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 »
Facebook To Cut Down On Govt-Sponsored Info Campaigns
1 minutes ago

Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."

Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
21 minutes ago

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. it should be included. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
4 hours ago

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

IN 2014
Pentagon Warned Flynn Not To Accept Foreign Payments
5 hours ago
One-Week Spending Bill On The Table
6 hours ago

Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.


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.