By Noel Sheppard
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that some media members are very interested in stories about the disaster that is the so-called “Affordable Care Act.”
On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Tuesday, investigative reporter Drew Griffin exposed allegations that the White House is pressuring insurance companies to not publicly criticize ObamaCare.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Now more breaking news, evidence that the Obama administration is leaning on insurance companies to keep a lid on problems with the healthcare law rollout. Now Drew Griffin on CNN’s investigations did the reporting. So Drew, What’s going on here, what have you learned?
DREW 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 on 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 Strategy Associates, a consulting firm for big insurers, 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 PR team. Laszewski told me today, “The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet.” Sources telling us they fear White House retribution.
COOPER: So, I mean, what specifically are, do they say 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 is a lot of coverage now required in these plans that was not part of many people’s private healthcare 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 healthcare 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.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters. You can watch the CNN exchange and read the entire discussion here.