Top White House officials have reportedly “pressured” insurance industry executives to keep quiet about Obamacare, according to a new CNN report.
Insurance executives are not exactly fond of President Barack Obama’s health care law. And after voicing concerns over the new bill and its disastrous rollout, White House officials allegedly retaliated by informing industry leaders that the administration was not pleased:
CNN notes multiple sources declined comment on this claim, presumably out of fear of retribution.
However, there was one insurance insider who was wiling to go on the record.
“The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet,” said insurance industry consulting firm head Bob Laszewski.
Laszewski, a longtime opponent of the law, said he has been asked by industry leaders to speak out on their behalf because they feel as if their hands have been tied. Plus, Laszewski notes, the federal government is a huge customer for the industry (so insurance executives can only say so much).
He said industry insiders are embarrassed that they had to cancels plans, forcing consumers into larger — and possibly more expensive — coverage.
“One of the things I think is clear here is the Obama administration has no trust in anything the health insurance industry is telling them about how to run a health plan,” he said.
Laszewski said that insurers told the White House repeatedly that the law would lead to the discontinuation of thousands of policies.
The White House has, of course, denied accusations that it’s pressuring the insurance industry to keep quiet, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney going so far as to characterize the claim as “preposterous and inaccurate.”
“[I]t ignores the fact that every day insurance companies are out talking about the law — in large part because they are trying to reach millions of new customers who will now have new affordable insurance options available from providers through the new Market Places,” Carney said.
Government-related health insurance plans accounted for approximately half of health care policies in 2012, CNN notes, and that number is “expected to grow over the years.”
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter