Fact Check: You can keep your own doctor
September 26th, 2013
12:08 PM ET
1 year ago

Fact Check: You can keep your own doctor

ASSERTION:
You can keep your own doctor.

"First of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan - you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
President Barack Obama
7/16/2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT NEW JERSEY RALLY FOR GOVERNOR JON CORZINE

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-rally-governor-jon-corzine

FACTS:
This has been a staple talking point as the president has traveled the country selling his health care plan. What is the truth?

The short answer is maybe.

At least in part because of the new law, some large employers are reassessing how they offer health care to their employees. This summer shipping giant UPS announced it would no longer cover spouses of non-union employees who are also eligible for health benefits from their own employers. This affects about 15,000 spouses who as of January 1, 2014 will have to change insurance plans.
Some major unions including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers which originally signed on to health care reform now say many of their members may not be able to keep their current health care coverage under Obamacare. These unions are now demanding the Obama administration make regulatory changes to the law so that multi-employer plans which cover many union workers are protected. These multi-employer plans mean small businesses team up with other employers on health care coverage and pool the risks. The problem is these plans are not eligible for federal subsidies under the new health care law and that means the union workers might have to change their health care plan.

"It is a question of fairness," says Edwin Hill, president of the IBEW. "Multi-employer plans are genuine health care success stories and they deserve the same federal support private insurance companies get."

Finally only a handful of existing individual plans that people currently have will be grandfathered into the exchanges. So, most people who are currently in the individual market will need to get new plans.

"Depending on the plan you choose in the marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor," a Health and Human Services official tells us, adding, "Different plans have different networks and providers...if staying with your current doctors is important to you, check to see if they are included before choosing a plan."

The Verdict:
False, only because the president has been so definitive. It is probably true that the majority of people who have insurance will not be affected by the new law. But, clearly some will. Obama may realize he has been overstating the case since he did not make that assertion during recent events promoting the law. The White House says, however, he stands by the claim, declaring on its website, "nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Period."


Filed under: Fact Check Obamacare
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    It is an overstatement, if only because it's a very vague promise in the first place. Nothing in the ACA forces you to change doctors. Your employer, however, may react to the ACA in a way that forces you to do so. On the other hand, your employer could do that to you BEFORE the ACA as well. Many large employers are simply hiding behind the ACA as an excuse to gut benefits, as shown by the fact that the math isn't really what they claim it is to justify what they're doing. Moreover, large employers all over the country have been trying to gut benefits and actually gutting benefits for years now as a result of skyrocketing health care costs. I think "false" is a little misleading, because the statement is too vague and the causal connection is too convoluted. Verdict: Misleading...Obama should've known better than to speak so vaguely and should've been more specific.

    September 26, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Zerubbabel

    Finally, objective facts. This is an area that needs to be addressed.

    September 26, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "These unions are now demanding the Obama administration make regulatory changes to the law so that multi-employer plans which cover many union workers are protected."
    -----------------
    Most every union construction worker that I've met gets their health care and pensions through the union, not whatever contractor that they may be working for on a given project. Now some contractors do employ union registered workers on a permanent basis as foremen, and those individuals get any pension and health benefits through their employer...just like the secretary who answers the phone.

    September 26, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    Prior to the ACA, if you changed plans there was no guarantee you would be able to keep the same doctors. Nothing new here, but thanks for creating another (to borrow a phrase from Sniffit) "nontroversy".

    September 26, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. just saying

    ASSERTION:
    You can keep your own doctor.
    "First of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan – you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
    President Barack Obama
    7/16/2009
    FACTS:
    The short answer is maybe.
    The Verdict:
    False, only because the president has been so definitive. It is probably true that the majority of people who have insurance will not be affected by the new law. But, clearly some will.
    ---

    verdict.... obama and the democrats lied to get obamacare passed and continue their lie even when everybody knows they lie. and obama gets out their every day to lie even more to the american people as they see case after case of obamacare doing damage to peoples' healthcare or their working hours.

    September 26, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. 82ndABNVET

    FALSE. If your employer is dropping you from their subsidized insurance, and you have to get your own insurance, odds are your old doctor will not be your new doctor.

    There are articles out saying that the only way to get Obamacare costs for individuals down is to restrict the amount of hospitals and doctors they will provide to consumers. That means you might not be able to find a doctor in your network in your town. You may have to drive up to 90 mins away to see a network doctor.

    When you set something in stone, kind of like a RED LINE..................that is truth. If you are unsure of how it will affect people you should say most everyone can keep their doctor and coverage. That way, you give yourself an out. But saying you can keep it and there is nothing that forces you to change, well that is just a lie.

