WASHINGTON (CNN) – A top Obama aide said Sunday that even if health care reform legislation is passed, the president cannot prevent employers from dropping health care coverage.
Asked about Mr. Obama’s comments Tuesday at New Hampshire that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the president could not ensure that employees would not lose coverage if Democrats succeed in passing health care reform legislation.
“Clearly, he can’t prevent employers from dropping coverage,” Sebelius told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “and it happens all the time although health reform will stabilize that marketplace.”
“I think, at the end of the day, what [Obama’s] saying is that you’re going to have a stronger employer-based system – encourage more employers to stay where they are and encourage more doctors to actually participate in the system. Clearly, he can’t mandate that a doctor not retire or that an employer not switch a plan that might have a different network of doctors."
Sebelius also told King about a deal the administration has struck with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry that will help contain costs for prescription drugs especially for senior citizens covered by Medicare who need prescription drugs.
Related: Health care in America