In its Sunday paper, The New York Times editorial board defended President Barack Obama from criticisms that he had intentionally misled the public when he had claimed if an individual likes their health insurance plan, they could keep their health insurance plan.
The paper’s board also attacked congressional Republicans for stoking fear and confusion, writing that Obama “clearly misspoke” when he repeatedly claimed Americans could keep their health insurance plans as he fought to pass the law and defend it during the 2012 election.
“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that,” the editorial read. “By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies. (At issue here are not the 149 million people covered by employer plans, but the 10 million to 12 million people who buy policies directly on the individual market.)”
Later in the editorial, the Times described Obama’s contradicted claims as an overblown controversy.
“This overblown controversy has also obscured the crux of what health care reform is trying to do, which is to guarantee that everyone can buy insurance without being turned away or charged exorbitant rates for pre-existing conditions and that everyone can receive benefits that really protect them against financial or medical disaster, not illusory benefits that prove inadequate when a crisis strikes,” the editorial said.