Democrats are in spin overdrive trying to explain away President Obama’s frequent promises that all Americans would be able to keep their health insurance and their doctor under Obamacare — something that is certainly not true for those in the individual insurance market and even some covered by employer-based plans.
Typical of the rationalizations is that of progressive pundit Sally Kohn who explained on CNN.com that “It was a given, after all that, if standards for health insurance were going to be raised in America — a good thing — then some plans that don’t meet the bar would no longer be available.” In other words, prepare to sacrifice your current plan for a more expensive one we’ve decided is better for you.
At least some Democrats up for reelection in 2014 recognize the problems with this argument. Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu told the Washington Examiner: “I said, and many people said, that this new law would allow people, if they wanted to keep what they had, to be able to do it. And, I think that we should live up to that promise. If we have to make some changes in order for that to happen, then we should.”
House minority whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, admitted that the “guarantee” President Obama and others issued was designed to “allay fears” of Americans with employer-based coverage. He told reporters yesterday that he wishes Democrats had been “more precise” in explaining that allowing all Americans to keep their coverage meant only most Americans.
Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has proposed a one-year delay in mandating health insurance for individuals. He also doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about Obamacare: “I want to make it work, if it can. Nobody should be forced to buy a product that’s inferior to what they’ve had or cost them more.”
It’s because that grim prescription is a reality for many Americans that so many Democrats are trying to distance themselves from Obamacare even before it fully kicks in on January 1.