Should Policy Cancellations Worry the Obama Administration More?
The overt aim of Wednesday morning’s Congressional hearing and the testimony of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was to determine how the official and her colleagues could repeatedly look members of Congress “in the eye” and testify that “everything was on track” with the creation of the federal health care exchange, despite numerous red flags, as Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, inquired.
But an issue that kept coming up during the 3.5 hours of Sebelius’s testimony and questioning was the termination notices many insurers sent to customers in recent weeks. While lawmakers concerned themselves with the fact that thousands if not millions of Americans would not be allowed to keep insurance plans they like, despite the president’s repeated promises, the Obama administration may have a problem on their hands — a problem of enrollment.
“There are millions of Americans coast to coast who no doubt believed the president’s repeated promise that if they liked their plan, they’d be able to keep it,” said Upton. “They are now receiving termination notices.” But Sebelius maintained that the cancellation of policies was a justifiable side effect of the health care reform, because the new policies will give Americans better benefits and more consumer protections.