Even though one of President Obama’s most commonly repeated promises about his health care law was that “if you like your current insurance you can keep it” he always knew this was not true for the individual market.
On a policy level this change is not completely a bad thing. Some of the insurance being sold in the individual market is full of loopholes and some people in the individual market will get a better deal on the exchanges, but as a matter of trust this is a serious issue.
Obama for years knowingly sold his signature health care law on a distortion. Obama could have promised to make many people’s insurance better or give people more options, but instead he decided to make one of biggest selling points for the law something he know could never be true. Allowing everyone to keep their same plan was always an impossible promise to meet. Everyone in the policy community know this was a lie. This is not a new revelation.
Even if health care reform wasn’t passed insurance companies are constantly changing their policies to meet the changing market conditions. There was no way to stop this.
Creating a new set of regulations was always guaranteed to cause many insurance companies to drop or change policies, that is kind of the whole point. It was so clear that there was no way to live up to this promise the administration didn’t even bother to try. Knowing this band-aid was going to need to be pulled off eventually the administration set the grandfather conditions so narrowly almost no policies would be covered.
The scandal is not that reform will change people’s insurance. After all, the point of any “reform” is to change things. The scandal is that Obama lied the whole time and kept lying even after his administration set the rules making sure this impossible promise would never be kept.
There are many things you can use to try to sell the Affordable Care Act, so it is incredibly bizarre Obama kept focusing on a talking point he knew was never true.