    September 26, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    82ndABNVET

    There are articles out saying that the only way to get Obamacare costs for individuals down is to restrict the amount of hospitals and doctors they will provide to consumers. That means you might not be able to find a doctor in your network in your town. You may have to drive up to 90 mins away to see a network doctor.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Care to post some credible links or at least point in the right direction to find those articles out saying that the only way to get Obamacare costs for individuals down is to restrict the amount of hospitals and doctors they will provide to consumers? There are a lot of lies and misinformation being posted by the rethugs, so cite you sources please.

    September 26, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    FACT! - Obamacare needs to be strengthened, not weakened, by allowing multi-employer plans to be eligible for subsidies!

    September 26, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. BJ

    Why isn't Congress–House-president–big corp-unions-etc have to take OBAMACARE. They should be the first to try it and if they like it than roll it out to the public

    September 26, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. ADK

    Imagine if you will George W. Bush getting away with a LIE like this???

    Do you think CNN would grade George Bush Truth or Lies on a curve???

    I guess Since Obama is CONSTANTLY TRUTH CHALLENGED you HAVE TO GRADE HIM ON A CURVE IN ORDER TO RATIONALIZE YOUR CONSTANT SUPPORT...

    September 26, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. ADK

    The TEA PARTY was right... Back in 2009 and 2010 we all warned you about the trouble with this bill..

    Tea Partiers were the ONLY GROUP ACTUALLY READING THE BILL AND ACTING on it's objectionable content.

    The exchanges are not read, Obama is creating WAIVERS FOR HIS PALS and CONGRESS...

    HEY IF OBAMACARE IS SO WONDERFUL.... WHY DOES OBAMA STILL HAVE TO GO AROUND SELLING IT?

    IF Obamacare is so WONDERFUL... Why do so many Congressional Staffers, many who WROTE OBAMACARE WANT OUT???

    If Obamacare is so WONDERFUL... Why do the PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE MOST ABOUT IT, WANT IT THE LEAST? With the exception of Democrat Politicians who do not really care AS LONG AS THEY ARE EXEMPT..

    September 26, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    just saying wrote:

    verdict.... obama and the democrats lied to get obamacare passed and continue their lie even when everybody knows they lie. and obama gets out their every day to lie even more to the american people as they see case after case of obamacare doing damage to peoples' healthcare or their working hours.
    ------------------------–
    Go lie down somewhere before you stress yourself out. You're "going Rove" on us. The only polling on the ACA that really matters was conducted last November. The majority of voters chose Pres. Obama, Democrats in the Senate, and Democrats won a million more votes in the House. The case went to the SCOTUS, where it was upheld.

    Make choice. Believe in the Democracy, which you claim to support and cherish so highly. Or do you believe in "freedom" to have things your way, the only way, all the time?

    September 26, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    @ADK.....

    Would that be anything like the WMD lie, which he, Cheney, Rummy and Condi should be in prison for......

    September 26, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. O'drama ya Mama

    just saying

    ASSERTION:
    You can keep your own doctor.
    "First of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan – you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
    President Barack Obama
    7/16/2009
    FACTS:
    The short answer is maybe.
    The Verdict:
    False, only because the president has been so definitive. It is probably true that the majority of people who have insurance will not be affected by the new law. But, clearly some will.

    verdict.... obama and the democrats lied to get obamacare passed and continue their lie even when everybody knows they lie. and obama gets out their every day to lie even more to the american people as they see case after case of obamacare doing damage to peoples' healthcare or their working hours.
    September 26, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Its funny that out of all the fact checks they have posted in the last 24 hours you only comment on this one. Did you read the 4 or 5 they posted yesterday showing that Republicans have lied about Obamacare? I would have to say this is the only one that the administration has skewed. Its not exactly a lie just slightly overstated. That being said, are you mad and worried that your party base has consistently and grossly lied to you about Obamacare?

    September 26, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. ADK

    Pretty much everything promised in the ACA "Obamacare" has turned out to be false in some way in the major constructs...

    When you consider the Presidential waivers illegally intervening to BUY supporters to ease them into the malaise painlessly past the 2014 Elections, VERY LITTLE of Obamacare isintact at this time...

    But when AFTER the 2014 ELECTIONS, When the Horrible parts become evident to the politically and legislatively ignorant, AS WELL AS THE WELL INFORMED... it will be TOO LATE!

