How Dare They!

Senator Tom Harkin has a difficult town meeting.
The New York Times, meanwhile, offers the truth on the President's guarantees that everyone's health care coverage will remain unchanged if that's their wish.
Mr. Obama has said repeatedly, as he told the American Medical Association in June: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable. The legislation does not require insurers or employers to continue offering the health benefits they now provide. The House bill sets detailed standards for “acceptable health care coverage,” which would define “essential benefits” and permissible co-payments. Employers that already offer insurance would have five years to bring their plans into compliance with the new federal standards. The Senate health committee bill goes somewhat further by offering an “option to retain current insurance coverage.” The legislation could have significant implications for individuals who have bought coverage on their own. Their policies might be exempted from the new standards, but the coverage might not be viable for long because insurers could not add benefits or enroll additional people in noncompliant policies. Dallas L. Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private nonpartisan group, said: “The president and Democrats in Congress are saying what they would like. Their promises may not be literally true because your health plan may change, and your doctor may no longer accept your insurance.”