CBS: Obama Admin. Knew in 2010 That Millions Would Lose Health Plans

Sharyl Attkisson uncovered another Obama administration falsehood about ObamaCare on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting a 2010 document from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which "estimated ObamaCare would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million". This is contrary to the White House's "repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work".

Attkisson featured the cases of two small business owners who had to discontinue the health insurance plans for their employees, including a New Hampshire woman who "remains an avid ObamaCare supporter", despite the problems with HealthCare.gov. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Anchor Norah O'Donnell teased the correspondent's report by trumpeting how "employees [are] losing their current company health benefits because of the Affordable Care Act – Sharyl Attkisson investigates what the government knew was coming." Minutes later, co-anchor Charlie Rose introduced the segment by noting that "CBS News is learning another promise by the government isn't holding up. Some of those who get their insurance through work are losing their coverage."

The CBS journalist continued that "the government estimated all along that millions of workers will be dropped from their employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And for some, it's already happening." Attkisson spent much of her report highlighting how Nancy Clark, a "New Hampshire small business owner", and "Virginia Beach business owner" Betsy Atkinson, both had to "terminate" health coverage for their employees.

Later in the segment, the correspondent played three short soundbites of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney giving his "repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work", and outlined the contents of the 2010 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services document:

SHARYL ATTKISSON: White House spokesman Jay Carney has given repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (from press briefings): They don't have to worry about or do or change anything. This conversation doesn't apply to you. There is no change for you.


ATTKISSON: But in 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated ObamaCare would 'collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million'. The reason is some big companies will opt to save by paying the relatively-small penalty for dropping employee insurance. Small businesses don't have to supply insurance, and may find new policies too costly.

Attkisson previously revealed on the November 12, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning that the Obama White House had prior knowledge of HealthCare.gov's numerous security flaws, but went ahead anyway with the October 1, 2013 launch. Attkisson zeroed in on a government memo that warned about "important security risks discovered in the insurance system....'The threat and risk potential to the system is limitless'."  The journalist also detailed on the October 30, 2013 edition of CBS Evening News that the very structure of ObamaCare could encounter a "death spiral" due to the "enrollment fiasco" surrounding the federal website.

[Update: the full transcript of Sharyl Attkisson's report from Tuesday's CBS This Morning can be read at MRC.org.]

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