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Topics: Obamacare

Obamacare team offers multiple self-contradictory explanations for coverage cancellations

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Beltway Confidential,White House,Joel Gehrke,Obamacare,House Ways and Means Committee,Jay Carney

Government proponents of Obamacare are offering incoherent and sometimes self-contradictory explanations for why insurance companies are canceling plans, despite President Obama's promise that people would be able to keep their plans.

"There's nothing in the health care law that makes insurers force people out of plans that consumers were enrolled in before the law," Julie Bataille, communications director at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters during a conference call Tuesday.

"The fact is that companies are starting to upgrade the quality of their plans to put in place the new benefits and protections that all consumers will have available to them moving forward," she said.

Those two sentences, uttered in one breath, cannot both be true. It's not possible to maintain honestly that "there's nothing" in Obamacare that makes companies change plans and then take credit for the companies deciding to "upgrade the quality of their plans."

Bataille's argument is at odds with White House press secretary Jay Carney's admission that "it's true that there are existing health care plans on the individual market that don't meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act."

And Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., argued Tuesday that insurance companies aren't really sending out "cancellation notices," they're just trying to "help people transition to a new policy."

Levin's argument is contradicted by the same insurance executive whom he cited while making the claim.

Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty contradicted Bataille and Levin by telling NBC that "what we've been doing is informing folks that their plan doesn't meet the test of the essential health benefits [in Obamacare], therefore they have a choice of many options that we make available through the exchange."

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