Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Fact Check: Pulling plug on existing health care plan

The White House has been on the defensive recently over its claim, repeated numerous times over the years, that under President Barack Obama’s health care law, if you like your health plan, you can keep it.

His claim hasn’t worn well amid the letters to hundreds of thousands of Americans with individually purchased insurance plans notifying them that their plans are being canceled. Typically, these policies no longer meet the requirements in Obama’s law, such as the need to cover emergency care, maternity care, mental health or prescription drugs.

In August 2012, we gave a Half True to Obama’s claim that “if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” A more careful phrasing— former Obama adviser David Axelrod’s claim that “the vast majority of people in this country are keeping their (health insurance) plan”— recently earned a Mostly True rating.

But critics of the law have been on the attack about what they call Obama’s broken promise. Defending the law, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett sent out this message via Twitter on Oct. 28, 2013:

Fact: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

Is it really a “fact” that “nothing in Obamacare forces people out of their health plans”?

The White House appears to think so. Asked about Jarrett’s tweet at a White House press briefing the following day, Press Secretary Jay Carney backed up her view that it’s the insurers’ fault — not the administration’s — if plans are being canceled.

It’s insurers who are choosing to close plans, Carney said, noting that “the administration doesn’t step in” to force cancellations. Instead, he said, “the insurer is making a decision to basically cancel the plan and reissue or offer the individual a new plan with different benefits or different costs.”

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers