In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Ezekial Emmanuel rejected claims President Barack Obama was trying to run the insurance industry out of the individual-plan market, saying the industry was already headed in that direction on its own.
"The insurance companies don't like the individual market as it's constructed," said Emanuel, currently vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania. "They see the future. That individual market is going away.
"The insurance companies are making that choice, not the president," he said.
James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank in Washington, said the federal government wants to push Americans out of the private market and into state insurance exchanges established under the ACA.
"The system will never work unless there is 5 million to 7 million people in the private side of this exchange," he said. "They are nowhere near that. There at dead stop zero at this point."
Capretta said the ACA -- commonly known as Obamacare -- pressured insurers to drop individual coverage plans that were comprehensive and well regulated by states.
Emanuel countered that such plans might be fine until the policyholders needed them.
"Before Obamacare, insurance companies could throw you out when you got a disease," he said.
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