Did Obamacare Allow Everyone to Keep Their Insurance Coverage? - NO


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1251, "Preservation of Right to Maintain Existing Coverage," page 43, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at the Library of Congress website, states:

"(a) No Changes to Existing Coverage –

(1) In General.-- Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage under a group health plan or health insurance coverage in which such individual was enrolled on the date of enactment of this Act."

Mar. 23, 2010 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) (2MB)  



PRO (yes)


[Editor's Note: Based upon a neutral reading of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan third party analysis, this question seems to have a clear and obvious Con (no) answer, and ProCon.org has therefore presented the responses in a single column with no opposing perspective.]




CON (no)

The Urban Institute Health Policy Center stated the following in its Mar. 12, 2015 article written by Lisa Clemans-Cope and Nathaniel Anderson, "QuickTake: Health Insurance Policy Cancellations Were Uncommon in 2014," available at its website:

"Our estimates from the December 2013 Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) show that almost one in five (18.6 percent) of those with nongroup health insurance (i.e., directly purchased coverage in the individual market) report that their plan would no longer be offered to them in 2014 because it did not comply with the ACA's new coverage requirements. We estimate that these findings translated to approximately 2.6 million people reporting policy cancellations caused by noncompliance in 2013...

[O]ur findings imply that roughly 0.4 million people in the nongroup market reported that their plan was canceled for 2015 due to noncompliance with the ACA (not including those whose plan was canceled for unknown reasons)."




Estimates of Health Insurance Policy Cancellations
(as of Nov. 14, 2013)

Organization Estimated Policy Cancellations Source
Forbes "more than 4.8 million" Avik Roy, "The Obamacare Exchange Scorecard: Around 100,000 Enrollees and Five Million Cancellations," forbes.com, Aug. 12, 2013
Los Angeles Times "About 5 million" Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, "White House Seeks Quick Fix to Health Policy Cancellations," latimes.com, Nov. 8, 2013
Heritage Foundation "millions" Chris Jacobs, "Obamacare Numbers: Not Exactly a Retail Success Story," heritage.org, Nov. 13, 2013
Associated Press "At least 3.5 million" Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Obama's Health Law Finally Gets Real for America," ap.org, Nov. 4, 2013






Barack H. Obama, JD, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in his Nov. 14, 2013 "Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act," available at the White House website:

"[A] problem that has received a lot of attention concerns Americans who have received letters from their insurers that they may be losing the plans they bought in the old individual market, often because they no longer meet the law's requirements to cover basic benefits...

I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked, they could keep it. And to those Americans, I hear you loud and clear. I said that I would do everything we can to fix this problem. And today I'm offering an idea that will help do it.

Already, people who have plans that predate 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. It was included in the law. Today, we're going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect, and to people who bought plans since the law took effect...

But the bottom line is, insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014, and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan...

Keep in mind that the individual market accounts for 5 percent of the population. So when I said you can keep your health care, I'm looking at folks who've got employer-based health care; I'm looking at folks who've got Medicare and Medicaid - and that accounts for the vast majority of Americans."

[Editor's Note: Prior to the above statement, President Barack Obama had stated the following in a June 28, 2012 speech, "Remarks by the President on Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act," available at the White House website:

"[I]f you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance - this law will only make it more secure and more affordable."]




Bruce Japsen, contributor at Forbes and Adjunct Professor of Journalism at the University of Iowa School of Journalism, stated the following in his Mar. 15, 2015 article "Obamacare Led to Few Cancelled Policies After All," available at forbes.com:

"Though not everybody who liked their health plan could keep it as President Obama once famously said, there were still just a small percentage of Americans who had their policies cancelled last year despite some overhyped predictions. About 2.2% of Americans who purchased coverage on their own, or 400,000 people, had individual policies cancelled, according a new analysis from the nonpartisan Urban Institute. And just 0.3% of Americans with coverage through their employer, or 500,000 people, had their health insurance policies cancelled in 2014, the Institute said. Authors of the issue brief, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said there was no evidence of a significant number of policy cancellations in either the self-insured or small group markets...

Policies were generally cancelled because these plans didn't comply with the Affordable Care Act's requirements that health plans sold on government exchanges have ten essential health benefits. Plans also had to comply with other consumer protections such as 'prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions and premiums based on health status or sex.'

Though there were many reports that millions received cancellation notices, government policy changes blunted the impact of people actually having their policy cancelled."




Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, stated the following in his Oct. 16, 2014 article "Obamacare Cancellations, again: Column," available at usatoday.com:

"Last fall, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Obamacare didn't cancel their health care plans. Now they're holding their breath once again.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will soon receive cancellation letters affecting their 2015 health care plans — and that number may quickly rise into the millions. This wave of cancellations will fall into two categories. The first group hit will be in the individual market, the same group that suffered through at least 6.3 million cancellation letters last year. They will almost certainly be joined by millions of people in the small-employer market, which has 40 million plans and will be under Obamacare's control starting next year.

That's right: President Obama's now-infamous promise, 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it' — Politifact's 2013 'Lie of the Year' — is still being broken, potentially worse than before."