(Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
President Barack Obama should keep his promise to let Americans keep their current health care policies, former President Bill Clinton said.
"I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got," Clinton said in an Ozy.com interview posted Tuesday.
During the debate over passage of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," Obama frequently claimed that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it." He repeated the claim as recently as September, just weeks before the Oct. 1 ACA rollout. The claim, though, turned out not to be true as millions received cancellation notices from their health insurance providers.
Plans are getting canceled because they do not meet the coverage mandates of the Department of Health and Human Services, which was provided with the authority to establish the mandates under the ACA. Only the plans that were in effect and have not changed before the ACA became law will be allowed to remain.
The cancellation notices come with options to enroll in new health care plans which meet the new coverage requirements, but those plans often cost more because of the additional coverage. Clinton recalled meeting a young man who had his plan canceled. His co-pays were lowered but his premiums doubled for the new plan.
When asked about Clinton's remarks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Obama has "asked his team to look at potential actions that could be taken to address this problem, because his focus is on making sure people get quality and affordable health insurance."
Besides Obama's broken promise, Clinton said the ACA has two other main problems - the malfunctioning website, healthcare.gov, and the decisions of some Republican governors to not go along with the Medicaid expansion.
Clinton also had some positive things to say about the ACA.
"We are better with this law than without it," he claimed.