October 31st, 2013
08:47 PM ET
9 months ago

GOP on insurance cancellations: "We told you so"

Washington (CNN) - The White House isn't in damage-control mode solely over a bad health care website.

As the Obama administration is trying to calm concerns across the country from Americans being dropped from their current plans, Republicans on Capitol Hill are saying, "We told you so."

In March 2010, then-Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, came to the House floor as Democrats were poised to pass Obamacare and issued a warning.

"Look at this bill," Boehner said. "Ask yourself: Do you really believe that if you like the health plan that you have, that you can keep it? No, you can't."


Boehner's remarks are just one example of a Republican effort before the health care bill became the law of the land to push back on President Barack Obama's relentless sales pitch, like the one he made to the American Medical Association in June 2009.

"If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period," Obama said. "No one will take it away from you, no matter what."

When the President made that statement during the heat of the health care legislative battle, Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, dismissed the commander in chief's promise in a weekly Republican address.

"If you read the bill, that just isn't so," Price said. "For starters, within five years, every health care plan will have to meet a new federal definition for coverage, one that your current plan might not match, even if you like it."

Fast forward three years, and that's exactly what's happening.

Insurance companies continue to drop Americans from their health plans, many because the policies they had don't meet the coverage requirements under Obamacare.

The development has Democrats trying to calm concerned constituents by calling the ramped-up requirements a good thing.

"If we don't enforce this policy, insurance companies can continue offering flimsy coverage that disappears when people actually need it, and no one should want that," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, told peers during a congressional hearing on the law's rollout Wednesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius struggled to explain that some current plans are no longer available because they're bad for consumers and no longer legal.

"Many women are charged 50 percent more than men. That will be illegal," Sebelius said.

However, all this creates a problem for the administration because it's not what people expected when they heard Obama promise over and over that, "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

While Republicans remain eager to say, "I told you so," many Democrats are private regretful - and frustrated - that they left Americans with so many expectations that did not pan out.

The No. 2 House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, admitted earlier this week that his caucus and the administration should have been "more precise" in explaining not everyone will be able to keep plans they like, especially plans without mandatory coverage.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. sifto

    why should a single gay male or any other single male pay for women's health?

    November 1, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Here's a thought, CNN: instead of quoting GOP politicos as the "final word", why don't you do your job and research the question of how many people have lost, or will lose, their health insurance because of Obamacare?

    As of this morning, NO ONE KNOWS. Estimates range from 3% (from the fellow who engineered both Romneycare and Obamacare) to 30% (from a conservative, but respected, "expert" on healthcare issues). Pardon the caps, but it bears shouting: THE NUMBERS AREN'T IN YET.

    Unfortunately, I don't think we'll see this network run the numbers or otherwise do any honest investigative reporting on this subject, because they're taking a LOT of advertising dollars from insurance giants Humana and United Health, both of whom are operating outside of the Obamacare matrix. This network is essentially being paid to present the point of view of large interests who are inimical to Obamacare. Will CNN have the courage to upload my silly little post calling them out? Probably not. Will they honestly report on issues relating to Obamacare? Definitely not - they're being paid not to.

    November 1, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
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