Bill Clinton: If You Like Your Plan, You Should Be Allowed to Keep It

The former president, a vocal Obamacare supporter, favors changing the health care law to allow insured Americans to keep their plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Nov. 12, 2013, 7:14 a.m.

Last week, Pres­id­ent Obama apo­lo­gized to Amer­ic­ans who were re­ceiv­ing can­cel­la­tion no­tices from their health care pro­viders. Their plans, it seems, were no longer in com­pli­ance with the Af­ford­able Care Act, des­pite his go-to mes­sage of  “If you like your plan, you can keep it” for the already in­sured.

“I re­gret very much that what we in­ten­ded to do, which is to make sure that every­body is mov­ing in­to bet­ter plans be­cause they want them “¦ that we wer­en’t as clear as we needed to be,” he told NBC News, prom­ising a fix to the situ­ation.

But former Pres­id­ent Clin­ton, a long­time sup­port­er of the health law, said Tues­day that the solu­tion is for Obama to make good on his prom­ise, even if it means al­ter­ing the health care law.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve even if it takes a change to the law, the pres­id­ent should hon­or the com­mit­ment the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clin­ton said in an in­ter­view with, a di­git­al magazine.

“We’re bet­ter off with this law than without it,” Clin­ton said, be­fore list­ing the prob­lems the ad­min­is­tra­tion still has to fix, in­clud­ing the still-faulty health care web­site. False as­sur­ances from Obama is one of these prob­lems, he said. “Young people mostly, but not all young, who are in the in­di­vidu­al mar­ket who are above 400 per­cent of the poverty level, they were the ones who heard this prom­ise.” The White House has said that much of the Af­ford­able Care Act’s suc­cess rests with get­ting young, health people to sign up for cov­er­age.

White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney ad­dressed Clin­ton’s re­marks Tues­day af­ter­noon. He said “the pres­id­ent has asked his team to look at ways to ad­dress” the is­sue of plan can­cel­la­tions.

The full in­ter­view is be­low:

What We're Following See More »
Congressional Budget Office Scores House Trumpcare Bill
44 minutes ago

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would replace Obamacare. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion by 2026, while leaving 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 than under current law, a number swelling to 23 million by 2026. Further, insurance premiums would balloon 20 percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019 before the waiver provision in the legislation would kick in. The provision allows states to apply for waivers and permit insurers to offer skimpier plans, which would likely entice younger and healthier individuals to buy health insurance while potentially pricing older and less healthy Americans out of insurance plans. House Republicans approved this bill in late April without waiting for the CBO score.

Mnuchin Looks To Avoid Debt Ceiling Fight
2 hours ago
Graham Rejects Trump’s Budget In Hearing
2 hours ago

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that President Donald Trump's budget is literal more than recycling bin material. "The budget proposed by the president doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing," Graham said. Graham had previously opposed the budget over its nearly 30 percent cut to the budget of the State Department. The budget slashes spending on domestic priorities while increasing military spending.

McConnell Not Sure How To Get 50 Votes For Health Care
2 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he doesn't yet know the formula towards gaining passage of an Obamacare replacement in the Senate. "I don't know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell said. The House passed an Obamacare replacement bill which has been widely seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, and McConnell has put together a working group of Republican Senators working towards creating health care legislation which could gain the support of at least 50 Senators.

Transcript Of Trump, Duterte Phone Call Leaks
7 hours ago

The transcript of a phone call between Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was leaked and it shows Trump referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as a "madman with nuclear weapons" and praising Duterte, saying he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem." For context, Duterte has presided over a vicious and genocidal campaign of extrajudicial killings within his country which has led to the murder of thousands of expected drug dealers and users. Trump also told Duerte to take care of himself and promised that the U.S. would "take care of North Korea."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.