Kathleen Sebelius: ‘Americans Have No Idea What Insurance Is About’

Kathleen Sebelius: ‘Americans Have No Idea What Insurance Is About’

Former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Tuesday that passage of the highly unpopular Obamacare program has revealed Americans’ ignorance about health insurance. 

“One of the things that we have learned with the passage of the law [Obamacare], and certainly with open enrollment in 2014–and I think this will be true again in 2015–is that a lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about, and have no idea, even if they have coverage, what it means, you know, what a deductible is, what a copay is, how to choose a network. Those are complicated terms,” Sebelius told USA Today’s Susan Page. 

Sebelius added that Americans’ inability to understand health insurance was a “stunning revelation.”

“I think the financial literacy of a lot of people, particularly people who did not have insurance coverage, or whose employers choose their coverage and kind of present it to them, is very low,” said Sebelius. “That has been a stunning revelation.”

Asked about controversial remarks by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that Obamacare passed because of the “stupidity of the American people,” Sebelius downplayed Gruber’s role and said she never met with him personally before backtracking and suggesting she may or may not have been on phone calls or group meetings with Gruber. As the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI) revealed in Politico Magazine, Sebelius only had a single one-on-one meeting with President Obama since the passage of Obamacare until its unveiling. 

After making her comment about the “stunning revelation” about how ignorant most Americans are about health insurance, Sebelius went on to criticize Gruber’s comments about how ignorant most Americans are about Obamacare. 

“Clearly he is not very articulate with the phrasing he uses,” said Sebelius. “He is making some headlines, which is unfortunate because I think he’s harming the very product that he helped to push forward.” 

Jonathan Gruber testifies before Congress next week. 


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