Obama: Cancellation Notices Result of 'Substandard' Insurance Plans
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama implied that Americans who are receiving cancellations letters from their insurance companies--even if they liked their current plans--is because they chose to purchase "substandard" insurance plans.
Speaking at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Obama said the "latest flurry" in the news has been all of the cancellation notices Americans have received, despite assurances from Obama that Americans could keep their insurance plans under Obamacare. That is a pledge that even the Obama administration's chief defenders during the 2012 campaign--like the Washington Post--have accused Obama of violating. The Post's fact-checker, for instance, gave the Obama administration "Four Pinocchios" for that claim.
"Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy," Obama said. "So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good."
Obama argued that before Obamacare, Americans did not know better and purchased "substandard" policies that were "bad for all of us, because, again, when tragedy strikes, and folks can't pay their medical bills, everybody else picks up the tab." He said Americans receiving cancellation notices had what were considered "substandard" plans that needed to be changed by Obamacare bureaucrats.
"Now if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you were able to keep it. That's what I said when I was running for office," Obama said. "But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is, you've got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage because that too was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning."
Obama's comments reflect those of his favorite "conservative" writer Josh Barro, who said on Tuesday that policies should be made "on the correct presumption that people don't know what's best for them."