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HEALTH PLANS WOULD STAY IN PLACE

The statement

If you "already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."

President Obama on Wednesday

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The ruling: TRUE

Obama is correct that the plans under consideration do not force those who currently have insurance to change plans. The proposals seek to build on the current system, in which many Americans get coverage through work. The plans do, however, implement new consumer protections and introduce new ways of regulating health insurance companies. These new rules will surely change the current health care system. The bill in the House of Representatives gives employer-provided insurance five years to come into compliance with new rules, such as caps on out-of-pocket expenses and coverage for preventive care. Because of this inherent instability to the health care system, and because of the new regulations, we rated one of Obama's earlier statements on the effects of reform - "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" - Half True. But Obama's statement from his speech to Congress is more carefully phrased; there is nothing in the plan that proactively forces the kinds of changes he refers to. We rate Obama's statement True.

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