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.
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