To explain how rising health care costs are actually a positive attribute to the new health care law, White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said comparing pre-Obamacare health insurance to Obamacare health insurance is like an “apple full of worms compared to an apple that’s fresh and delicious.” Reporter Ed Henry also asked Carney if he would be enrolling in Obamacare, to which he replied: “Absolutely. … If I did not have employer provided health insurance.”
In the midst of a major administration offensive to boost the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday released a report on the health care exchanges, set to begin Oct. 1, one of the few aspects of the law set to begin on time.
“Nearly all eligible uninsured Americans (about 95 percent) live in states with average premiums below earlier projections,” the report states. “And nearly all consumers (about 95 percent) will have a choice of health insurance companies, each of which offers a number of different plans.”
But, as Fox News reporter Ed Henry pointed out during Carney’s White House press briefing, the prices are still increasing: “This report presents it as you’re going to pay less than was projected. That’s sort of a Washington thing,” Henry said, asking why the White House isn’t showing an apples to apples comparison — what people are paying now compared to what they will pay under Obamacare.
[sharequote align=”center”]”It is an apple full of worms compared to an apple that’s fresh and delicious.” -Jay Carney[/sharequote]
Carney said the exchanges, or marketplaces, offer more options, with bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans at different costs.
“This is not an apples to apples comparison. It is an apple full of worms compared to an apple that’s fresh and delicious,” Carney said. “You’re talking about situation where some families in some states had one option and it was unaffordable. Now they have multiple options, 50-some-odd plans to choose from and the report that was released today demonstrates that these plans were are affordable.
Henry later asked, “Will Jay Carney enroll in this? Will White House staff enroll in Obamacare?”
Carney answered, “Absolutely. If I did not have employer provided health insurance, as I’m sure you do, unless there is something about Fox I don’t know, then I would absolutely enroll.”
During the same briefing Wednesday, Carney was asked if Obama watched the Cruz filibuster in the Senate. “I don’t believe so,” Carney responded.
Asked if he watched it, Carney answered, “I did not. I certainly read about it.”
But he insisted that Texas would benefit from the new law.
“I would simply say that a family of four in Texas will have available to it the option of purchasing affordable health insurance for $57 per month, a family of four with less than $50,000 after receiving tax credits, will have that option,” Carney said. “Certainly we oppose any efforts to engage in a political battle of the past to achieve an ideological victory in a way that not only shuts down the government, but if successful, would deprive these family of health insurance they need.”
The HHS report states that “in the 48 states (including the District of Columbia) where premiums are available, the average premium for the lowest cost silver plan in the Marketplace is more than 16 percent lower than projected.”
This story has been updated.