(Columbia Journalism Review) With the government shutdown over, the political media is devoting more attention to problems with the Obamacare rollout—most glaringly, the errors and technical failures confronting consumers who try to shop for coverage on the new insurance exchange websites. In the last few days, however, GOP criticism and media coverage has come to focus on a different concern: the termination notices that many consumers enrolled in health insurance plans purchased on the individual market are receiving, often accompanied by offers to buy new insurance at a substantially higher price.
These notices contradict President Obama's oft-stated promise that Americans who like their healthcare plan would be able to keep it as reform was implemented. Still, they should come as no surprise — this outcome was anticipated by health policy experts both within and outside the administration. Unfortunately, most media coverage before this week did not explain how the process was likely to play out or hold the president accountable for making promises he could never keep.