November 1st, 2013
09:52 AM ET
6 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. Denise

    'whether healthcare succeeds' Dems will lose? Spoken like a true dittohead patriot!

    November 1, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Denise

    Where have all of these clowns been? My HMO plan and premiums through Blue Cross have changed throughout the past 12 years from raising copays to inpatient deductibles to copays for outpatient procedures, etc. These changes came about way before the ACA.

    November 1, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Denise

    To what end or purpose would Obama wish to destroy America and make health care unaffodable for those without insurance? I thought Bush was an idiot, but I know he was not out to destroy America......It's like the conspiracy by his mom when her son was born in Hawaii.....Let's come up with a phony birth certificate because he will be president someday and we know that he was born in Kenya......it's all so ridiculous!

    November 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Denise

    I'd be willing to bet that the EIB Network group insurance premiums have gone up a couple hundred percent before ACA given the fact that their leader is such a high risk for obesity, cirrhosis and drug addiction.

    November 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Targa

    Data Driven
    I really like how you effortlessly defended the plan, with a with total disregard to the persons situation "take a few hours to figure your situation out" you feel they are so below you they are not capable in figuring out in why they will be paying a huge amount more of their income. And its really for no other reason other than to make liberals like yourself feel better about themselves and of course putting in the "archstone" of the socialist plan. They like many other plan worked for them and they COULD afford it...now not so much, but in your mind these ends justify the means. These means will be of your own undoing in the future.

    November 1, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "To what end or purpose would Obama wish to destroy America and make health care unaffodable for those without insurance?"

    Hehe...ask that question in a bar room in the South and you'll get answers ranging everything from "revenge for slavery" to "so the muslims can sweep in and take over."

    November 1, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Where have all of these clowns been? My HMO plan and premiums through Blue Cross have changed throughout the past 12 years from raising copays to inpatient deductibles to copays for outpatient procedures, etc. These changes came about way before the ACA."

    Sssssshhhhhhhh, we're all supposed to be pretending that insurance companies weren't jacking up their prices and screwing customers before the ACA ever even existed. Didn't you get the MSM's memo?

    November 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Donna

    Denise
    Where have all of these clowns been? My HMO plan and premiums through Blue Cross have changed throughout the past 12 years from raising copays to inpatient deductibles to copays for outpatient procedures, etc. These changes came about way before the ACA.
    --

    Yes, of course, health plans have always changed from year to year. A well known fact. Which is exactly why this claim of grand fathering plans by Obama and the Democrats is yet another scam and lie. Reality and the way the market works PREVENTS these plans from being grand fathered according to the law.

    The fact is the Democrats and Obama did NOT want them all grand fathered and the law was written to accomplish exactly that. And then Obama and the Democrats lied about grand fathering.

    November 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Targa

    Denise
    play the straw man much? Its about the lies...you can turn the point into racism, destroy America blahblah its a typical liberal playbook, take the actual point, turn into some point that is easy to defeat and have it appear you are much smarter than you are...just explain in simple terms why Obama lied about keeping you plan you could afford and felt comforable with...without name calling I know thats asking a lot from a liberal.

    November 1, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Denise

    Sniffit – too funny! He and Joe and Hillary and Harry and Nancy got together with a bunch of socialist muslims to come up with a plan to screw with everyone's health insurance and to destroy America!

    November 1, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Targa

    Gurgyl
    Nice intelligent response, but you should have capitalized JUST SHUT UP.. but no one offers a cheaper rate where I live GET IT

    November 1, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "Where have all of these clowns been? My HMO plan and premiums through Blue Cross have changed throughout the past 12 years from raising copays to inpatient deductibles to copays for outpatient procedures, etc. These changes came about way before the ACA."

    Sssssshhhhhhhh, we're all supposed to be pretending that insurance companies weren't jacking up their prices and screwing customers before the ACA ever even existed. Didn't you get the MSM's memo?
    ------------------–
    You forgot the part about how we're should also be pretending that any changes to an employee's health benefits package are a direct result of the ACA. Never mind the fact that your company was bought out and everything changed, because that was the ACA's fault, too.

    November 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. just asking

    Tony
    Just asking, where is the government takeover of health care that Republicans had been babbling about? You still need to get insurance from insurance companies, which are still around. They just raise premiums on their plans, like they were doing before Obamacare.
    --

    before obamacare:
    1. american citizens decide what his insurance policy covers based on his and his family's needs and what they can afford to pay.

    2. there is no government involvement.

    after obamacare:
    1. obama and the democrats have decided the insurance policies of millions of americans do not meet the standards obama and the democrats think they should meet and have outlawed them thus removing them as options for the american citizen. they no longer have the freedom to make that choice, aka freedom

    2. obama and the democrats have decided that all american citizens by health insurance must pay for options in their health insurance plans which they do not need and will never use in order to subsidize those costs for other people.

    3. obama and the democrats requirements to carry coverage for items that are not needed by the american citizen paying the bill has driven the costs of the american citizens healthcare insurance far above what they were paying and can afford. the new plans also carry higher deductibles which only add to the cost to the american citizen.

