White House Responds To NBC News' Claim That Obama Knew Individuals Would Lose Existing Health Insurance

| by Will Hagle

In the midst of the debacle surrounding the implementation of the new health care exchanges mandated by provisions of the Affordable Care Act, NBC News dropped a bombshell accusation against the Obama administration, claiming that the President and his staff had known for years that millions would be forced to lose their insurance under the new laws despite their reassurance that existing plans would remain unharmed. This accusation arrived after a significant amount of individuals reported receiving letters from their insurance agencies claiming their plans would have to be changed or canceled. 

Although some members of the government have already begun admitting responsibility for the website’s initial struggles, The White House is firmly fighting against NBC News’ claims that they knew the ACA would affect previously-insured individuals.

White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that “normal turnover in the indiv(idual) insurance market” has been commonplace and is actually something the ACA aims to solve over time. 

“NBC ‘scoop cites ‘normal turnover in the indiv insurance market’. That’s a) not new b) not caused by #ACA c# the problem #ACA will solve,” Earnest wrote in a tweet.

The issue is a tricky middle ground, because the White House is correct in that the ACA does not force individuals out of their health plans. However, if insurance companies change their existing plans — as many are doing in order to adapt to the new health insurance laws brought on by the ACA — individuals could be forced to change. This situation demonstrates the complexities involved with the government forcing individuals to purchase health care from private companies and corporations, as the ACA has positive control over some aspects of those companies (not allowing companies to discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions, for instance), but is far from perfect in other aspects.