Obama Admin. Warning Insurance Companies Not To Discuss ObamaCare Problems

Companies complaining they're not allowed to tell their clients why prices are rising

COOPER: “Appreciate the reporting. Thanks. Now more breaking news, evidence that the Obama administration is leaning on insurance companies to keep a lid on problems with the health care law rollout. Now Drew Griffin on CNN's investigations did the reporting. So, Drew, what's going on here? What have you learned?”
GRIFFIN: “Anderson, what's going on is behind the scenes attempt by the White House to at least keep insurers from publicly criticizing what is happening under this Affordable Care Act rollout. Basically if you speak out, if you are quoted, you're going to get a call from the White House, pressure to be quiet. Several sources tell me and my colleague Chris Frates that insurance executives are being told to keep quiet. Bob Laszewski who heads the Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consulting firm for big insurance and an outspoken critic of ObamaCare, says he is getting calls from these executives who want him to speak out, Anderson, for them about the problems because they feel defenseless against the White House P.R. team. Laszewski told me today, ‘The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet.’ And sources telling us they feared White House retribution.”
COOPER: “So, I mean, what specifically are, do they say that they're being told to keep quiet about?”
GRIFFIN: “About the fact that clarifications were made to the Affordable Care Act after the law was passed and those clarifications are forcing the insurance industry to drop insurance plans that do not meet ObamaCare requirements. There's a lot of coverage now required in these plans. That was not part of many people's private health care plans. Those are the people, Anderson, who are being dropped and despite all the rhetoric, I should say, from the president, you simply cannot keep your current health care plan if it does not meet these requirements. Laszewski says the insurance industry is embarrassed about cancelling the plans but in an interview last week he told me the Administration was warned about this very scenario and ignored the advice.”
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LASZEWSKI: “When the regulations are being put together, people in the insurance industry said you're being overly regulatory, you're requiring too many things, you're making this too complicated. You're not letting people keep their plans who have them now and the Obama Administration decided to do it the way the Obama Administration was going to do it. One of the things I think that's clear here is the Obama Administration has no trust in anything the health insurance industry tells them about how to run a health plan and I think the administrative mess you're seeing right now is indicative of what happens when somebody tries to run somebody else's business who thinks they're smarter than you are.”
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COOPER: “So, Drew, why would, why would the insurance industry not be willing to challenge the White House publicly?”
GRIFFIN: “Well, the executives are willing to listen to the White House because right now it is the federal government that's the biggest customer for these insurance companies. Government backed plans accounted for about 48 percent of health care policies last year, Anderson, a number that's expected to grow this year and years to come. So basically, the insurance companies are in a position to just be quiet for fear of offending basically their biggest source of income.”

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