In a surprising turnaround, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Tuesday jettisoned Monday’s tacit acknowledgement that President Obama had erred in promising Americans they could keep their health care plans under Obamacare, now saying Obama was correct because his claim applied only to those policies purchased before the law was signed, and that plans purchased afterward and then changed were the responsibility of insurers.
Plans in existence before Obamacare became law March 23, 2010, could be “grandfathered in” and not subject to standards required under Obamacare, according to Carney, and it was these plans Obama was referring to when he made statements like, “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.”
But Obama repeatedly claimed that people could keep their plans without caveating that it would only apply to those who purchased them before Obamacare became law. What’s more Obama continued to make the claim well after the law was signed – including during the 2012 campaign – and using the present tense.
According to Carney, insurers bear the responsibility for disappointment with the president’s statements:
As written, the law granted a grandfather status to individuals who had insurance on the individual market before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and kept that insurance and wanted to keep it for as long as they were alive, if the insurer wanted to have them on that plan.
But if the insurer, last year or the year before or earlier this year, told — let’s say, it’s you — that guess what, your plan that you signed up for for a year, we’re changing . . . in terms of the agency here, I think the insurer is making the decision to basically cancel the plan and reissue or offer the individual a new plan with different benefits or different costs. So the insurer makes that call, and made that call over the course of the — since the passage of the Affordable Care Act . . .
Here’s the video:
Carney’s rejiggered spin comes just a day after he basically acknowledged that the president was wrong by not contesting an assertion by Ed Henry of Fox News that “the president sold it as if you have a plan, you’ll get to keep it. And that’s not true.” Instead, Carney Monday emphasized that people’s new plans would be better than the ones they lost.
Carney Tuesday declined to even acknowledge that Obama could have put it better, as you can see from the video below.