Read The ‘Fine Print’

Read The ‘Fine Print’

Discussing President Obama’s often repeated campaign promise, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,”  Zeke Emanuel, a healthcare advisor to President Obama, told Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough Monday morning, “You don’t give fine print in a political speech.” Especially when the fine print undermines everything you’re about to say. It turns out that not everyone will keep their current insurance, not everyone will be able to keep their doctors, and for many costs are going up, not down. It seems the White House continues to put politics first with Obamacare, worrying more about public relations than implementation, and hoping that you ignore the fine print.

“This is a political campaign … You don’t give fine print in a political speech. Be serious.” (Zeke Emanuel, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 11/4/13)


Obamacare Rollout More About Politics Than Healthcare:

The Washington Post: “ How Political Fear Was Pitted Against Technical Needs” “Based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials and outsiders who worked alongside them, the project was hampered by the White House’s political sensitivity to Republican hatred of the law — sensitivity so intense that the president’s aides ordered that some work be slowed down or remain secret for fear of feeding the opposition. Inside the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the main agency responsible for the exchanges, there was no single administrator whose full-time job was to manage the project.” (Amy Goldstein & Juliet Eilperin, “ How Political Fear Was Pitted Against Technical Needs,” The Washington Post, 11/2/13)

Forbes: “The Decision Was Political” “If the administration knew the website wasn’t ready, why did they roll it out anyway? An explosive new report confirms that the decision was political. Some staffers were so desperate to persuade the President to change course that, during a September 5 demonstration of the website, they ‘secretly rooted for it to fail so that perhaps the White House would wait to open the exchange until it was ready.’” (Avik Roy, “On Sept. 5 Test Of ObamaCare’s Website, Govt. Staffers ‘Secretly Rooted For It To Fail’,” Forbes, 11/3/13)

Politics Trumps Policy On ‘Keep Your Plan’ Promise: “One former senior administration official said that as the law was being crafted by the White House and lawmakers, some White House policy advisers objected to the breadth of Mr. Obama’s ‘keep your plan’ promise. They were overruled by political aides, the former official said.” (Colleen McCain Nelson, Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee, “Aides Debated Obama Health-Care Coverage Promise,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/13)

National Journal: “His Team Was Built To Pass Legislation, Not Implement It.” “Obama ignored efforts by Harvard professor David Cutler and his own economic team to get him to appoint an outside health reform ‘czar’ with a background in technology, insurance and business. Instead, Obama stuck with his health policy team led by Nancy-Ann DeParle, a former Clinton appointee with a checkered record in the private sector. His team was built to pass legislation, not implement it.” (Ron Fournier, “Will Insularity, Incompetence And Lies Doom ObamaCare?,” National Journal, 11/4/13)


The Fine Print:

President Obama: “If You Like Your Healthcare Plan, You’ll Be Able To Keep Your Healthcare Plan, Period. No One Will Take It Away, No Matter What.“ (President Obama, Remarks by the President at the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association, 6/15/09)

NBC News: “Obama Administration Knew Millions Could Not Keep Their Health Insurance” “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.’ That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.” (Lisa Myers and Hanna Rappleye, “Obama Administration Knew Millions Could Not Keep Their Health Insurance,” NBC News, 10/28/13)


President Obama: “No Matter How We Reform Healtch Care, We Will Keep This Promise: If You Like Your Doctor, You Will Be Able To Keep Your Doctor. Period.” (President Obama, Remarks by the President at the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association, 6/15/09) 

The Wall Street Journal: “I Have Been Forced To Give Up A World-Class Health Physician” “What happened to the president’s promise, ‘You can keep your health plan’? Or to the promise that ‘You can keep your doctor’? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician. For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point.” (Edie Littlefield Sundby, “You Also Can’t Keep Your Doctor,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/3/13)


President Obama: “Your premiums will go down.” (President Obama, “Remarks By The President At A Campaign Event,” 7/16/12)

The Washington Post: Sticker Shock! “Alternative Policies Come With Higher Premiums” “The growing backlash involves people whose plans are being discontinued because the policies don’t meet the law’s more-stringent standards. They’re finding that many alternative policies come with higher premiums and deductibles.” (Ariana Eunjung Cha and Lena H. Sun, “For Consumers Whose Health Premiums Will Go Up Under New Law, Sticker Shock Leads To Anger,” The Washington Post, 11/4/13)

Associated Press: “Consumers Frustrated” By “Forced Updates” “In the past, consumers could get relatively inexpensive, bare-bones coverage, but those plans will no longer be available. Many consumers are frustrated by what they call forced upgrades as they’re pushed into plans with coverage options they don’t necessarily want.” (Kelli Kennedy, “Sticker Shock Often Follows Insurance Cancellation,” The Associated Press, 11/2/13)

The Sacramento Bee: “In California, Hundreds Of Thousands To Pay More For Health Insurance” “Hundreds of thousands of Californians who purchase their own health insurance are bracing to pay more for their plans, as the cost of the federal health care overhaul lands harder on middle-class customers.” (Christopher Cadelago, “In California, Hundreds Of Thousands To Pay More For Health Insurance,” The Sacramento Bee, 11/4/13)


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