Aides Debated Obama's 'If You Like It, You Can Keep It' Insurance Lie
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama’s aides debated whether Obama should lie to Americans about keeping their health insurance plans as he pushed for Obamacare. “[A]t times,” reports the Journal, “there was second-guessing. At one point, aides discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions, such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president’s message.”
In other words, the White House knew that they were lying, but decided that the lie was necessary to push through Obama’s signature legislation. Jim Margolis, who advised Obama on media in 2008 and 2012, said, “With 20/20 hindsight, maybe this should have been parsed more carefully,” before quickly stating, “The president’s statement seems fair.” Speechwriter Jon Favreau said, “Simplification and ease of explanation were a premium, and thatw as true throughout the process.”
Ezekiel Emanuel, a former White House Obamacare advisor, said, “We thought we could fulfill the promise with this grandfathering clause.” With somewhere between 7 and 11 million Americans slated to lose their insurance before being forced into other insurance, that obviously wasn’t the case.
David Axelrod, Obama’s top henchman during his first term, said, “It’s a perfect storm that has created an opportunity for those who oppose the plan.” He insisted Obama wasn’t lying.