    September 26, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. the hippies were right

    In other words its no different than its been for years. I got laid off several years ago, got to keep my insurance for a few months thru Cobra, then it expired and I had to find a new provider. When shopping around, some of them allowed me to see my Dr and some didn't. So if you stay employed and your employer doesn't get greedy on you, you can keep your existing doctor. The bottom line is, you ACA haters don't even know what the rules are that you hate so much! And CNN (about 2 years late) is providing you with facts and all you can focus on was whether Obama lied or not. Turn your focus to the true liars, and criticize them, you bunch of dummies!

    September 26, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Tony in Maine

    There are two solutions – one will appeal to liberals, the other to conservatives. The first is universal single payer government administered health insurance – not socialized medicine, but socialized insurance. Doctors would remain self employed and the marketplace would winnow out the incompetent. This would appeal to true liberals. True conservatives would love a return to the cash only system of years past. You went to a doctor or hospital and paid cash. This would certainly cut back on 18 bazillion tests to make sure that your cold is not incipient galloping bubonic plague. This would certainly go a long way toward solving the global overcrowding problem.

    Those most likely to oppose any solution – politicians. They would lose a great fund raising subject.

    September 26, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Thomas

    @ADK
    The TEA PARTY was right... Back in 2009 and 2010 we all warned you about the trouble with this bill..

    Tea Partiers were the ONLY GROUP ACTUALLY READING THE BILL AND ACTING on it's objectionable content.

    The exchanges are not read, Obama is creating WAIVERS FOR HIS PALS and CONGRESS...

    HEY IF OBAMACARE IS SO WONDERFUL.... WHY DOES OBAMA STILL HAVE TO GO AROUND SELLING IT?

    IF Obamacare is so WONDERFUL... Why do so many Congressional Staffers, many who WROTE OBAMACARE WANT OUT???

    If Obamacare is so WONDERFUL... Why do the PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE MOST ABOUT IT, WANT IT THE LEAST? With the exception of Democrat Politicians who do not really care AS LONG AS THEY ARE EXEMPT..

    ========

    Since when did Sarah Palin learn to read ?

    September 26, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    BJ

    Why isn't Congress–House-president–big corp-unions-etc have to take OBAMACARE. They should be the first to try it and if they like it than roll it out to the public

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This issue has been addressed and readdressed ad nauseum. That you don't know the real deal is on you.

    September 26, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. TONE

    @ADK
    What are you talking about the tea partiers cannot and did not read anything the only group that did not get it are your group you still sound like you are misinformed after it has been passed all these years.

    September 26, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. rs

    This one is a wash- ever since there were health insurance programs or employer provided plans you could "lose" your doctor if your plan changed- or more often your doctor changed affiliation.

    The GOP misses the point again- it isn't whether you "keep" your doctor, it's that millions more will have regular access to a doctor.

    September 26, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    ADK whined: Imagine if you will George W. Bush getting away with a LIE like this??? –

    My reply: Yeah, except President Obama didn't lie. And the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue got away with telling some whoppers – including lying us into two wars using cherry-picked factoids. Anyone who had the unmitigated gall to point out his many lies was called every name in the book by your ilk, accused of not supporting the troops, giving comfort to the enemy, hating America and a whole host of other insanity. In fact, that guy ann coulter even suggested "libruls" should be killed so we learn to be afraid.

    ADK then wailed: Do you think CNN would grade George Bush Truth or Lies on a curve??? –

    My reply: Considering they never called him on a single one of his countless lies, it’s safe to presume they wouldn't have even broached the subject.

    September 26, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Rob

    82ndABNVET -- I have not heard of these articles you speak of. Yes they use different networks just like the big companies do now. The way to drive down costs for everyone is for more bargaining power given to the consumer, meaning those buying insurance, and the insurance companies to tell medical facilities and providers that they will not pay for inflated prices. That is the problem with medicine in this country. Prices far exceed the actual value of the services and no one is stepping up to say "No" you can't charge that because it is unreasonable. That is why Medicare is effective. The government says they will pay for what the service is actually worth while insurance companies are stuck with the inflated rates.

    September 26, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. conniesz

    The fact is the Affordable Care Act is NOT forcing these changes – the employers are because they want to save money. By spending exactly what they spent before they can offer their employees exactly the same plans they did in the past. It is the employers who are making the choice to spend less on insurance (because they can).

    Same with people with individual plans. I have not heard of any individual plans being discontinued at their current rates if that is what people want to keep paying. But, humans being what they are people want to take advantage of the exchange to pay less – so, yes, they may switch plans which is their choice.

    September 26, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. sandra

    I am able to keep my Physician, we have had numerous thoughts/talks over the last year. He is not going anywhere and still will be a practicing (excellent internist) physician.

    September 26, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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