The House of Representatives passed the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” by a 261-157 vote November 15. The legislation would allow millions of Americans whose healthcare plans were cancelled under ObamaCare to renew their plans for one year. But the Republican-backed bill is actually to the left of the position held by former President Bill Clinton, who has called for a permanent repeal of this part of ObamaCare.
Clinton, despite having supported Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), said in a November 12 interview that the federal government should not use minor changes in existing plans as an excuse to cancel existing healthcare plans. “I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the President should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.” The House-passed bill — which included 39 Democrats who broke ranks to vote for the GOP-written bill — would only delay implementation of the ObamaCare regulations for pre-existing policies by one year. Four Republican congressmen voted against the House bill, saying the legislation did not go far enough in protecting people with existing insurance plans.
For his part, President Obama continues to claim that old policies are not being canceled, and that people can keep their old plans if they like them. He said in a White House fact sheet released November 14 that “Health plans that consumers had when the law was passed in 2010 are ‘grandfathered’ in and do not have to adopt most of the new consumer protections.” But Obama's statement is misleading at best. The “grandfathering” is very limited in scope, and even minor changes in existing policies — such as even a small change in co-payments or deductibles — force ObamaCare regulations to kick in and existing policies to be canceled.
Obama has even caught flak from his most loyal leftist supporters in the establishment media for this false claim. “The Fact Checker” at the Washington Post reviewed Obama's promises on keeping health care coverage at the time Congress was passing the ACA, and gave Obama's promises four “Pinocchios,” the newspaper's worst rating reserved for lies it calls “whoppers.”
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Photo of former President Bill Clinton: AP Images