KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Bill Clinton Says Health Law Should Be Changed

Comments by the former president piled pressure on to the White House's efforts to find a solution to the policy cancellations that may affect several million consumers who buy their own insurance. His statements were immediately pounced upon by Republicans.

Los Angeles Times: Bill Clinton Says Americans Should Be Able To Keep Their Health Plans
In an interview released Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton said President Obama should make sure Americans can retain their current health insurance plans, even if it means revamping the Affordable Care Act. "I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got," Clinton told OZY, a news website (Little, 11/12).

The Associated Press: Clinton: Obama Should Honor Health Care Pledge
The former president, a Democrat who has helped Obama promote the 3-year-old health law, becomes the latest in Obama's party to urge the president to live up to a promise he made repeatedly, declaring that the if Americans liked their health care coverage, they would be able to keep it under the new law. Instead, millions of Americans have started receiving insurance cancellation letters. That, coupled with the troubled launch of the health care law’s enrollment website, has prompted Republican critics and frustrated Democrats to seek corrections in the law (Kuhnhenn, 11/12).

The Wall Street Journal: Bill Clinton Says Health Law May Need To Be Changed
Mr. Clinton's remarks come amid growing unease among Democrats about a balky website performance, low enrollment levels and mounting cancellations of existing policies by health insurers. Democratic lawmakers, who successfully beat back efforts to repeal the law, now worry that they will be blamed for its problems at the ballot box. Insurers, who have sent thousands of cancellation notices to people, say the policies aren't compliant with new requirements for coverage and have changed too much since 2010 to be eligible for a "grandfathering" exemption that allows some people to keep plans that existed before the law was passed (Schatz, 11/12).

Politico: Obama's Critic-In-Chief Strikes Again
President Bill Clinton — the man President Barack Obama once dubbed his "Secretary of Explaining Stuff" — once again has some explaining of his own to do with the Obama White House. In an interview released Tuesday, Clinton called for a fix to the Affordable Care Act that would put an end to the wave of insurance cancellations that have been a public relations disaster for the White House and prompted Obama to apologize last week for having repeatedly assured Americans that they could keep their insurance if they liked it (Gerstein, 11/12).

Reuters: With A Nudge From Bill Clinton, Democrats Seek To Tweak Health Law
The growing pressure on President Barack Obama to adjust his problem-plagued healthcare law seemed to boil over on Tuesday, as leaders of Obama's Democratic Party called on him to allow a change in the law so that Americans who are happy with their health plans could keep them. In what became the clearest sign yet of Democrats' increasing anxiety over the troubled rollout of the healthcare law, former President Bill Clinton told the web magazine Ozymandias that Obama should support such a change to fulfill a promise he and his administration have made to Americans for years (Rampton and Ferraro, 11/12).

The Fiscal Times: Bill Clinton Just Undercut Obama's Health Plan
With former President Bill Clinton now urging President Obama to find a way to make good on his promise that Americans could keep their current health insurance plans if they like them, it may only be a matter of time before the administration is forced to make wholesale changes in the beleaguered Affordable Care Act to placate restless Democrats fearful of a growing voter backlash. ... [White House spokesman Jay] Carney pooh-poohed any suggestion of a fundamental disagreement between Clinton and Obama and told reporters that the former president was still Obamacare's "explainer-in-chief." However, Carney dodged the question of whether the two men share views on possible solutions (Pianin, 11/13).

McClatchy: GOP Seizes On Clinton's Remarks Urging Obama To Keep His Health Care Promise
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, applauded Clinton for joining a bipartisan call for Obama to act. "These comments signify a growing recognition that Americans were misled when they were promised that they could keep their coverage under President Obama’s health care law," Boehner said (Kumar, 11/12).

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