President Obama announcing Thursday that his administration has created an administrative fix that will now, really, “let you keep your insurance plan if you like your insurance plan.”
As we have reported President Obama has come under heavy fire from Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents and just about every one else because of his continual promise that Americans who like their insurance, they can keep their insurance. That of course, has turned out to be untrue with millions of Americans now losing their health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
Thursday afternoon the President took to the podium of the Brady Room in the White House to talk about an idea to help fix the problem of Americans who are having their insurance policies cancelled as a result of the ACA.
“Everyone understands that I am not happy that the roll out has been wrought with a number of problems.” said President Obama.
He went on to say, that despite the numbers of Americans who are seeing their polices cancelled, a number of Americans have signed up on the new ACA exchange.
“In the first month over 100,000 Americans enrolled in new insurance plans. Problems with the website have prevented too many Americans from enrolling and that is on us and not on them.”
It has been 6 weeks since the ACA marketplaces rolled out but the problem with the ACA is not even the slow and unresponsive online exchanges. For millions, the problem is seeing their insurance polices cancelled.
In California, over 1,000,000 people have been told that their policies are being cancelled. 400,000 people in Georgia were told the same thing. In New York, 100,000 people have had their policies cancelled and in Colorado the number is around 250,000. These numbers are just to name a few. In fact, the it is estimated that as many as 5,000,000 Americans
So what idea did the President bring forward?
“I completely get how upsetting this can be for many Americans especially after hearing the assurances from me that if you like your plan you can keep it” says the President.
“People who have plans that pre-date the ACA can keep their plans, that is already in the law.” The President went on to say that those policies can be retained only if insurance companies continue to provide them. Then, he added his solution,
“If you received one of these (insurance cancellation) letters, I encourage you to take a look at the ACA marketplace, even if website problems keep you from signing up.”
The administrative fix talked about in media throughout Thursday morning is actually that if you are seeing your insurance policy cancelled, go shop on Healthcare.gov? There is actually a bit more to it than that.
The administrative fix proposed by the President is to allow state insurance commissioners to determine whether or not to allow insurance companies to continue to offer insurance policies that do not fully meet ACA requirements. That is a big IF. In addition, there is no guarantee that if your insurance company were to return to the older plan, that the price you were paying up until being dropped only a few days ago, would still be the price.
One reason for the President to come out on Thursday and hold this news conference is because Congress is advancing a number of “Keep Plan” bills that are designed to stop these cancellation notices by reopening debate on the ACA and creating legislative fixes to the current policy cancellation issues.