November 1st, 2013
09:52 AM ET
10 months ago

White House defends Obamacare rule that forces new insurance

Washington (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday continued to defend the rule in the national health care law that may end up forcing millions of Americans from their health insurance.

Carney's defense of the law comes amid revelations that a grand total of six Americans signed up for Obamacare coverage on the first day the online exchanges went live October 1, according to internal notes provided to the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Despite those numbers, the White House remains confident that it will get the millions of new enrollees it needs on the exchanges to avoid massive cost increases, despite technical problems plaguing the healthcare.gov website. The open enrollment period lasts six months, Carney said on CNN's "New Day."

"We are going to get the numbers we need," he said.

As for those on the individual market at risk of losing their health insurance, "you have other options," Carney said of those whose insurance no longer meets the minimum standards required by the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

The White House argument of "better options" is a step away from what President Barack Obama has been arguing for years on the stump, that those who want to keep their insurance would be able to do so under Obamacare. Revelations that the claim isn't completely accurate has forced administration officials to re-work their approach.

Fact Check: If you liked your health plan, you can keep your health plan

Carney emphasized Friday that only a fraction of the population, estimated to be five percent, might end up losing their existing health insurance. Most of that is so-called "catastrophic" coverage that is cheap and good for little more than major medical emergencies. And only some of that five percent will actually lose their insurance, Carney said.

When asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo about the law requiring individuals to get new insurance coverage they may not need or want, such as maternity care, Carney argued that many people don't really know or understand what their options are and urged buyers to do their homework. In many cases, "you're going to find out you get better insurance, that's a guarantee, better minimum coverage and at same or lower cost because you'll qualify for a tax credit," he said.

Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations

When it comes to what may be extraneous coverage for some, Carney argued that allowing lower minimum standards would end up keeping some from coverage they need, like mental health.

"You sure don't want your insurance company telling you that they've in the fine print carved out an exception and won't cover the very condition that you have," Carney said.

"That's what the individual insurance market has been like for decades and that's what the Affordable Care Act fixes."


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare • White House
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    I love the way Koenig structures this article. Pay close attention to the order of talking points: the first 3 grafs are all GOP talking points: "may end up forcing millions of Americans from their health insurance" (Prove?) ... "a grand total of six Americans signed up for Obamacare coverage on the first day" (Irrelevant) ... " despite technical problems plaguing the healthcare.gov website" (Almost entirely fixed.)

    Carney's points are inserted halfway through the article.

    Priorities, right CNN? Cha-CHING!

    November 1, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Obama simply refuses to admit, he is a liar, a cheat, and a despicable dictator.

    November 1, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. jpmichigan

    THE NAME OF THE INSURANCE GAME IS CHOISES!!!! Whether you purchase auto, home or healthcare insurances choices should/must be given. The Government is mandated that all healthcare insurances give the same whether you will uses it or not ( covering children to age 26, prenatal care, contraceptives). This why many policies are cancelled and why the premiums, co-pays and deductions are rising . Those that done need these added measurers are paying for those who do. Majority (49%) will be getting FREE healthcare, on the dime of taxpayers. Once again redistribute the wealth not just for the rich but from the middle class that live pay check to pay check and will receive no help from the government to help pay for their healthcare. Thank you, Mr. Obama, Mr. Robert and the Congressional Democrats. Can't wait to vote 2014 and 2016.

    November 1, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Data Driven

    @jpmichigan,

    "Majority (49%) will be getting FREE healthcare, on the dime of taxpayers"

    But the rest of Team Red is saying that everyone is now paying too much because Obamacare obliterated their beloved cheap insurance plans. You must be looking at a more obscure conservative website than your brethren and sistren.

    Also, pro tip: 49% isn't a "majority". A small point, but I thought I'd help you out. Next time, say "51%".

    November 1, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Stuffit

    Is is not amazing how the democrat liberals and the synchophants in the main stram media demonize the TEA party yet praise Snowden and the Occupy movement and won't even let Ray Kelly give a speech. One can only surmise that democrat liberala are lyin hypocrites.

    November 1, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Give it a rest, Bagdad Bob, no one is buying it anymore.

    November 1, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. smith

    @data-What`s wrong the truth stinging a bit. The ACA so far has been a dismal failure. Website problems, confusion, people being forced to buy more expensive plans and when asked to explain the dems throw their hands in air and say, "wahtever".

    November 1, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. ora pike

    ponzi scheme or obama/chicago scheme. To make this work government has to get a hugh amount of people forced out of their insurance to have the income and that is what is happening. This is the biggest step towards socialism ever--the health industry is huge so now IRS????? will control it???? Obama does not care about you–he cares about saving face with his program. They have spent enough now getting ready to take care of a lot of sick people???? NOw-it is the insurance industry's fault??? this is sick.

    November 1, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    There two main reasons why you would lose your existing insurance. One, you had insurance that offered poor coverage. Two, your insurer decided to forego the grandfather clause, which would have allowed you to keep your old coverage, provided the insurer did not make any changes.

    Once the insurer decided to make changes, which anyone who has worked for the last 10-20 years can tell you happens every time during your annual re-enrollment period, you lost your old policy. Any new policies after 2010 must confrom to the ACA. If your old policy is no longer being offered, then it is because the insurer decided to withdraw that type of policy.

    November 1, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Stuffit

    Is is not amazing how the democrat liberals and the synchophants in the main stram media demonize the TEA party yet praise Snowden and the Occupy movement and won't even let Ray Kelly give a speech. One can only surmise that democrat liberala are lyin hypocrites.
    ------------------
    Is it not amazing how the right wing extremists and psycho-phants in the Tea Party demonzie the MSM, yet praise Snowden and the "Stand Your Ground" movement, and won't even let Hillary give a speech without screaming "Benghazi." One can only surmise that the right wing extremists are psychopathic hypocrites.

