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Democrats and President Obama have denied that the creation of a new government-run health care plan would be a Trojan Horse for single-payer health care, but a new report by the Lewin Group (comissioned by the Heritage Foundation) finds that the House Democrats’ health care bill would shift more 83.4 million Americans from private health care coverage to the government plan. To put that in perspective, that would mean that nearly half (48.4 percent) would lose their private health coverage. In all, the government plan would have 103.4 million members once implemented, according to the Lewin analysis. President Obama has repeated the mantra that anybody who likes their health insurance plan can keep it, but in reality about 63 percent of covered Americans get their health care through their employers, and if employers decide to drop their current health plans in favor of the government plan, workers won’t have any choice but to sign up.
Here’s a Lewin chart titled, “Changes in Sources of Coverage under the American Affordable Health Choices Act Assuming Full Implementation in 2011 (millions)”:
The reason for the dramatic shift is that the Lewin Group has anticipated that with government setting lower reimbursement rates for doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, the government plan will offer lower premiums than private plans. However, the flip side is that the Congressional Budget Office estimates providers will lose $361.9 billion in revenue over the next decade if the House bill is passed. That will mean lower quality of care, shortages in doctors and hospitals, and/or increased shifting of costs on to those with private health care. Should further cost-shifting occur, it will then in turn erode private health care coverage even more dramatically.
UPDATE: Over at Investor’s Business Daily, David Hogberg explores the key question concerning whether the government plan will be operating on a level playing field: will a government-run plan be allowed to fail?
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