The cancellations affect some of the 5 percent of Americans who buy health insurance on the private market.
“If you’re getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new market place,” Obama said. “That’s what it’s for.”
He pointed to benefits already available under the health care law, including ending discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions or people with mental health issues.
He spoke in Massachusetts, where the state’s health care coverage provided the model for the federal overhaul. Republican Mitt Romney, who lost to Obama in last year’s election, was Massachusetts governor and signed the state’s health care bill into law.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, Romney said he believes “a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country.”
The federal law does not create a government-run system like Britain’s, but it does mandate that large employers provide insurance and that everyone must be insured or face tax penalties. Those who cannot afford insurance can receive subsidies in states that accepted federal money for an expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans.
Several Republican-governed states rejected the federal money and are not expanding Medicaid.