Top insurance exec: Your health premiums will go up, coverage will change under Obamacare 

Many, many times during the health care debate, President Obama promised the American people that if they have insurance and they are happy with it, then it would not change under the Democrats' national health care proposal. "Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year," Obama promised on his transition website before assuming office. Once in the White House, he repeated that promise over and over and over.

You didn't really believe that, did you? Good. To confirm your suspicions, read the new BusinessWeek interview with Ron Williams, the chairman and CEO of Aetna Insurance, which covers more than 36 million Americans:

Will insurance premiums go up?

The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year.

The President said that this bill would not have any impact on people who already had coverage, that it was about the uninsured, that there would be no change. Will this legislation change the coverage of people who are already paying for it?

My perception is, yes, things will change. You might not have a plan that includes the exact same doctors. You might have plans that have richer benefits, and therefore you're going to pay more for benefits you may or may not want. It would have been a better message to say, we're going to make certain you maintain your eligibility.

In the past few days, as Democrats have attempted to spotlight the purported immediate benefits of health care reform, their case has been undermined by news that AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, and other large corporations say reform will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars and could mean limited coverage for their retired employees. Now, there's this -- and it applies to everyone. (h/t Jim Geraghty)

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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