    4. there is massive government interference in the healthcare options and plans as well as americans finances.

    get it???

    November 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Denise
    Where have all of these clowns been? My HMO plan and premiums through Blue Cross have changed throughout the past 12 years from raising copays to inpatient deductibles to copays for outpatient procedures, etc. These changes came about way before the ACA.
    -------------–

    As have my husband's. In our situation, for the past 30 years. BCBS/Aware Gold.

    November 1, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Tony

    People should know that Obamacare's grandfathering clause allows some insurance plans to continue even if they don't meet all of the requirements under Obamacare (for example, grandfathered plans don't need to provide free preventive care, and they don't need to protect your choice of doctors or access to emergency care). More importantly, people don't need to be enrolled in these plans before March 23, 2010. The plans need to be in existence on March 23, 2010 to be grandfathered, but you don't need to be on the plans before that date. People, SHOP AROUND. If your insurance company drops your plan, you can drop your insurance company. We live in a capitalist system. If enough customers walk because of higher premiums, insurance companies will drop their premiums whether they like it or not.

    November 1, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Denise

    How to make enemies and lose friends 101 – shhhhhhh, don't tell the tea party crowd or dittohead patriots that we by design and on purpose want to destroy America and the health system as we know it, which in turn, would destroy all of our families and friends and neighbors and co-workers too!

    November 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    People are just waiting for the site to be up and running, why waste your time and there's plenty of time to sign up,and the other thing is why pay for a substandard policy that doesn't cover anything you need , even my own company policy that I paid for only covers what the insurance company WANTS to cover????

    November 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Do you want a policy from insurance companies that cover what you NEED , obamacare, or a policy that hardly covers anything that they want to stick you with and that you probably have now. People will be happy and more secure when all these wrinkles are ironed out in the next few months!!!!!

    November 1, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Diane L

    Carney is lying which this administration seems to be pros at. My inferior insurance was canceled because it did not cover maternity (being older I do not need it). Obama and democrats are out there lying and saying that these inferior polices are for catastrophic coverage. WELL my inferior canceled policy is equal to the Obamacare GOLD policy 750.00 deduct with 30 percent copay and maximum 4,250.00 out of pocket. To be able to get anything near the same price I can get a BRONZE policy with a 6,000 deductible and 6,400.00 out of pocket on top of the deductible ($12,400.00 per year) I will be broke quickly,,,Obamacare is not good for me or the country... Ted Cruz was RIGHT!!!!

    November 1, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. michelle

    "you have other options"

    If you're in a state like North Carolina, where the head honchos there decided not to expand Medicaid, you really DON'T have options. When this idiot, who seems to be Obama's mouthpiece, and all the other 'great' Relieorats/Demonrats, the Prezorat, corporations/businesses(who've been exempted for a year) the govenors of all 50 states & those who work under them are REQUIRED to be in the exchange like all the rest of us taxpayers, THEN I can say that this ACA would be good. But until that happens, they need to go back to the drawing board.

    November 1, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Boomer in NC

    @Boomer in Mo–So true because most of us boomers have been through the same thing and this has been happening for years. People need to put the blame where it is and that is greedy insurance companies. Don't get me started with what my family and I have been through with insurance companies through the years. I should write a book.

    November 1, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Data Driven

    "WELL my inferior canceled policy is equal to the Obamacare GOLD policy 750.00 deduct with 30 percent copay and maximum 4,250.00 out of pocket."

    Wow, that's scary! Except there IS no single "Obamacare GOLD policy" - there are many private insurance plans to choose from between bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, hosted by different carrier.

    I call sockpuppet!

    November 1, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Yes, of course, health plans have always changed from year to year. A well known fact. Which is exactly why this claim of grand fathering plans by Obama and the Democrats is yet another scam and lie. Reality and the way the market works PREVENTS these plans from being grand fathered according to the law.

    The fact is the Democrats and Obama did NOT want them all grand fathered and the law was written to accomplish exactly that. And then Obama and the Democrats lied about grand fathering.
    -------------------–
    You're ignoring the pink elephant in the room again. If the insurer changes your existing plan, then blame the insurer. The law says that if he changes it, then must conform to the ACA. If the policy isn't changed, [ain't resonable annual cost increases don't break the grandfather clause], then you still have it.

    The law didn't change your policy. Your insurer changed your policy.

    November 1, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. A True Conservative

    Ever notice how the tone of these comment areas shift to the left once all the progressives finally roll out of bed? I've been watching for a few months and it always amazes me how the majority of the comments come from the right in the morning and shift to the left later in the day.

    November 1, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Rob

    "A small number of people may lose the current coverage" ????? It's over a million so far and counting. This administration is nothing but a group of liars. On everything from Obamacare to the NSA, IRS, Fast and Furious and the list goes on and on. One can only hope America will survive Obama to finally get a leader to save us from theses corrupt incompetent liars.

    November 1, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
1 2 3 4