By Mary Bruce
President Obama tonight apologized to Americans who are losing their health care coverage, amid a firestorm of criticism over his promise that under Obamacare “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” Obama told NBC News.
With millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices, the president has been slammed by critics in recent days for misleading the American people.
In the past week, the president has tried to walk back his promise, adding caveats that you can keep your plan if you have “insurance that works” or “if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
Consumers who buy insurance on their own, roughly 5 percent of the population, may be forced to switch their plans because their providers have made changes that don’t meet the new standards required under the Affordable Care Act.
“I regret very much that what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them, as opposed to because they’re forced into it. That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place,” the president told NBC. ”I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position– a better position than they were before this law happened.”
The White House has argued that those impacted will ultimately receive better coverage.
“Most of the folks who are going to– who got these cancellation letters, they’ll be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces. Because they’ll have more choice. They’ll have more competition. They’re part of a bigger pool. Insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business. So the majority of folks will end up being better off,” he said.