It’s looks like millions will be losing their health insurance after all, an apparent violation of the oft-touted “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period” promise made by President Obama in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.
So how hard is the Obama administration doing damage control after the disturbing NBC report that the White House knew all along that the president was being, at the very least, a little disingenuous with his promises about health care reform? Pretty hard.
The original “NBC Nightly News” segment, aired Monday, said that a large number (between 40 and 67 percent) of insured Americans will in fact lose their current health plan (and possibly their current doctor) because the plans don’t meet the standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
The report alleged that the White House knew this as far back as 2009, even though President Obama said on numerous occasions that people can keep their plan if they want.
By Tuesday, several White House officials had slammed the NBC report as misleading.
Various officials said that the issues raised in the report have long been known, while others cited an op-ed by the left-leaning blog ThinkProgress which argues that turning currently insured Americans to the ACA plans is actually a good thing.
— Josh Earnest (@jearnest44) October 28, 2013
— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) October 29, 2013
FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.
— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) October 29, 2013
NBC‘s Lisa Myers defended her network’s report Tuesday morning. She explained that current private insurance plans that don’t meet Obamacare standards by 2014 as well as those that have been changed since 2010 will be cancelled, and that’s how they arrived at such a high number.
“When you add those two parts together, you get to more than 40 to 67 percent of folks in the private market who cannot keep their policies even if they want to and the administration knew that,” she said.
Of course, Obamacare’s various opponents will capitalize on this report in the coming weeks, but it will behoove them to move off of the “broken promises” line before too long. If the idea was to move health insurance out of the private market, then the Obama administration has won the war, even if it appears to be losing numerous battles at this time. The law’s opponents need a similar long-term strategy, and something beyond constant repeal attempts and doubling-down against sketchy White House rhetoric.
Did you get to keep your plan?