Nov. 14 - President Obama bowed to political pressure from his fellow Democrats and announced a plan to let insurers renew for one year the health plans for Americans whose policies would be otherwise canceled due to Obamacare. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The administrative fix offered by Obama would allow insurers to offer certain health plans in 2014 that do not meet the minimum requirements of the health reform law, but require the companies to spell out how the policies are substandard and what alternatives are available.
"This fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people," Obama told reporters at the White House. "We're going to do everything we can to help Americans who received these cancellation notices."
The shift was designed to end a growing revolt by Democrats worried that the canceled policies, as well as the botched rollout of the government website for enrollment in the exchanges, would threaten their re-election bids in 2014.
Before the law went into effect, Obama had repeatedly promised that Americans who liked their health insurance plans could keep them under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
The law included a grandfathering provision that allowed insurers to maintain policies that did not meet new minimum coverage levels required by Obamacare, as long as the policies were created before the law was enacted in 2010. But insurers did not maintain many of these plans or created new ones that would not meet the new requirements, and several million people have since been notified their current plans will be canceled.
It was unclear how much relief Obama's fix would provide. Senior White House officials said it will be up to state insurance commissioners to allow the Obamacare fix to go ahead, and it will be up to insurance companies whether to renew plans that have already been canceled.