Oct 292013

Having failed in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, conservatives are now trying to blame Obama for the health plan cancellation notices that are now going out to customers. They point out that Obama previously stated that people who liked their current plans could keep them and that those statements must have been either deceitful or ignorant.

First, Obama and Democrats have never been great at explaining the details of the law. Politicians generally aren’t wonks and they don’t like making wonkish qualified statements like “Most people will be able to keep their current plans.” Second, the cancellation of these plans is a feature of the law, not a bug. These plans didn’t comply with the ACA because they didn’t offer certain essential services or they had excessive cost-sharing requirements. The ACA-compliant plans will offer richer benefits and stronger cost-sharing protections. Yes, some people may end up paying higher premiums than they do now, but this seems like an acceptable trade-off to me. It’s not as if most people on the individual market were terribly happy with their current individual plans.

If people want to argue that we should be allowed to pay for crappy coverage, that’s fine. It’s just not a terribly compelling argument.

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