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Aides Debated Obama Health-Care Coverage Promise

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  • Aides Debated Obama Health-Care Coverage Promise

    As President Barack Obama pushed for a new federal health law in 2009, he made a simple pledge: If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan. But behind the scenes, White House officials discussed whether that was a promise they could keep.

    When the question arose, Mr. Obama's advisers decided that the assertion was fair, interviews with more than a dozen people involved in crafting and explaining the president's health-care plan show.

    But at times, there was second-guessing. At one point, aides discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions, such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president's message.

    "You try to talk about health care in broad, intelligible points that cut through, and you inevitably lose some accuracy when you do that," the former official said.

    The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate "if you like your plan, you can probably keep it" isn't a salable point.

    The breadth of Mr. Obama's statement proved to be a miscalculation. Mr. Obama repeated the claim, with only occasional caveats, through this week, when a flurry of cancellation notices from insurers to customers around the country prompted him to recalibrate. The resulting furor has energized Republican opposition to the plan, which only a few weeks ago had fallen flat as a result of the party's failed attempt to link it to government spending and debt deadlines.

    "With 20/20 hindsight, maybe this should have been parsed more carefully,'' said Jim Margolis, a media adviser to Mr. Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012, said of Mr. Obama's broad promise. But, he added, "The president's statement seems fair."

    At the time the law was being written, Mr. Obama was trying to make the case for the health-care overhaul in understandable terms, and in an environment in which Republicans were casting it as a "big government'' takeover of the health system. Mr. Obama's aides were focused on telling people that disruption would be minimal and benefits from the law substantial.

    Aides said that because insurers could continue offering plans, even those deemed to be substandard, if they were in existence at the time the law passed, Mr. Obama's statement that "you can keep your plan'' was solid.

    "We thought we could fulfill the promise with this grandfathering clause,'' said Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania and a former White House health-care adviser.

    The health law aims to eliminate certain low-premium policies that the administration said provide skimpy coverage and could leave people with high out-of-pocket costs. While it allows insurers to continue covering longtime customers with policies that were in existence as of March 2010, many insurers are canceling such plans because they would die out, anyway, in the absence of new customers.

    About 5% of the U.S. population, or about 15.4 million people, are covered under individual health plans, and many of them—as many as 10 million—are expected to have their health plans terminated by their insurers by year-end, industry experts have said. These customers account for many of those now receiving cancellation notices; Mr. Obama says they will be able to buy better coverage on the new federal insurance exchange.

    One former senior administration official said that as the law was being crafted by the White House and lawmakers, some White House policy advisers objected to the breadth of Mr. Obama's "keep your plan'' promise. They were overruled by political aides, the former official said. The White House said it was unaware of the objections.


    More at Link
    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

  • #2
    While it allows insurers to continue covering longtime customers with policies that were in existence as of March 2010, many insurers are canceling such plans because they would die out, anyway, in the absence of new customers.



    There it is.
    "There are four lights!"

    Comment


    • #3
      They can't take on new customers..why is that?
      May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
      Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
      And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
      may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought he meant if my doctor died, the government would resurrect him. I mean, he said "period," right?
        Enjoy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michele View Post
          They can't take on new customers..why is that?
          Not really germane to the concept of keeping the insurance you have, is it?
          "There are four lights!"

          Comment


          • #6
            I will say he could have been more forthcoming about the rules that would apply to grandfathered policies (no lifetime limits, no rescission, dependents covered up to age 26), but I'm not really sure about the timing of when those rules were set.
            Enjoy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
              Not really germane to the concept of keeping the insurance you have, is it?
              Yes it is.
              May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
              Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
              And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
              may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

              Comment


              • #8
                “The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well.

                The administration's own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House's own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans." -Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley
                May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
                Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
                And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
                may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michele View Post
                  “The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. ....

                  No kidding.

                  "There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life. And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."
                  "There are four lights!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
                    No kidding.

                    "There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life. And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."
                    We could make a long list on the subject of reality in DC...no kidding.
                    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
                    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
                    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
                    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                      I will say he could have been more forthcoming about the rules that would apply to grandfathered policies (no lifetime limits, no rescission, dependents covered up to age 26), but I'm not really sure about the timing of when those rules were set.
                      "Could have been more forthcoming..."

                      That's just classic spin. He LIED! He knew what he was saying was completely false and he didn't care. He had a plan to sell and this was a big part of it.

                      My specific plan was cancelled because it didn't have maternity coverage, didn't provide free birth control, and had exceptions for pre-existing conditions. I cannot physically father any children, had no pre-existing conditions, and do not need birth control. These are all very common traits in individual health insurance policies, but the President KNEW that these plans would not be allowed to exist.
                      "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                      -John Locke

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by scott View Post
                        "Could have been more forthcoming..."

                        That's just classic spin. He LIED! He knew what he was saying was completely false and he didn't care. He had a plan to sell and this was a big part of it.

                        My specific plan was cancelled because it didn't have maternity coverage, didn't provide free birth control, and had exceptions for pre-existing conditions. I cannot physically father any children, had no pre-existing conditions, and do not need birth control. These are all very common traits in individual health insurance policies, but the President KNEW that these plans would not be allowed to exist.
                        You insurance company is lying to you. None of those are disqualifiers for grandfathering.
                        Enjoy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                          You insurance company is lying to you.
                          Businesses never lie. Ever.
                          "There are four lights!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
                            You insurance company is lying to you. None of those are disqualifiers for grandfathering.
                            You're correct, those aren't disqualifiers for grandfathering. I missed the one line on page 2:

                            "Your health insurance policy currently does not cover dependent children over the age of 18"

                            Another common trait of individual health insurance policies.

                            I'm not sure why the notice didn't include the lifetime limitation (currently $10 Million). That's another common trait in individual plans that were sure to be cancelled even if we liked it.
                            "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                            -John Locke

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
                              Businesses never lie. Ever.
                              I've never said that, but then again you posture that the current President never lies.

                              You know he did, you just don't care.
                              "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                              -John Locke

                              Comment

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