Obama revising history on his broken Obamacare promise

President Barack Obama is under fire for breaking his now-infamous Obamacare promise that has turned out to be flatly false as millions of Americans have lost their health insurance coverage, and millions more can expect to see disruptions in their plans to meet the law’s regulatory mandates.

Rather than admit that he wasn’t being honest with the American people, President Obama tried to revise history the history of that promise in a speech on Monday evening organized by Organizing for Action, which is the activist organization formed out of the remnants of his presidential campaign.

“If you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” Obama told his supporters (emphasis added).

“So we wrote into the Affordable Care Act you are grandfathered in on that plan. But if the insurance company changes it, then what we’re saying is they have got to change it to a higher standard,” he said. “They’ve got to make it better.”

The problem is President Obama never said that — ever. The statement was always some variation of “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” At no time did he ever put a caveat or qualifier about this. To say otherwise, is historical revisionism, if not an outright lie.

Here are some examples, emphasis added, of what President Obama said with the links to the speeches from the White House website so you can see them in full context. Again, these are just some of the examples:

— “I conveyed to Congress my belief that any health care reform must be built around fundamental reforms that lower costs, improve quality and coverage, and also protect consumer choice. That means if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.” — President Obama, June 6, 2009

— “So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: Fix what’s broken and build on what works.” — President Obama, June 15, 2009

— “We’ve agreed that our health reform bill will promote choice. Americans will be able to compare the price and quality of different plans, and pick the plan that they want. If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it.  Let me repeat that:  If you like your plan, you’ll be able to keep it.” — President Obama, July 21, 2009

— “Here’s a guarantee that I’ve made: If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you’ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor. Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn’t work in the system.” — President Obama, July 28, 2009

— “But keep in mind — I mean, this is something that I can’t emphasize enough: You don’t have to participate. You don’t — if you are happy with the health care that you’ve got, then keep it. If you like your doctor, keep it. Nobody is going to go out there and say, you’ve got to change your health care plan.” — President Obama, July 28, 2009

— “First of all, nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. I’m tired of hearing that. I have been as clear as I can be. Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan.  These folks need to stop scaring everybody. Nobody is talking about you forcing — to have to change your plans.”  — President Obama, July 29, 2009

— “If you like your doctor, you’re going to be able to keep your doctor. If you like your plan, keep your plan. I don’t believe we should give government or the insurance companies more control over health care in America. I think it’s time to give you, the American people, more control over your health.” — President Obama, March 19, 2010

— “From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers — they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn’t. They’ll have to finally acknowledge this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you.” — President Obama, March 25, 2010

— “[Critics will] have to finally acknowledge that this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.  No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.” — President Obama, April 1, 2010

The White House even setup an email address, [email protected], where they encouraged supporters to send tips about “fishy” claims about the proposal as it was moving through Congress. It was introduced in an August 4, 2009 White House blog post titled, “Facts Are Stubborn Things,” and used to compile a “Reality Check” on the law.

One of the claims Obamacare that the White House “debunked” was the  of Americans losing their coverage because of the law. Linda Douglass, who then served as communications director of the White House Office of Health Reform, cited one of President Obama’s lines from his July 28, 2009 townhall where he “guarantee” that “[i]f you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

And it’s not just President Obama, Senate Democrats are just as responsible. The grandfather regulations were written by bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The regulations were written so strictly that virtually any change to a health insurance plan would have ended its grandfathered status.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced a resolution of disapproval, which would have ensured that Americans were able to keep their health insurance coverage, thus keeping the promise that President Obama. But the Senate, controlled by Democrats, killed that resolution in a party-line vote.

There is no way to spin this. By any measure, President Obama broke his most often repeated promise to Americans about his health care reform law. And now, he’s lying about what he said when he made that guarantee.

Obamacare may not have been passed without this singular promise. Given its implications, affecting millions of Americans and a huge segment of the economy, this ought to go down as one of the biggest political lies in American history.


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