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"I am committed to working with the FOMC to continue promoting a robust economic recovery....Around 36 percent of all those unemployed have been unemployed for more than six months. This is a virtually unprecedented situation.""We note that those long spells of unemployment are particularly painful for households, impose great hardship and costs on those without work, on the marriages of those who suffer these long unemployment spells, on their families. I consider it imperative that we do what we can to promote a very strong recovery.""I consider it imperative that we do what we can to promote a very strong recovery. We're doing that by continuing our asset purchase program, which we... put into place with the goal of assuring a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market. We're taking account of the costs and efficacy of that program as we go along. At this point I believe the benefits exceed the costs."
Already people who have plans that pre-date the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven't changed. That was already in the law. That's what's called a grandfather clause that was included in the law. Today we're going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law too effect and to people who bought plans since the law took effect.
So state insurance commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can't be sold in their states, but the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been cancelled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.
We're also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things: One, that protections -- what protections these renewed plans don't include. Number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. You say, while the law was being debated, if you like your plan you can keep it. You said, after the law was implemented or signed, if you like your plan you can keep it. Americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over.Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said that over and over when your own statistics published in the Federal Register alerted your policy staff -- and, I presume, you -- to the fact that millions of Americans would in fact probably fall into the very gap you're trying to administratively fix now? That's one question.PRESIDENT OBAMA:With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I've said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient.