Obama: Most will be ‘pleasantly surprised’ by health plan costs

Obama: Most will be ‘pleasantly surprised’ by health plan costs
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

President Obama said Thursday that most people will be “pleasantly surprised” by the cost of their health insurance plans this year despite the deluge of negative headlines about rising premiums.

In a national call with healthcare groups and activists, the president painted a sunny outlook of ObamaCare as he sought to combat the tide of negative attention on his healthcare law this week.

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“The bottom line is most people are going to be pleasantly surprised by just how affordable their options are, if we can just get them to see for themselves,” Obama said, adding the vast majority of people would find plans that cost less than $75 per month with the help of tax credits.

Repeatedly mentioning this week’s negative news, Obama said the groups on the front lines of signing people up for plans need to go beyond politics and get people to browse options for themselves.

“There are a faction of people who are continually trying to look for failure despite the fact that we keep on enrolling people and folks continue to get help,” Obama said. “We’re going to have to clear the bugs off the windshield so people can see the road ahead.”

About 84 percent of people receive subsidies under ObamaCare and are at least somewhat protected from the predicted 22 percent average increase in premium costs nationally next year.

That premium hike, which is three times the size of last year’s increase, has become a major GOP talking point with just two weeks before the elections.

In Thursday’s call, Obama asked his vast network of grassroots activists to help protect his healthcare legacy days before the administration launches its final sign-up period.

Obama said the outcome of this year’s open enrollment period — which begins Nov. 1 — will also help determine what happens next with the healthcare law.  

He argued that a larger number of sign-ups would mean a better argument to keep the law in place — and for his potential successor, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee MORE, to convince lawmakers to make changes that would stabilize the law.

“Part of what we can do this time is to overcome the skeptics, to prove people wrong and to provide momentum so that when the next administration comes in, they are starting from a position of strength,” Obama said.