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What's In The Presidential Health Care Apology?

Nov 21, 2013 | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Apologizer in Chief is back at it.

This time he apologized for something or another related to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

It's not clear the president even knows what he is apologizing for, but he did apologize, so that's good, it seems.

It's always interesting to see people apologize for things that occur in any kind of relationship.

At times, the person who is apologizing is doing so in an attempt to create a perception that they are empathetic, harbor emotions and are not completely machine-like entities.

Other times people apologize in order to get the offended party to stop asking for a redress.

Those of us who have been offended hope that the person who is apologizing to us is doing so because they are truly sorry, but that's not always the case.

But once that apology is given, the process is not done. In order for an apology to be complete the wronged party must acknowledge the apology and forgive the antagonizer, right?

If the wronged party doesn't forgive the wrongdoer, then what's the point of the apology?

Sadly, in our state of affairs, an apology -- especially in politics -- is requested from someone in an attempt to shame them and get an admission of guilt.

Similarly, a refusal to apologize for some is seen as doubling down or that a person firmly stands by their convictions.

And too often an apology is given in an attempt to wring one's hands clean of a situation.

Take for instance President Barack Obama -- the same president Republicans dismissed because of his "apology tour" he allegedly took in 2009.

When the president apologized for some of the nation's past sins, the Republican party jumped on the opportunity to call the president weak. Some four years later, Republicans, centrist Democrats and NBC reporter Chuck Todd are asking for Obama to apologize for telling Americans they could keep their health insurance if they liked it.

Obama did apologize, saying to NBC's Chuck Todd,

"I am sorry that they -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that -- they know -- we hear 'em and that we're going to do everything we can- to deal with folks who find themselves -- in a tough position as a consequence of this."

It might not have been the best apology, as Salon's Joan Walsh points out. The apology Obama gave is a type of "I'm sorry if you were offended by my actions" apology, which isn't truly a confession.

And of course the apology he gave is not enough to his Republican opponents (let's be honest though, no apology given by the president should ever be thought to placate his opponents unless the president recuses himself from his position entirely).

Even centrist Republican Governor Chris Christie said Obama's apology was "not enough." However, Christie did say that people will give him credit for owning up to his "mistake," which Christie was not clear on.

But what type of an apology do people really want when it comes Americans losing their health insurance due to new Affordable Care Act requirements for insurance companies?

Approximately 15 million Americans are losing their insurance due to insurance companies not meeting the standards of the new health care law among other factors. According to the Associated Press, the Affordable Care Act:

"It mandated that insurance coverage must meet certain standards and that policies falling short of those standards would no longer be valid except through a grandfathering process, meaning some policies were always expected to disappear."

Despite millions of Americans being booted off of their old insurance plans (under the old requirements), more will have a variety of options to choose from. This is more than they would have had if this were to happen to them a year ago.

According to CNBC.com, if you're losing your insurance, don't completely freak out. because you have options. CNBC.com wrote,

"A Health and Human Services official told CNBC.com that six in 10 people 'will be able to get a plan for under $100 per month.' But there's no denying that some people, particularly young, healthy people who had cheap plans with high deductibles, will end up paying more, said Collins at Commonwealth Fund."

Maybe Obama's apology have been along the lines of, "Sorry for attempting to change the standards of our heath care system and trying to give Americans more choices for their health care."

On Thursday, the president backed up his words by allowing those who were kicked off of their old plans due to his new law's requirements for insurance companies to keep their plans into 2015.

According to the Washington Post,

"Obama said the administration will insist that insurance companies that continue to sell policies that do not comply with the new law inform consumers about 'what protections these renewed plans don't include' and alert customers to potentially better and more affordable insurance in the new federal and state marketplaces."

The 15 million Americans that lost their insurance will have to be notified by their their insurance companies that the protections under the new health care exchanges won't apply to them, according to the White House.

These protections include being safeguarded against have pre-existing conditions, having more options for mental and substance abuse care, access to free preventative care, the dismantling of yearly and lifetime caps and access to family planning tools.

With the Americans who want to keep their old plans, it might be wise to avoid waiting for another apology from the president under realization that specific protections in place under the Affordable Care Act will no longer pertain.