All In | October 28, 2013
>>> in california, kaiser permanente terminated policies for 160,000 people. in florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage. that includes 56-year-old diane barrett. last month, she received a letter from blue cross / blue shield informing her as of january 2014 , she would lose her current plan. she pays $54 a month. the new plan she's being offered would run $581 a month.
>> okay, you've probably seen a lot of coverage like that, and here's part of the problem with what you just heard. that kind of cheap $54 insurance plan, the kind i had when i was 24, that insurance plan that diane is going to lose is probably what " consumer reports " calls junk health insurance , the kind of plan that is huge deductibles, the kind of plan that's cheap but provides bare bones coverage and leaves the consumer with huge out-of-pocket expenses if they ever actually get sick. the price difference between diane 's $54 plan and a new obama care plan also fails to take into account the possibility of available subsidies designed explicitly to help people shoulder the cost of health care . more on that in a moment. but there is underneath all of that a basic truth here. insurance plans are being canceled. if, for example, your health insurance plan does not cover ten essential benefits required under the new affordable care act , stuff like prescription drugs, maternity care and mental health care, and if that policy was sold to you after the law went into effect in march of 2010 , then that policy may, in fact, end january 1st of next year. and to understand why the right is making so much hay out of this, why they are obsessed with it, why it's leading drudge, the source of the uproar, you have to understand two basic truths about american health care that guided the entire design of the affordable care act . all right, are you listening? number one, the american health care system is way, way too expensive and leaves too many people uninsured. it delivers the worst value of any system among developed countries. that's number one. number two, the majority of people do not want to change their health care . those two ideas were always very much in tension with each other. but the design of obama care was to leave as much as possible of our existing health care system in place while also covering the uninsured and bringing down costs. what we are seeing right now is the front edge of where attempts to deal with truth number one run into truth number two. under the affordable care act , you will no longer be permitted to buy a really crappy health insurance policy, just as under financial reform, lots of folks are no longer permitted to buy heinously destructive adjustable rate balloon payment mortgages. joining me now to explain this is nancy metcalf , senior editor at " consumer reports ," dr. menisha shermana, medical director at evergreen health care , part of a new insurance provider in maryland's health exchange and jonathan coombs, senior editor at "the new
republic," author of "sick: the untold story of america's health care crisis and the people who pay the price." all right, there's two issues floating around. i saw it really explode this weekend. one is people are getting their plans canceled. what is going on? we were all told nothing would change and now things are changing. you sold us a bill of goods, barack obama 's a tyrant, i hate you. then the other is, the prices in the exchange. so, i want to take them in order, because there's actually some really interesting and important truths to be told here, and i want to have you guys with your expertise explain what's going on with these cancellations right after we take this break.