Durbin: ObamaCare promise 'should have been clarified'

Anne Wernikoff

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday said President Obama’s promise that people who like their insurance can keep it could have used some more clarification. 

“A couple more sentences added would clarify it,” Durbin said during an interview with CNN. “The president apologized. He said very clearly he was sorry if he misled people.”

Durbin admitted that he was guilty of using the line as well, asserting he said it because he believed it. 

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“Well, I said it because I believed it,” he said. “Now I know I should have added, for 98 percent of American people, that is exactly true. For the other 2 percent in the individual market, there is frequent changes in policies. People are used to increases in their premiums and changes in their policies. That is something that's a reality. It should have been clarified.”

Durbin said a legislative fix would only happen if Republicans acted constructively to help find a solution. But he said there are those in the GOP who do not want to let the law work at all. 

He was reacting to an interview with Bill Clinton posted Tuesday in which the former president said President Obama should consider changing the law in order to keep his commitment to those on the individual insurance market. 

“I would say to President Clinton, if we can bring that bipartisan group together, we can start to solve some of the problems we're facing,” he said. 

Millions of people who buy insurance on the individual market have received cancellation notices for existing plans since implementation of the healthcare law began last month.

The White House said it has tasked a group to help come up with options that would allow people to keep their insurance. It also notes that the cancellation notices make up a small percentage of the insurance market, and many will be able to receive better coverage through the insurance exchanges.