After weeks of his minions saying that Obama didn’t really promise that we could keep our healthcare plans if we liked them, Obama kinda sorta apologized for … let him be clear … promising that if we liked our healthcare plans we could keep them.
Well– first of all, I meant what I said. And we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn’t do enough– a good enough job– and I regret that. We’re talking about 5% of the population– who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buying health insurance on their own.
A lot of these plans are subpar plans. And we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was subpar– when the law was passed, you could keep it. But there’s enough churn in the market that folks since then have bought subpar plans. And now that may be all they can afford. So even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get– this letter cancelled.
First of all, I dispute the notion that this is only affecting individuals who have bought private “subpar” insurance plans since the law was implemented. Everyone’s plan is being affected by it. My employer plan is seeing increased rates and other changes that are a direct result of Obamacare. So I’m “keeping” my plan, but it’s not exactly unaffected.
Second, this “we didn’t explain it well enough” stuff is crap. Obama knew exactly what he was implying. This Administration doesn’t let out a fart without running it through focus groups. That statement was deliberately made to assuage people’s fears that they would have to change plans. And it was never put forward with the caveat of “as long as you bought it before the law was passed”. Nor did anyone account for the reality that many people on the individual market change plans. Efforts to grandfather in existing plans were ignored.
Third, Obama can take a hike. Conservatives and libertarians specifically said, during the debate, that you would not be able to keep your plan if you liked it, that this would have a major impact on existing plans. We were denounced as ignorant factually-challenged right-wing dipshits living in our own reality.
It’s nice that Obama is spinning very slightly less on this subject. But no matter how much he pretends to apologize, he can’t escape the claims he made and the words he said. Millions of people are losing their insurance in anticipation of using the exchanges (exchanges we now know could only handle 1100 people a day before launch and may expose your personal information to criminals). That can’t be swept under the rug with another “I’m sorry you idiots misunderstood me” non-apology.