    FIFY

    November 1, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. TONE

    I usually ignore cnn a lot of times they are a two faced media outlet they would carry a very colorful headline, and when you read into it, only to find out that the story is not matching the headline. But of course they are not politicians,so they will not be eating crow like the rehooligans will when the ACA, is fixed and millions of Americans will start to benefit from it.

    November 1, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. thinking outside the box

    Rudy NYC
    Stuffit

    Is is not amazing how the democrat liberals and the synchophants in the main stram media demonize the TEA party yet praise Snowden and the Occupy movement and won't even let Ray Kelly give a speech. One can only surmise that democrat liberala are lyin hypocrites.
    ------
    Is it not amazing how the right wing extremists and psycho-phants in the Tea Party demonzie the MSM, yet praise Snowden and the "Stand Your Ground" movement, and won't even let Hillary give a speech without screaming "Benghazi." One can only surmise that the right wing extremists are psychopathic hypocrites.

    FIFY
    ___________________________________________________

    LOL! Great one, Rudy!

    November 1, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    There two main reasons why you would lose your existing insurance. One, you had insurance that offered poor coverage. Two, your insurer decided to forego the grandfather clause, which would have allowed you to keep your old coverage, provided the insurer did not make any changes.

    Once the insurer decided to make changes, which anyone who has worked for the last 10-20 years can tell you happens every time during your annual re-enrollment period, you lost your old policy. Any new policies after 2010 must confrom to the ACA. If your old policy is no longer being offered, then it is because the insurer decided to withdraw that type of policy.
    --------
    "Poor" coverage is really in the eye of the consumer, is it not? It the Obama administration going to next determine who eats a "poor" diet? Wears "poor" clothes? Has "poor" hygene?

    And if, as you say, it's such a well-known fact that insurance plans change annually, wouldn't the crafters of this "poor" legislation known that? YES, of course they did, and perpetuated the charade anyway.

    November 1, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Julie S.

    What the administration does not understand is for the young the catastrophic insurance was fine, as it also included getting the lower insurance negotiated prices when they went to the doctors, so instead of a $160 charge, often the price would only be $60. It is too bad that the focus was not just on getting the people insurance who needed it, vs fixing a problem for all of America when many were already ok wit existing system. Seems like the government could have just subsidized the people without insurance to fit into existing insurance programs. Now we have rising insurance rates, rising taxes, doctors walking; heavy reliance on an already broken medicare system and soon to be heavy reliance on a healthcare system that is broken from the start...it is not hard to see where this will end up

    November 1, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    Nothing wrong with ACA Law. GOP itiotic to play politics.

    November 1, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Data Driven

    "you are FORCED to get insurance from your provider."

    Oops, meant to say "employer", not "provider".

    November 1, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. ST

    Regarding the number of people (six) who signed up the first day. I have to borrow a sentence from Hillary: "What difference does it make"? That day was not the only end of signing up. People continued to sign and are still signing up even now as we continue to blog.

    November 1, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Data Driven

    @smith,

    I did reply, but my reply included criticisms of this network, so it didn't get posted.

    I do appreciate your actual engagement with the issues, even though we disagree on everything.

    Is that "allowed", CNN?

    November 1, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Once the insurer decided to make changes, which anyone who has worked for the last 10-20 years can tell you happens every time during your annual re-enrollment period, you lost your old policy. Any new policies after 2010 must confrom to the ACA. If your old policy is no longer being offered, then it is because the insurer decided to withdraw that type of policy.
    ---------
    The legislation FORCED them to change the policies because they didn't meet the "minimum requirements" of the law. What good does do to to say the policy can be grandfathered if it doesn't change if they're forcing it to change? Complete nonsense.

    November 1, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Ck

    Regarding the number of people (six) who signed up the first day. I have to borrow a sentence from Hillary: “What difference does it make”? That day was not the only end of signing up. People continued to sign and are still signing up even now as we continue to blog.

    ACA = FAILURE. HC belongs behind bars with Eric Holder and BO

    November 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    What will be the next Faux outrage from the RWNJs when they realize they were wrong about the ACA as it will be successful, and they will be on the wrong side of history again? Maybe 50 years of being the minority party in congress was not much of a lesson to them for their fight against social security and medicare. Now they will pay at the voting booth for lying about ACA, and trying to cause a global economic crisis with their government shutdowns.

    November 1, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. HenryMiller

    "The White House argument of "better options" is a step away from what President Barack Obama has been arguing for years on the stump, that those who want to keep their insurance would be able to do so under Obamacare."

    Oh, come on, CNN! "a step away from what President Barack Obama has been arguing for years?" What, can't bring yourselves to admit that Obama has been wilfully, knowingly, lying for years?

    November 1, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Rudy NYC

    Stuffit

    Is is not amazing how the democrat liberals and the synchophants in the main stram media demonize the TEA party yet praise Snowden and the Occupy movement and won't even let Ray Kelly give a speech. One can only surmise that democrat liberala are lyin hypocrites.
    ------
    Is it not amazing how the right wing extremists and psycho-phants in the Tea Party demonzie the MSM, yet praise Snowden and the "Stand Your Ground" movement, and won't even let Hillary give a speech without screaming "Benghazi." One can only surmise that the right wing extremists are psychopathic hypocrites.

    FIFY
    ------
    Nawww, stuffit had it right the first time.

    November 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Get out if the box much?

    November 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. A True Conservative

    Good to see that Data riven and Rudy are still employed posting here in support of the administration! Unfortunately they are simply carrying the water for an President who lies through his teeth and they are defending a terrible law that is about to crash and burn as badly as the website.

    November 1, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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