EconomyNorth America

Obama accused of breaking health promise

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Some Republican officials have accused US President Barack Obama of breaking his promise that despite the changes resulting from his healthcare law, those citizens who want to keep their health insurance policies can do so.

Insurance companies have informed hundreds of thousands of Americans that their health insurance policies are being canceled as of Dec. 31. The Republicans argue that this contradicts the president’s promise, according to The Washington Post.

“The real problem is that people weren’t told the truth,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.

“You can remember, they were told that they would be able to keep their policies if they liked them. Now you hear hundreds of thousands of people across the country being told they couldn’t.”

Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, beginning Jan. 1, insurers must offer renewal policies that cover a core group of essential health benefits, such as maternity care and prescription drug coverage.

Policies that don’t offer such benefits can’t be sold after this year. As a result, many insurers are discontinuing policies that do not comply with these new standards. If insurers discontinue a policy, they are required to give the policyholder 90 days’ notice and offer the option of enrolling in an alternative policy, according to the Post.

The newspaper said if the accusations of broken promises stick, they could be more damaging than the problems the healthcare website is currently dealing with.

President Obama already received criticism over the healthcare.gov site for having fundamental glitches and failing to protect personal information of its users.

Since the federal health insurance website was launched, technical problems have frustrated many people trying to sign up for coverage.

The White House announced last week that it would extend until March 31 the deadline for Americans who want to buy the insurance through the website.

Additionally, Ben Simo, a security expert, said on Tuesday that he discovered security problems with the website that could compromise personal data belonging to millions of Americans.

“There are so many obvious security flaws that I doubt they took security seriously,” Simo, the former president of the Association for Software Testing, wrote on his blog.

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