Thanks, Obama! Tens of millions of Americans being forced out of their former health insurance
President made promise that Americans could keep their insurance - not so!
"If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period," United States President Barack Obama said as he pitched health care reform. Today - millions of Americans know otherwise. Many were greeted with notices in their mail that they would be dropped as of the New Year. Few are pleased.
At one time just an Internet meme, "grumpy cat" has become the general mood of the American public in regards to Obamacare.
However, advisers did say in 2010 that there were large caveats. Thye noted that anyone whose insurance plan changed would lose the promised protection of being able to keep existing plans.
Furthermore, a report in 2010 said that as many as 69 percent of certain employer-based insurance plans would lose that protection! This means as many as 41 million people could lose their plans, even if they wanted to keep them and would be forced into other plans.
Worse yet, another 11 million who bought their own insurance could also lose their plans. Altogether, as many as 52 million Americans (!) could lose or have lost old insurance plans.
To be fair, some of the loss of favored insurance is driven by normal year-to-year changes, such as employers changing plans to save money. Many people in th elong run could end up with better plans.
But this isn't what the president pledged, and late last week - he apologized.
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he told reporters. "We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."
To garner support from the already insured, Obama made the promise that no one who liked their plan would lose it, with millions of plans being "grandfathered" in the new law, thus protected from any new requirements.
As insurance companies began to notify hundreds of thousands this fall that their current policies were being canceled in preparation for new ones, it became clear that many were not guaranteed to keep their plans.
The White House and Congress have focused on cancelations of plans in the individual market, where people buy their own policies.
The president insists that the problem is limited to people who buy their own insurance. "We're talking about five percent of the population who are in what's called the individual market. They're out there buying health insurance on their own," he said.
After millions of Americans, mostly in the market for individually purchased plans began receiving cancellation notices or price hikes from their insurance companies, Obama warned that people could lose their plans if insurance companies changed the plans.
"Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn't changed since the law was passed," he said.
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