NBC’s Chuck Todd’s full interview with President Obama in which they discuss a wide-range of issues including, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, rollout of the healthcare website, NSA spying, Iran and keeping Joe Biden as his running mate.
Thanks to you. I’ll start — with health care. It’s probably the most quoted thing or requoted thing you have said in your presidency, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” You said it a lot during the run up. At this point, though, it’s obviously something — a promise that has not been able to be kept. Just today, the Denver Post 250,000 people in Colorado are seeing health insurance policies cancelled. Some of those people liked those policies. And they can’t keep them. What happened?
Well — first of all, I meant what I said. And we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn’t do enough — a good enough job — and I regret that. We’re talking about 5% of the population — who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buying’ health insurance on their own.
A lot of these plans are sub par plans. And we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was sub par — when the law was passed, you could keep it. But there’s enough churn in the market that folks since then have bought sub par plans. And now that may be all they can afford. So even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get — this letter cancelled.
And — you know, I am deeply concerned about it. And I’ve assigned my team to see what we can do to close some of the holes and gaps in the law — because, you know, my intention is to lift up and make sure the insurance that people buy is effective. That it’s actually going to deliver what they think they’re purchasing. Because what we know is before the law was passed, a lot of these plans, people thought they had insurance coverage. And then they’d find out that they had huge out-of-pocket expenses. Or women were being charged more than men.
If you had preexisting conditions, you just couldn’t get it at all. And we are proud of the consumer protections we put into place. On the other hand , we also want to make sure that — nobody is put in a position where their plan’s been cancelled. They can’t afford a better plan, even though they’d like to have a better plan. And so we’re gonna have to work hard — to make sure that those folks — are, you know, taken care of.
Do you feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them?
You know —
Even if you didn’t intentionally do it, but at this point, they feel misled. And you’ve seen the anger that’s out there.
You know — I regret very much that — what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want ’em, as opposed to because they’re forced into it. That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be — in terms of the changes that were taking’ place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position — a better position than they were before this law happened.