More on the “If You Like Your Health Plan, You’ll Keep Your Health Plan” Promise

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jun 24, 2009 10:29am

At yesterday's press conference, President Obama seemed to clarify his pledge that if you like your health insurance plan you wont have to change it with the pending health care reform proposal.

Diane Sawyer followed up in her interview with the president.

"People have been hearing you say these words," Sawyer said, "about 'If you like your doctor — '"

"Yeah," said President Obama.

" ' — you'll keep your doctor, period.  If you like your — '"

"Right," the president interjected.

"' – -health plan, you'll keep your health plan, period.'  Yet, I thought today in the press conference I heard you amend it to say, 'If your employer decides to change it, we don't have control over that.' So– "

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," said the president "But, of course, there, I mean, that's, that's the case whether we pass health care or not.  I mean, the, look, the, the, the fact is that right now, all across the country, people are losing their health care.  Every day.  You, you can travel into Washington, D.C.  And you'll find somebody on the street whose employer just dropped them from health care.  Or who has decided to increase their deductibles.  Or increase their premiums."

Continued the president, "So, those choices are being made by employers constantly, right?  I can't pass a law that says, 'I'm sorry, employers, you can never make changes to the health care plans that you provide your employees.' What I can say is that the government is not going to force you to, your employer or you to join a government plan, for example.  If you're happy with it, and your employer's happy with it, keep it."

Continued Mr. Obama, "If your employer is not providing you the health care that you need, then we're going to give you a set of options to make sure that you continue to have health care.  And I think that is the kind of commitment that the American people expect and, you know, it, and I think is achievable, as long as we stay focused on driving down costs, as well as expanding coverage."

-jpt

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