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Continued: Contrite Obama offers reprieve on health plans

  • Article by: ASHLEY PARKER and ROBERT PEAR , New York Times
  • Last update: November 15, 2013 - 7:07 AM

“I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked they could keep it,” Obama said. “And to those Americans, I hear you loud and clear. I said that I would do everything we can to fix this problem. And today I’m offering an idea that will help do it.”

The president’s plan would apply only to people who have policies that are being canceled. Those currently without insurance would not be able to buy the old plans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., one of the first Democrats to break with the White House over allowing people to keep their current plans, said the president’s announcement was a welcome development but stressed that Congress might still need to go further — a sentiment shared by other Senate Democrats facing re-election.

She has offered her own legislation that would allow people to stay on their current insurance plans indefinitely but indicated that she was open to letting the president’s fix supersede hers.

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  • AT A GLANCE

    • The president is giving insurance companies the option to extend a year of coverage under existing plans.

    • Those plans might not meet the requirements of the health care overhaul law.

    • Frustration and anger had been growing over millions of cancellation notices for plans that did not meet coverage standards.

    • Changes mainly affect the 5 percent of Americans who get insurance through the individual market.

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