Exclusive: Obama personally apologizes for Americans losing health coverage
In an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, President Obama said that he is "sorry" that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans. "We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can," he added.
By Chuck Todd, NBC News
President Obama said Thursday that he is "sorry" that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked.
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.
"We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."
In a wide-ranging interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, President Obama discusses implementation of the Affordable Care Act, rollout of the healthcare website, NSA spying, Iran and keeping Joe Biden as his running mate.
Obama’s comments come 10 days after NBC News’ Lisa Myers reported that the administration has known since the summer of 2010 that millions of Americans could lose their insurance under the law.
Obama has made repeated assurances that “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan” with Obamacare.
Consumers who buy insurance on their own — about five percent of the population — are at risk of being forced off their current policies because their plans have changed and don’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.
Obama’s statement has been called into question as Americans have begun to receive cancellation notices, effectively forcing them to enroll in a new plan either with their current insurer or through the government exchanges, in many cases at a higher rate.
Guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services dating back to July 2010 estimated that “40 to 67 percent” of the 14 million consumers in that marketplace could lose their policies due to turnover in the individual insurance market, NBC News found.
That part of the law does not impact the 80 percent of Americans who receive their health insurance through employers or through Medicare or Medicaid.
“Obviously we didn’t do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," Obama said in the interview Thursday. "And, you know, that’s something I regret. That’s something we’re gonna do everything we can to get fixed ... We’re looking at a range of options.”
After the initial NBC News report, the administration insisted that the president did not mislead Americans, arguing that the law could not have accounted for insurers altering existing plans after passage of the law.
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