An explosive report by NBC News published on Monday says the Obama administration knew for three years that many people would lose their current insurance despite repeated promises by President Obama to the contrary.
“President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years,” NBC said.
Robert Laszewski, a consultant with Health Policy and Strategy Associates, estimated that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies despite Obama’s promises.
“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” he said.
The Obama administration fired back, claiming nothing in the ACA forces people out of their current policies.
“FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans,” Valerie Jarrett tweeted.
“Don’t be foooled. Nothing in the ACA forces people out of their plans. No change is required unless ins companies change their existing plan,” added White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz.
But NBC reported:
The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.
“Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, ’40 to 67 percent’ of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, ‘the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range,’” NBC added.
“Whether Sebelius had the authority under ACA as written to do what she did would appear to be a very debatable matter,” Tom Blumer wrote at Newsbusters.
Blumer questioned some of the terminology in the NBC report that effectively gives the administration an “out.”
He also noted that while “the ACA” by itself doesn’t force people out of their plans, Kathleen Sebelius’s regulations resulting from “the ACA” do.
“That’s a ‘clever’ gambit, but a failed one,” he added. “That’s because regulations issued to implement a law are treated as part of the law by regulators and the courts. Therefore, Sebelius’s regulations, unless successfully challenged and eliminated, are for legal purposes part of ‘the ACA.'”
So far, some two million people have already received cancellation notices due to Obamacare, and according to health policy expert Bob Laszewski, an estimated 16 million Americans will lose their current insurance.
Nevertheless, administration officials continue to claim that Obamacare is not the cause, despite the letters being received by a growing number of Americans stating the opposite.
Blumer said the statements by Jarrett and others are “not the core lie.”
“That of course was Barack Obama’s multiyear insistence that ‘If you like the health care that you have, that you currently have, you can keep it,'” he added.
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