At the Washington Post op-ed writer Marc A. Thiessen wants the President’s next nominee for Health and Human Services to explain how Obamacare became the “lie of the year,” and he has a good point. The nominee was previously responsible for fact checking Obama’s speeches where he repeatedly claimed that we could “keep our doctors.”
With the resignation of embattled HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama immediately nominated Sylvia Burwell as a replacement. While Burwell has no particular experience in healthcare, she is the head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), an agency that has intimate knowledge of Obama’s budget proposals and policy ideas.
OMB is responsible for scoring the economic impact of the President’s budget and policy proposals.
But as Thiessen point out in his April 14 piece, the OMB has another little-known duty: fact checking Obama’s speeches.
Because of this duty, the Post writer wants to know why Burwell’s office approved the countless times that Obama said “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan” in speeches for nearly four years.
Obama’s “keep your doctor” claim was such a blatant lie that it was given the “lie of the year” award by the left leaning Politifact fact checker of the Tampa Bay Times.
So, Thiessen wants some answers and Burwell’s nomination should be the perfect opportunity to get them.
“Burwell should explain to Congress and the American people how her office allowed blatant falsehoods to get into presidential speeches,” Thiessen said, “including whether political aides overruled career policy advisers who warned that the president’s claims were untrue.”
Many Democrats may want to claim that this is all “old news,” as Democrats are wont to do with uncomfortable questions. But Thiessen counters that reminding readers that “the worst impacts of Obama’s lie are still to come.”
While some 6 million Americans lost their individual market plans last fall, tens of millions of Americans will see their employer-based health plans canceled or changed dramatically when the employer mandate kicks in. Obama has delayed the mandate for a year in an effort to prevent cancellations before the midterm elections. But on Burwell’s watch, he has also falsely promised that those with employer-based plans have nothing to worry about.
Thiessen insists that Burwell should answer to why her department failed so miserably to correct Obama’s clear lies. “Burwell should not be confirmed until she explains how OMB allowed the president of the United States to lie–repeatedly–to the American people,” he wrote.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com