Thursday, November 14, 2013

President Apologizes for Obamacare's Blunders

By Claudio Iván Remeseira Follow @HispanicNewYork| Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at 3:03 p.m. ET. Last modified, Saturday, Nov. 16, 8:56 a.m. ET


He never looked so despondent, so clearly strained under the weight of the circumstances. President Barack Obama apologized to the American public [watch video here] for the self-combusting failure of implementation of his signature law, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. He did the same thing yesterday in front of angry Congressional Democratic leaders, many of whom are now facing dire prospects in their up-hill reelection battles next year as a consequence of this crisis. "We fumbled the ball," the president said.



The website's malfunctions and the dismally low registration numbers produced so far were enough bad news when millions of people began receiving cancellation letters from their insurance companies, a blatant rebuff of the campaign mantra “if you like your health care, you can keep it”.

In a press conference at the White House today, President Obama announced a patch to the Affordable Care Act that is intended to fix that problem and to require insurance companies to inform customers if their plans don’t comply with Obamacare’s rules about minimum benefits. 
An estimated 4.2 million people have been mailed cancellation notices by insurers. They are mostly self-employed workers, whose current insurances are supposed to offer less coverage than the new plans offered by the exchanges created by Obamacare.

It is not clear, though, whether people whose insurance has been already cancelled will be able to restore it or whether they need to purchase a new one at the insurance exchanges created by Obamacare. The New Republic' s Jonathan Cohn reports:
President Obama on Thursday announced a new Administration initiative designed to help that small portion of Americans whose insurers are cancelling existing policies.It’s not clear how much impact it will actually have, which means many (and probably most) of the people losing coverage aren’t likely to get those same policies back. But it appears the plan does minimal damage to the rest of Obamacare, which means the millions of people about to get insurance for the first time—or get cheaper, more comprehensive coverage than they had before—will still get those benefits.

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