During his daily briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was pressed on President Barack Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their health insurance plan under Obamacare after an admission by former White House advisor David Axelrod that some will, indeed, lose their coverage.
Ed Henry, a correspondent from Fox News, pointedly asked Carney about Axelrod’s comments and challenged him to admit that what President Obama said wasn’t true.
“The President, when he was trying to get the law passed, repeatedly said, if you currently have health insurance you will be able to keep your plan,” noted Henry. “This morning David Axelrod was pressed on that point and said, the majority — the vast majority — will be able to keep their plans. He no longer works at the White House.”
“From the podium, will you admit that when president said, if you have a plan, you’ll get to keep it, that that was not true?” asked Henry.
“Well, let’s just be clear, what the President said and what everybody said all along was that there were going to be changes under brought about by the Affordable Care Act that create minimum standards of coverage — minimum services that every insurance plan has to provide,” said Carney.
“So it’s true there are existing health care plans on the individual market that don’t meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act. There are some that can be grandfathered if people want to keep insurance that’s substandard,” he continued, adding that the coverage mandated by Obamacare provides more in terms of benefits.
Henry also asked Carney about a Florida woman who is being forced onto another health insurance plan and will see her premiums increase from $54 a month to $591. “What I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have,” said the woman, according to CBS News. “Why do I have to be forced into something else?”
Carney refused to address “individual cases” and again repeated the lines about Obamacare’s coverage mandates. But Peter Alexander of NBC News also pressed Carney on the issue.
“So does the White House concede that there are winners and losers in this plan, including one individual we spoke to in North Carolina whose family, to keep the closest similar plan to the one they have now, will pay 430% more than their present plan?” asked Alexander.
Carney once again said that he wouldn’t indulge individual cases and, once again, said that Americans would have certain mandate benefits under Obamacare, claiming that the comparison ”fair,” as if it were a good excuse that Americans are losing their health insurance plans because of an arbitrary, bureaucratic standard of “acceptable” coverage.
Even while admitting that President Obama lied, Carney wasn’t very honest about the policy implications of the law. This is something the Obama Administration apparently knew. According to a report from NBC News, the administration estimated that “40 to 67 percent” of insureds would lose their health insurance coverage.
To date, some 1.5 million health insurance plans have been canceled because of Obamacare. Robert Laszewski, a healthcare policy analyst whose expertise was recently featured by the Washington Post, that as many as 16 million Americans will lose their current health insurance coverage, which is roughly 84% of the entire individual health insurance market in the United States.
“The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people,” noted Laszewski. ”Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent as many as 16 million are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has proposed legislation — the “If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act” — that would protect Americans who are facing loss of their health insurance coverage because of Obamacare.