Administration Knew It Could Not Keep Promise, But Repeated it for Three Years


Energy and Commerce Republicans Introduce Keep Your Health Plan Act

On June 15, 2009, President Obama promised the American people, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” On June 28, 2012, President Obama again repeated, “if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance – this law will only make it more secure and more affordable.” On September 26, 2013, just days before the health law was set to launch, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked, “Does the president still contend that if Americans like their health plan, they can keep it? He did not manage to get that into a 50-minute speech.” Carney replied, “Absolutely, he did get that in his speech.”

But NBC News reports, “millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years. … Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, ’40 to 67 percent’ of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, ‘the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.’”

So what does the administration now say? Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett tweeted just last night, “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.” CBS News counters, “CBS News has learned more than two million Americans have been told they cannot renew their current insurance policies… and this is just the tip of the iceberg, [Jan] Crawford said.”

While the administration sticks to its broken promise, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) along with every GOP member of the committee last night introduced the Keep Your Health Plan Act to help provide peace of mind to Americans across the country who are currently receiving insurance termination notices. Because if you like the insurance you have, you should be able to keep it. This is a matter of fairness.