like a word with Joe, if they still existed.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) October 23, 2020
I had great health insurance. Then came Obamacare. Now the option I have is to never go to the doctor or to self pay every single time. It’s truly sad a single mom needs to go without treatment or to go deep in debt. This is Obamacare.
— Tania Gutekunst (@taniagoody) October 23, 2020
Our policy disappeared and the new one was over 4x the cost. But my 62 year old wife is now covered for both pregnancy and abortion. That’s a pretty valuable benefit for us.
— Steve Goldstein (@SteveGoldstein1) October 23, 2020
We lost our insurance and we're a family of 10. Couldn't afford insurance once obamacare came along. Had to pay the penalty every year for not having it. Horrible. But was cheaper than what we would've paid monthly to have insurance.
— Hannah (@Frugalfarmfam) October 23, 2020
‘Bidencare’ Has the Same Problem
This lie is made all the more extraordinary by the fact that Biden appears to be teeing up yet another policy that will result in many Americans losing their private health care, and once again the VP is being deceptive about its effects in practice.
While the Democratic nominee explicitly promised “not one single American would lose their private health care under my plan,” his plan as described will lead to a currently unknown number of Americans, and disproportionately lower-income and black Americans, being cut off from employer insurance. While Bidencare won’t explicitly shut down private programs as Obamacare did, the end result of the beefing up of public options can lead to employers — particularly smaller, and lower income businesses — cutting off their private insurance programs.
Workers under these programs will be made to either take pricey individual insurance or be left with no option other than, of course, Bidencare. And as the economic devastation of the shutdowns has shown, measures which disproportionately harm small businesses and their workers tend to disproportionately harm black Americans worse than any other group by a large margin. It’ll be these workers who are offed from their private plans, despite all the promises.
As Thomas Miller at the American Enterprise Foundation describes it, “How long you can keep your present plan is a matter of how long it can, under its current terms, remain affordable, or how long before it threatens to outcompete the public option. You can have your plan, until it’s not allowed to be around anymore.”
The Biden campaign has yet to explain what will be done to protect those at risk of losing their current coverage, or to even recognize those people are likely to exist soon.