Obama to Dropped Insurance Customers: ‘Just Shop Around in the New Marketplace, That’s What It’s For’

The president says the idea that people are being dropped from their current plans is “grossly” misleading.

President Barack Obama makes remarks during a ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at the FBI Headquarters October 28, 2013.
National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Brian Resnick
Oct. 30, 2013, 12:43 p.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama today ad­dressed con­cerns over people be­ing dropped from their health care in­sur­ance plans since the im­ple­ment­a­tion of Obama­care. Cer­tain people who had pur­chased in­di­vidu­al in­sur­ance plans, in re­cent weeks, are find­ing out that such plans do not com­ply with the new law. And some of these people will have to pay more for up­graded plans.

Crit­ics of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, and fact check­ers at pub­lic­a­tions such as The Wash­ing­ton Post, are say­ing this is a dir­ect con­tra­dic­tion of the pres­id­ent’s cam­paign prom­ise that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” un­der Obama­care.

Ad­dress­ing these con­cerns, the pres­id­ent said these dropped cus­tom­ers should use the new in­sur­ance mar­ket­place to buy bet­ter plans. This, mean­while, was after an ad­mis­sion that such mar­ket­places barely work. The pres­id­ent said that any­one “ped­dling the no­tion” that in­surers are sum­mar­ily drop­ping people is be­ing disin­genu­ous, be­cause the com­pan­ies will of­fer plans in their place. “If you leave that stuff out, you’re be­ing grossly misled.”

Here’s what the pres­id­ent said (em­phas­is ours):

Now, if you had one of these sub­stand­ard plans be­fore the Af­ford­able Care Act be­came … and you really liked that plan, you were able to keep it. That’s what I said when I was run­ning for of­fice. That was part of the prom­ise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if in­surers de­cided to down­grade or can­cel these sub­stand­ard plans, we said un­der the law, you’ve got to re­place them with qual­ity, com­pre­hens­ive cov­er­age. Be­cause that, too, was a cent­ral premise of the Af­ford­able Care Act from the very be­gin­ning. And today that prom­ise means that every plan in the mar­ket­place cov­ers a cor­set of min­im­um be­ne­fits like ma­ter­nity care and pre­vent­at­ive care and pre­scrip­tion drug be­ne­fits and hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion.

And they can’t use al­ler­gies or preg­nancy or a sports in­jury or the fact that you’re a wo­man to charge you more. They can’t do that any­more. They can’t do that any­more. If you couldn’t af­ford cov­er­age be­cause your child had asthma, well, he’s now covered. If you are one of the 45 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans with a men­tal ill­ness, you’re covered. If you’re ex­pect­ing a baby, you’re covered, safer. The sys­tem is more se­cure for you, and it’s more se­cure for every­body. So if you’re get­ting one of these let­ters, just shop around in the new mar­ket­place. That what it’s for.

What We're Following See More »
$618 BILLION IN FUNDING
By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Source:
SUCCEEDS UPTON
Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.

Source:
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT
Senators Looking to Limit Deportations Under Trump
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.

Source:
REQUIRES CHANGE IN LAW
Trump Taps Mattis for Defense Secretary
3 days ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis as his secretary of defense, according to The Washington Post. Mattis retired from active duty just four years ago, so Congress will have "to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years." The official announcement is likely to come next week.

Source:
MEASURE HEADED TO OBAMA
Senate OKs 10-Year Extension of Iran Sanctions
3 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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.

Login