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Friday, July 17, 2009

Banning Private Insurance? Walker, Limbaugh Spread Big Lie About Health Care Reform

Frequent beneficiary of publicly-funded health coverage John Walker lies about the pending health care reform bill. Mostly quoting someone else's shoddy work, he makes the absurd claim that H.R. 3200 outlaws individual private medical insurance.

Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.... The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states: "Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law. So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers [emphasis mine; "It's Not an Option," Investor's Business Daily, 2009.07.15].

Yup, H.R. 3200 says exactly what John and IBD put in quotes. However, that clause appears within the definition of "Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage," the existing private health insurance policies that will not be required to satsify the new minimum essential benefits requirements laid out in the bill. It allows individuals to keep their existing private coverage if they want. It simply restricts insurers from offering any more policies that lack maternity, well-baby/well-child, and other coverage included in the new essential benefits list.

Nowhere does this bill ban private insurance.

Nowhere does this bill prohibit you from switching from one private insurer to another.

(Graywalker at NowPublic offers more explanation of these glaringly obvious facts.)

John Walker, like Rush Limbaugh, is purveying an outright falsehoods. I'll be happy to debate the issues, but lies will get us nowhere. Read the bill. Understand the bill. Debate the bill fairly. But spreading lies to move public opinion demonstrates laziness, desperation, and untrustworthiness.

To take a page from Mr. Walker's rhetorical tactics: If he is willing to spread lies on this topic, then "Oh, joy. What ELSE is buried in [his numerous pages of blog] monstrosity? The [Madville Times] shudders to imagine the possibilites...."


  1. Corey:

    How do you know that John Walker is a frequent beneficiary of publicly funded health coverage?

    Tim Higgins

  2. I am reading through the bill, the verbage that you speak of on page 16 is subject to interpretation.

    Tim Higgins

  3. 1. John Walker's a 26-year Navy vet. Just like John McCain, he's a lontime beneficiary of public health care.

    2. He was also a public school teacher at Rutland. He may have been enrolled in the district's health plan (likely, though I have no confirmation).

    3. Feel free to share that interpretation. Please be specific.

  4. Thanks for the response, however you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare public health care to the VA system. The VA system is not public in the fact that non veterans are not eliglbel for care at the VA. Don't believe me? Go to any VA and request treatment on a medical condition.

    Tim Higgins

  5. Corey:

    What is your opioion on John Fleming's H.R. 615?

    Tim Higgins

  6. All this "confusion" underscores the need for each bill to be read, in full, at a comprehensible and reasonable rate of speed, by (or to) every Congress person before they vote on it.


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