The government’s official claim that health plans can charge customers more to cover pre-existing conditions and provide discounts for those with pre-existing conditions is a “misleading claim,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a letter to the Obama administration on Thursday.
The Chamber, which represents business leaders, health care executives and others, accused the Obama White House of mischaracterizing the law to justify its unpopular and costly law.
The Obama administration had been touting its law as one that would help millions of Americans with pre or post-existing medical conditions.
But in an email to the administration on Tuesday, Obama administration deputy chief of staff John Osterholm said the administration “does not support the misleading claims that health insurance plans must provide discounts or lower premiums for people with pre and post-existed conditions,” according to a copy of the email obtained by CNN.
“This misleading claim is designed to distract from the fact that our plan is not perfect,” Osterhammer wrote.
“It does not take into account that the vast majority of Americans do not have pre- or post‐existing conditions, that the law is not designed to be affordable, or that many Americans have other pre‐existing medical problems.”
The Chamber said in its letter to Osterhans White House deputy chief that “Obamacare is not the only policy that is flawed.”
The law, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was enacted by the Republican-led Congress in 2010.
The Obama administration has said the law provides coverage to millions of people, but it faces significant challenges in implementing its requirements.
The law requires most Americans to have health insurance by 2020, and it does not cover pre‐pandemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, which have made it difficult for many Americans to get health coverage.
The new letter from the Chamber came a day after the Obama Administration unveiled a plan to improve the law.
The administration is set to unveil a new website and apps that would allow consumers to shop for insurance on a variety of insurance plans.
Osterhansk said in his email that the Obama health care policy would “help the American people, and will help Americans get better health care.”
“The administration should not be selling Americans false promises about the quality of care that it has delivered,” the Chamber wrote.
“We call on the administration to take steps to ensure that consumers who are eligible for pre-pandemia health coverage are not misled into paying more for coverage that does not meet their needs.”