(WASHINGTON) — President Obama Thursday night apologized to millions of Americans who are losing their health care coverage as a result of his Affordable Care Act taking effect.
The mea culpa comes amid a firestorm of criticism over his repeated promises that under Obamacare, “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” Obama told NBC News.
With millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices, the president has been slammed by critics in recent days for misleading the American people deliberately to sell his plan to potential voters ahead of the 2012 election. President Obama did not apologize for misrepresenting the plan — despite the fact that his administration knew full well when he made the “assurances” that millions of Americans would lose their coverage as a result of his signature piece of legislation.
In the past week, the president has tried to walk back his promise, adding caveats that he meant all along that Americans could keep their plan if they have, “insurance that works” or, “if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” As more and more Americans get the dreaded notices, and find out that replacement plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are to many, unaffordable, the caveats only increased the drumbeats that he misled the public.
Consumers who buy insurance on their own, roughly five percent of the population — some 15 million people — may be forced to switch their plans because their providers have made changes that don’t meet the new standards required under the Affordable Care Act.
Some reports said President Obama’s team knew as far back as 2010 that the ACA as written could cause “massive” disruptions to millions of Americans’ policies.
“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 them, as opposed to because they’re forced into it,” Obama claimed to NBC. “That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place. 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.”
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