The administration is on the defensive this week over President Obama’s claim that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” under the Affordable Care Act, The Washington Post reports.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals have been receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies recently, a number that NBC News said would grow to millions, in what appeared to be a scathing investigative report this week. “The Obama administration has known that for at least three years.”
Yet we’ve all known this for at least three years, ThinkProgress pointed out in response, citing an article in The Hill from 2010 that includes the same estimates of people who could lose their current insurance plans.
Individuals may keep their “grandfathered” plans from before March 23, 2010, unless the plans change significantly and do not include protections required under the law, such as the 10 essential health benefits, and no discrimination against preexisting conditions or against gender.
The administration contends individuals losing their plans will have access to more comprehensive, higher-quality ones under the health care law, often at more affordable costs, when premium subsidies are factored in. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a House Ways and Means hearing on Tuesday that insurance cancellations have been going on long before the ACA, but now the law includes further protections for those individuals. The hearing focused more on the issue of plan cancellations than problems with HealthCare.gov.
The controversy surrounding the issue of cancellations has many in a frenzy, as the administration continues to work to repair the website and maintain that coverage will be better under Obamacare. Yet if this argument continues to gain traction, a perceived broken promise could prove to be more difficult to mend than a broken website.
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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."
"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.
"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.
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.