President Obama said healthcare costs are rising for Indiana steel workers because employers are not “shopping” correctly for insurance plans during an event at Millennium Steel Service in Princeton, Ind., on Friday.
“We are seeing almost a double-digit increase in health-care costs every year,” General Manager Mihir Paranjape said. “Do you think that trend is going to go down, and what can we do to control that trend?”
“That’s really interesting, you’re gonna have to talk to Henry,” Obama said, referring to the company’s CEO, Henry Jackson. “The question is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough.”
Obama said healthcare premiums were rising at the slowest rate in 50 years and that the higher-ups at Millennium Steel were simply not aware of the options they have in the healthcare market to ensure they are getting the best deal.
Obama switched subjects fairly quickly to brag about reducing the federal deficit and express his overall confidence in Obamacare.
“The Affordable Care Act, by the way, is also known as ‘Obamacare,'” Obama said. “For a while, everybody was sort of using that as kind of an insult. I’m feeling pretty good about it being called ‘Obamacare.’ I suspect that about 5 years from now, when everybody agrees that it’s working, then they won’t call it ‘Obamacare’ anymore … that’s okay.”
Obama admitted that the Healthcare.gov website was “really bad for the first three months” but said it is now “in really good shape.”