(USA TODAY) -- President Obama has added a caveat to his oft-repeated pledge that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.
to more than 200 supporters on Monday night in Washington, Obama added
some significant verbiage to his declaration - "if you like your current
insurance, you keep that insurance" - that was a standard part of his
public pitch on his signature health care legislation dating to 2009.
if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into
law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if
it hasn't changed since the law passed," he said.
of his claim comes after he has faced an avalanche of criticism from
Republicans, who say the declaration has proven to be untrue as millions
of Americans are receiving cancellation notices from their insurance
Administration officials have stressed it should be no
surprise that a slice of the 5% of U.S. consumers who are on the
individual insurance market would be forced to switch plans as a result
of insurance providers dealing with meeting the minimum benefit
requirement established under the law.
But while Obama repeatedly
trumpeted the ability of Americans to keep their insurance if they
already had it, less emphasized was the reality that some insurers
providing bare-bones coverage prior to the full implementation of the
law would be forced to phase out such policies.
At a health care
summit hosted by Organizing for Action, a political group started by
high-ranking alumni of Obama's two presidential campaigns, the president
expressed frustration that he's getting beat up for the insurance
"People are acting like this is some new
phenomenon," Obama said. "Every year there was churn in this individual
market. The average increase was double-digits on premiums in the same
market, with or without the Affordable Care Act. People were getting,
oftentimes, a very bad deal."
Despite the president's protestations, the issue is unlikely to go away for Obama anytime soon.
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