White House Press Secretary Jay Carney pushed back Tuesday against reports that the Obama administration knew millions of Americans would lose their health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, despite promising that people could keep their insurance if wanted to do so.
“What were talking about here is the five percent of the country who currently purchase insurance on the individual market,” Carney said in a press briefing, calling the individual market an under-regulated “Wild West.”
He went on to explain that insurance policies dating from before the passage of the health care law are “grandfathered in.” Policy holders could retain those grandfathered plans forever if they so chose, Carney said — unless the policy holder dropped the plan of their own will, or “the insurance company threw you off.” In those cases, he said, the policies adopted after the health care law’s passage would be held to minimum standards of coverage.
Bottom line, Carney clarified, people who were on a plan when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and haven’t since dropped or been removed from it “can keep that plan if they so choose.”
Republicans on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of breaking a campaign promise that “if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it,” after reports emerged that insurers were sending cancellation notices for plans that didn’t meet minimum ACA requirements.