Obama seeks administrative fix for canceled health plans


President Barack Obama has asked his healthcare advisors to close some gaps within the reform law by looking for administrative fixes to health plan cancellations.

"The president has tasked his team with looking at a range of options," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, though he wouldn't disclose which choices Obama may consider to address the recent surge of insurance cancellation letters, reported the USA Today.

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton urged Obama to find any way he can to allow consumers to keep their existing insurance coverage. "I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got," Clinton said in an interview at OZY.com, The Hill's Healthwatch reported.

Clinton's comments came only a few days after Obama apologized publicly for people receiving cancellation letters from their health plans.

"For young people mostly, but not all young, who are in the individual market whose incomes are above 400 percent of the poverty level, they were the ones who heard the promise that if you like what you've got, you can keep it," Clinton added.

However, health policy experts doubt the Obama administration will be able to resolve the issue, partly because the White House knew the reform law would lead to insurers canceling some plans, the National Journal reported.

The other problem is that weakening the reform provisions might not impact the number of canceled plans while simultaneously undermining the law. Yet offering additional assistance to consumers who have had their plans canceled would require approval from Congress.

To learn more:
- read the National Journal article
- see The Hill's Healthwatch article
- check out the USA Today article

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