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Bill Clinton prods Obama on health law

Bill Clinton said President Obama should to honor his pledge to allow consumers to keep their current health care plans.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Bill Clinton said President Obama should to honor his pledge to allow consumers to keep their current health care plans.

Former President Bill Clinton 

In an interview with OZY.com, published on Tuesday, Clinton said that the president should follow through on his original pledge to the American people in stating "if you like your plan, you can keep it."

 whose policy was canceled and substituted with one that doubled his monthly premium. The man also told Clinton he is paying twice as much for the same health care coverage for his family, but his copays and deductibles are "much lower."

Despite the Obama adminstration's promise that the health care law would not lead anyone to unwillingly lose their existing health insurance, nearly 3.5 million individual policy holders lost their current health care plans as a result of the law's implementation, according to the Associated Press. Clinton's comments are significant because he, too, faced legislative battles over health care policy while in office.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd last week, Obama apologized for the insurance cancellations many individuals received and said his administraion is looking at ways to change that portion of the law. 

"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," Obama said. 

Clinton, a longtime defender of the health care law, also noted that the country is better off with the Affordable Care Act. 

Meanwhile, several bills in Congress have been introduced to delay and ultimately reverse the cancellations. 

Rep. John Barrow on Tuesday became the first Democrat to join Republicans as a co-sponsor of the "Keep Your Health Plan Act," which the House is set to consider on Friday. The bill would allow Americans to continue to enroll in their current individual health care plans that do not meet the Affordable Care Act's standards for one year.

The White House also weighed in on Tuesday. "The president has tasked his team with looking at a range of options, as he said, to make sure that nobody is put in a position where their plans have been canceled and they can't afford a better plan, even though they'd like to have a better plan," White House press secretary Jay Carney said, noting the former president's praise for the underlying law.

Carney also said that the White House hopes to be able to release health care enrollment numbers "by the end of the week." He could not confirm any of the numbers currently circulating in media reports and urged reporters to wait until the official release of numbers, stressing that the administration expects numbers to be relatively low in the first month.