Obamacare Cancels Former Network TV Anchor’s Health Insurance

Obamacare has booted ex-MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan from his health insurance plan.

Ratigan stirred up social media when he tweeted that his inexpensive catastrophic health coverage got cancelled, for which he thanked the president.

The MSNBC network is know for cheerleading President Obama and generally heaping scorn on anyone who disagrees with the administration’s policies.

President Obama repeatedly declared that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” when he was selling healthcare reform via the Affordable Care Act to the American people, but this is not is not holding true for those who buy their insurance directly on the individual market.

Obamacare on a one-size-fits-all basis requires insurers to cover 10 so-called essential benefits which rules out many cafeteria/catastrophic plans that many Americans prefer in the context of their budget and/or income. As a result, consumers will be compelled pay for additional coverage that they neither want nor need and/or which may be inappropriate for their age or gender.

To make matters worse, the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, is still broken, preventing many replacement-insurance seekers from reviewing new options.

The Obama administration claims that only five percent of the American population will be affected by cancellations, but that does not take into consideration the fact that the employer mandate was postponed for one year. Millions more workers will soon encounter big changes in their employer-provided plans as 2015 approaches, and some businesses have already transitioned staffers to public or private exchanges in advance of the Obamacare standards kicking in. According to the McClatchy news agency, “… the number of people who have plans changing, or have already changed, could be between 34 million to 52 million. That’s because many employer-provided insurance plans also could change, not just individually purchased insurance plans.”

As Mediate notes about the Obamacare-prompted Dylan Ratigan tweet, “[Ratigan’s] tweet admission was met with a flurry of ACA supporters who attempted to explain to Ratigan why he should welcome the elimination of his previous plan. Ratigan’s subsequent tweets consist of debating his followers who advocated for the abolition of simple, catastrophic coverage plans.”

According to former White House economic advisor Edward P. Lazear, “By contrast, those [plans] like catastrophic care plans that do not insure the routine and cover only unpredictable high cost events, induce consumers to behave more efficiently. Indeed, plans that exclude the president’s ‘core’ benefits may be exactly what is desired for those in good health with the means to cover their limited every-day and predictable medical expenses… The fact that a health care plan does not include all the benefits of other plans does not imply that it is ‘substandard.’ Instead, the ACA replaces plans that cater to needs of a particular consumer with those cluttered with bells and whistles that may be of little value.”

Separately, the Washington Post explains that fixing the healthcare.gov exchange is only the beginning, Another major challenge is to “get enrollment, billing, and premium collections working smoothly.”

No one needs to hold a bake sale for Dylan Ratigan. As a former high-profile media personality, Ratigan probably is well-fixed enough financially to afford higher premiums in the Obamacare environment. Millions of Americans ineligible for subsides who are now facing premium sticker shock are not so lucky. When Big Government, Big Insurance, and Big Pharma get together in a joint venture, it’s difficult to see how the ordinary consumer comes out ahead.