President Obama took a few minutes out from his announcement about his "if you like it, you can keep it" fix to patiently explain to the Beltway media why it is that the Affordable Care Act was passed in the first place.
After taking responsibility for the difficult rollout, the President reminded everyone of the problems that existed before, and how insurers had taken advantage of the ACA to cover what they would likely have done if it hadn't been passed.
Addressing the small number of people who received cancellation notices who couldn't find better coverage with subsidies in the marketplace, the President said with regard to the one-year delay announced today, "the Affordable Care Act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan."
He went on to describe what might have happened if they didn't have the ACA to blame, saying "the insurance companies still may come back and say we want to charge you 20 percent more than we did last year, or we're not going to cover prescription drugs now. But that's in the nature of the market that existed earlier, and that's why I'm trying to fix it."
Bingo, Mr. President. Which is why tweets like this one confuse me:
Insurer have done plenty wrong, but now they’re getting punished for ending discrimination against preexisting conditions
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 14, 2013
As if insurers would magically have chosen to cover pre-existing conditions without the ACA? ALL of this has been about pre-existing conditions. All of it.
Remember the Anthem lawsuits in California I wrote about last week? Suddenly it was all just a "computer glitch", and oops! They're fixing it, because they "forgot" to comply with the state's 90-day notice rules. Oopsie. As if they would have self-policed without lawsuits filed and angry customers.
Insurers created a public relations nightmare for the President, and he has now tossed that right back on them, which is where it belongs.