Will Righting a “Wrong” Be Enough to Change Attitudes About The ACA?

It’s all over the news lately about how President Obama went back on his word on consumers being able to keep their current insurance coverage. Below is an article from the New York Times about the latest efforts by the Obama Administration to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as ObamaCare) moving along and raising its approval rating. What are your thoughts? Do you agree with their efforts or are you thinking they are just blowing camouflaging smoke?

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Obama to Offer Health Care Fix to Keep Plans, Democrat Says

(By Ashley Parker and Michael D. Shear, November 14, 2013, New York Times)

WASHINGTON — Facing dissent from his own party and growing pressure from anxious Congressional Democrats, President Obama is to propose on Thursday an administrative fix to a central element of his signature health care law, allowing Americans who are losing their health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act to retain it.

A House Democrat with knowledge of the president’s plan said that the fix would allow insurance companies to renew plans that do not meet the higher standard of the new health care law for a year for existing policyholders, though they would be required to notify the policy holder of alternative available coverage options, as well any benefits they might lose by staying on their existing plan.

The president’s proposal would apply only to people who have had their existing policies already canceled — those currently without insurance would not be able to buy these old plans, said the lawmaker, who declined to be identified discussing the proposal before the president’s announcement.

State insurance commissioners would have the right to override the administrative proposal.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to make remarks on his changes to the law at 11:30 a.m.

Earlier in the day, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, hinted that a change to the Affordable Care Act was likely before the end of the week.

“Stay tuned. It could be an administrative fix, it could be a legislative fix,” said Ms. Pelosi, speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum. “I would rather it be done administratively, because then it could be done much more quickly without any accompanying agendas.”

The White House’s turnabout comes as a growing number of Congressional Democrats are expressing frustration with the president for the botched rollout of the new heath care law, including a poorly functioning website and the false promise he made that consumers who liked their existing health plans would be able to keep them.

On Friday, the Republican-controlled House is set to vote on a bill by Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, that would allow Americans to keep their existing health coverage through 2014 without penalties. That left the White House needing to act to avoid having large numbers of Democrats vote for the Republican legislation.

A similar proposal, led by Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, and backed by roughly half a dozen other Democrats, is also underway in the Senate. Ms. Landrieu’s proposal would allow people to keep their current insurance permanently but, she said, is designed to encourage people to eventually switch to better insurance on the federal exchanges.

On Thursday afternoon, Democratic Senators will hold a special caucus meeting to discuss the new health care law, and will be briefed by Denis McDonough, the president’s chief of staff.

For Mr. Obama, the proposal is a crucial step toward fixing a mounting political problem: the loss of trust among the public and even his most loyal supporters in Congress.

With several polls showing that a majority of the public does not believe that the president is honest and trustworthy, the White House apparently decided to confront criticism that Mr. Obama has not been truthful about the health care law.

The White House had hoped that expressions of regret by Mr. Obama in an interview last week would have addressed the public anger about those who are being forced off their health care plans because of the law.

But in the days since the interview, the criticism has continued to build, especially on Capitol Hill, where Democrats have become increasingly angry about the pressure they are receiving from angry constituents.

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