CBS: Horror Story Discredits Obama's 'Reassuring Phrase' About Keeping Health Plans

Thursday's CBS Evening News poured cold water on President Obama's now-infamous "if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it" promise. Scott Pelley noted how the President has "repeated one reassuring phrase" about the American people being able to hold onto their health insurance, and bluntly pointed out that, contrary to the Democrat's vow, "hundreds of thousands of Americans...are being told that their health plans are being cancelled."

Carter Evans also spotlighted a California woman's nightmarish experience as a result of the passage of ObamaCare. Her self-purchased health care plan was cancelled, and as a result, she was being "forced to choose from a bunch of new plans...that are all more expensive." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Pelley led with the 2010 clip of Obama's "you will keep it" promise, where the left-of-center politician added that "no one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn't happened yet. It won't happen in the future." The CBS anchor continued with a simple four-word refutation of the President: "But it is happening."

Evans then spent much of report detailing Natalie Willes' beyond frustrating health insurance experience:

CARTER EVANS (voice-over): Natalie Willes helps parents in Los Angeles care for their newborns. She buys her own health insurance.

WILLES: I was completely happy with the insurance I had before.

EVANS: So she was surprised when she tried to renew her policy....Her insurer, Kaiser Permanente, is terminating policies for 160,000 people in California, and presenting them with new plans that comply with the health care law.

WILLES: Before I had a plan that – I had a $1,500 deductible. I paid $199 a month. The most similar plan that I would have available to me would be $278 a month. My deductible would be $6,500. And all of my care after that point would only be covered 70 percent....So now, I'm being forced to choose from a bunch of new plans that I don't want to choose from that are all more expensive.


The correspondent also played a soundbite from UCLA's Dr. Gerry Kominski, who disclosed that "about half of the 14 million people who buy insurance on their own are not going to be able to keep the policies that they had previously". However, Dr. Kominski, who heralded the Supreme Court's 2012 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act as a "great victory for America", later claimed that "you're paying more for a better product and for more protection, and you won't understand the value of that until you need it."

The following morning, on Friday's CBS This Morning, anchor Norah O'Donnell broadcast an abridged version of Evans' report:

NORAH O'DONNELL: And President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. Well, since then, he's tried to reassure Americans who have – already have health insurance.

[CBS News Graphic: "Policies Terminated: Raised Standards Causing Customers To Be Dropped"]

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from April 1, 2010 speech): If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn't happened yet. It won't happen in the future.

O'DONNELL: But it appears that's not happening the way the President explained it. The health care law raises standards for insurance policies. So now, insurers are cancelling coverage for hundreds of thousands of Americans, forcing them to buy new policies.

In Los Angeles, Natalie Willes says her insurance gotten worse and more expensive.

NATALIE WILLES, BUYS OWN INSURANCE: Before I had a plan that – I had a $1,500 deductible. I paid $199 a month. The most similar plan that I would have available to me would be $278 a month. My deductible would be $6,500. And all of my care after that point would only be covered 70 percent.

O'DONNELL: Well, officials say higher premiums for healthy people are meant to offset the cost of insuring more people with health problems.

[Update, Friday, 7:25 pm Eastern: the full transcript of Scott Pelley/Carter Evans segment from Thursday's CBS Evening News is available at MRC.org.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center