WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A memo obtained by CBS News reveals that a top health care adviser for President Barack Obama warned the administration in 2010 that they were losing control of Obamacare.
Three years before the launch of HealthCare.gov, David Cutler – a health care consultant who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign – told White House economic adviser Larry Summers in a memo that a successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act was in jeopardy because no one had an understanding of how to build it from the ground up.
“I do not believe the relevant members of the administration understand the president’s vision or have the capability to carry it out,” Cutler said in a May 2010 memo, CBS News reports.
Cutler continued: “You need to have people who have understanding of the political process, people who understand how to work within an administration and people who understand how to start and build a business, and unfortunately, they just didn’t get all of those people together.”
According to CBS News, the White House dismissed Cutler’s warnings.
More than a month since the federal health care exchange website launched, glitches and delays still persist. And now millions of Americans are getting notices that there health insurance will be canceled because it doesn’t meet the minimum standard under the law.
The Obama administration insists nobody will lose coverage as a result of cancellation notices going out to millions of people. At least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear. Associated Press checks find that data is unavailable in a half the states.
Mainly they are people who buy directly from an insurer, instead of having workplace coverage. Officials say these consumers aren’t getting “canceled” but “transitioned” or “migrated” to better plans because their current coverage doesn’t meet minimum standards. They won’t have to go uninsured, and some could save a lot if they qualify for the law’s tax credits.
Speaking in Boston’s historic Faneuil last week, Obama said the problem is limited to fewer than 5 percent of Americans “who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.”
But in a nation of more than 300 million, 5 percent is a big number — about 15 million people.
“It is frustrating any time you really want to see something succeed because you believe it’s good for people, and it doesn’t get off on the right foot,” Cutler said in the memo.
The administration refuses to release enrollment numbers until mid-November, when a crash program of computer fixes may be showing results. The numbers are expected to be disappointingly low; officials acknowledge as much.
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