“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” – Bill Clinton
“What we said was, you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” – Barack Obama
President Obama doesn’t seem to realize just how far he and his administration went in proclaiming that people could keep their plans if they liked them. He not only promised they could, his staff attacked people who claimed otherwise.
But rather than admit back in 2009 that people would lose insurance he made it sound better than it was. And rather than admit in 2013 that he wasn’t fully truthful in 2009, he is simply trying to wiggle out of it.
There are two things that are really galling about this current attempt at deception. First is that the President apparently has such a low opinion of so many Americans. Does he really think he can, through his powers of oratory, convince us he didn’t say what he said more than two dozen times on video? Does he think people are that dumb?
Second, and I think this might go unnoticed in the rush to point out the more obvious lie, Obama is still suggesting that his reform law was not responsible for the cancellations. In reality, his HHS drew up the narrow grandfathering rules that insured few of these plans would survive. His reform law insisted on a list of minimum benefits. This is entirely and completely his doing.
Peter Suderman at Reason calls Obama’s cover story a “retcon.” That’s a word usually applied to comic books and science fiction stories. It means rewriting history on the fly for the sake of current story needs.
In case you’ve forgotten, that page is the moment when the White House launched firstname.lastname@example.org to solicit tips on any “fishy” emails that might be circulating about health reform. It also contains the video of Linda Douglass saying the President had no intention of eliminating private health insurance. On the contrary, “the President has consistently said that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them.”
So you had an administration soliciting tips on citizens who might badmouthing a government program and then, four years later, the same administration is pretending their response was nuanced and reasonable all along. Add in a massive government surveillance program of U.S. emails and phone calls and this could be the Orwell administration. Thank goodness that will never happen.
Contrary to the President’s new claim, we haven’t always been at war with Eastasia. He did say people could keep their plans. Period. It is far too late to take that back. He’s going to have to take the hit on this one. After four years, it’s about time.