The move comes in response to the growing anger over canceled policies, despite Mr. Obama's earlier statements that anyone who liked their current health plan would be able to keep it moving forward.
He told insurers they don’t have to cancel plans next year just because of the Affordable Care Act.
Insurers can continue the plans for 2014 on two conditions — they have to tell people what their plans don’t cover, and they have to let people know they do have the option of going onto the health insurance exchanges to buy new plans with federal government subsidies and perhaps go onto Medicaid.
"This is something I deeply regret because it's scary getting a cancellation notice," Obama said at a news conference. "It's on me. Those who got cancellation notices do deserve better and they received an apology from me. But they deserve more than words."
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