“If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan,” Now With An Asterisk
After a week of withering criticism over the rhetoric that was used to sell the PPACA, President Obama has added what was apparently a silent addendum to his previous promise that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”:
For years since the Affordable Care Act’s passage, President Barack Obama’s mantra has been that if people like their health insurance plans, they can keep them.
That line now includes a significant asterisk.
Obama on Monday sought to push back against the most recent tide of inconvenient Obamacare headlines — tales of insurance companies ending inexpensive individual market plans that provide insufficient coverage under the ACA.
Allowing those plans to be changed or sold to new customers, Obama told supporters of his Organizing for Action political arm who gathered in Washington to celebrate and strategize for the implementation of his signature law, would be “breaking an even more important promise” of extending “quality, affordable” health coverage to all. If insurance companies choose to maintain their inferior plans, Obama said, people are welcome to remain on them.
“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” he said.
The extra clause represents a slight change — and a slightly tougher sell — from the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” refrain of the 2012 campaign and most of 2013. But Obama said it is necessary because people on individual market often “don’t know how vulnerable they are.”
“The bottom line,” Obama said, “is we are making the insurance market better for everyone.”
Or, in other words, as I put it last week, they think they know better than the average American what’s best or them.