Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

CBS: Obama Admin. Knew in 2010 That Millions Would Lose Health Plans

Sharyl Attkisson uncovered another Obama administration falsehood about ObamaCare on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting a 2010 document from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which "estimated ObamaCare would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million". This is contrary to the White House's "repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work."

Attkisson featured the cases of two small business owners who had to discontinue the health insurance plans for their employees, including a New Hampshire woman who "remains an avid ObamaCare supporter," despite the problems with HealthCare.gov. [MP3 audio available here; video below]

Anchor Norah O'Donnell teased the correspondent's report by trumpeting how "employees [are] losing their current company health benefits because of the Affordable Care Act – Sharyl Attkisson investigates what the government knew was coming." Minutes later, co-anchor Charlie Rose introduced the segment by noting that "CBS News is learning another promise by the government isn't holding up. Some of those who get their insurance through work are losing their coverage."

The CBS journalist continued that "the government estimated all along that millions of workers will be dropped from their employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And for some, it's already happening." Attkisson spent much of her report highlighting how Nancy Clark, a "New Hampshire small business owner," and "Virginia Beach business owner" Betsy Atkinson, both had to "terminate" health coverage for their employees.

Later in the segment, the correspondent played three short soundbites of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney giving his "repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work," and outlined the contents of the 2010 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services document:

SHARYL ATTKISSON: White House spokesman Jay Carney has given repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (from press briefings): They don't have to worry about or do or change anything. This conversation doesn't apply to you. There is no change for you.

ATTKISSON: But in 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated ObamaCare would 'collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million'. The reason is some big companies will opt to save by paying the relatively-small penalty for dropping employee insurance. Small businesses don't have to supply insurance, and may find new policies too costly.

Attkisson previously revealed on the November 12, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning that the Obama White House had prior knowledge of HealthCare.gov's numerous security flaws, but went ahead anyway with the October 1, 2013 launch. Attkisson zeroed in on a government memo that warned about "important security risks discovered in the insurance system....'The threat and risk potential to the system is limitless'."  The journalist also detailed on the October 30, 2013 edition of CBS Evening News that the very structure of ObamaCare could encounter a "death spiral" due to the "enrollment fiasco" surrounding the federal website.

The full transcript of Sharyl Attkisson's report from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: The Obama administration is promising the federal health care website will be run smoothly by the end of this weekend. But with that self-imposed deadline approaching, CBS News is learning another promise by the government isn't holding up. Some of those who get their insurance through work are losing their coverage.

Sharyl Attkisson is in Washington. Sharyl, good morning.

SHARYL ATTKISSON: Good morning, Charlie. We've learned that the government estimated all along that millions of workers will be dropped from their employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And for some, it's already happening.

[CBS News Graphic: "Broken Promises: Some Small Businesses Canceling Health Insurance"]

ATTKISSON (voice-over): New Hampshire small business owner Nancy Clark was featured last year in a White House video blog.

NANCY CLARK (from 2012 WhiteHouse.gov video): The health care law is about people like me. It's 'Nancy-Care'.

ATTKISSON: But things haven't gone quite according to plan for 'Nancy-Care'. Last month, her insurer said it was hiking rates 39 percent starting next year. That's a $30,000 increase in cost to her.
                            
CLARK: I didn't take it seriously, because I have the opportunity to go on HealthCare.gov.

ATTKISSON: So, Clark decided to terminate the insurance she's offered her eight employees, and turn to ObamaCare. But there's been one problem after another.

CLARK: We're experiencing technical difficulties. That's the nature of the beast.

BETSY: Biggest problem is going to be-

ATTKISSON: Virginia Beach business owner Betsy Atkinson is also canceling company insurance, because her plan doesn't meet new ObamaCare requirements, and she can't afford to offer employees one that does.

BETSY ATKINSON: They're going to have to go find their own insurance. I'm sorry.

ATTKISSON: White House spokesman Jay Carney has given repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (from press briefings): They don't have to worry about or do or change anything. This conversation doesn't apply to you. There is no change for you.

ATTKISSON: But in 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated ObamaCare would 'collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million'. The reason is some big companies will opt to save by paying the relatively-small penalty for dropping employee insurance. Small businesses don't have to supply insurance, and may find new policies too costly.

For her part, Clark plans to help employees pay for their outside insurance, and remains an avid ObamaCare supporter.

CLARK: I'm confident that HealthCare.gov will be fixed.

ATTKISSON (on-camera): Clark says since we interviewed her, about half her employees, who are having their work insurance cut, have enrolled on HealthCare.gov. The administration told us the Affordable Care Act has slowed health care costs and premiums – quote, 'The law is making it easier for businesses to offer coverage, just like it did in Massachusetts when employer coverage increased after reform passed.' Charlie and Norah?

NORAH O'DONNELL: All right. Sharyl, thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.