Millions of Americans are getting letters from their insurance providers informing them that their present plan is being cancelled because it cannot be offered any longer due to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
For many of these people, this has been a shocking event because they were confidently assured by their President that this would not happen.
But it is happening. And people are demanding answers as to how it came to this.
The answer is simple. And infuriating. It came to this because the biggest hurdle to ObamaCare’s passing was the fact that most people who already had health insurance were happy with what they had. And keeping these people from realizing what the new law was going to do became a key part of the Democratic Party’s strategy.
It became increasingly clear three years ago as the Affordable Care Act was being debated that what the liberal wing of the Democratic Party had in mind with this law was not merely to insure the uninsured, or to improve insurance for those who were not happy with the plans they had.
No, the law was going to encompass the entire country.
This presented a problem because 85% of Americans had existing health insurance and of those 87% were happy with the plan they had. If they came to understand the proposed new law was going to cause them to lose those insurance plans, opposition to the ACA would skyrocket to a level far beyond what was already being seen.
Keeping as many of these happily insured Americans out of the ObamaCare fight became vital to the law’s survival.
As Ed Morissey put it at Hot Air.com:
Overhauling the system that satisfied 85% of Americans in order to do something with half of the 15% unhappy with their situation only made sense if the 85% could be assured that their situation would remain the same.
President Obama and his administration dealt with this thorny problem by constantly repeating a promise to that 85% that were happy with their current health insurance:
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
That Obama made such a promise–and did so repeatedly–is beyond dispute. But if you think liberals cannot rewrite history quickly and easily while having a completely clear conscience, you do not know them very well.
Here then, is the compelling evidence that Barack Obama did indeed repeatedly promise the American people that if they liked their health insurance plan, they would be able to keep it. Period.
He put the full faith and credit of the office of the President of the United States behind a claim that turned out to be wrong.
Obama let himself be clear on this issue repeatedly. He left himself no wiggle room whatsoever. We are then left with only two options regarding what he said.
Option #1: He Knew The Promise Would Not Be Kept. He Lied.
The Affordable Care Act only passed after weeks of behind-the-scenes arm-twisting, threats, and outright bribery until finally the administration had enough Democrats that would vote for it. The opposition to the law from the public at the time was that strong. But as strong as it was, it was not strong enough to prevent the bill’s passage.
If Obama did know many of the people happy with their insurance would lose it as a direct result of the law’s passage, then his getting many of these people to take him at his word and embrace the ACA–or at least be neutral towards it–was, quite simply, brilliant.
From a sheer utilitarian perspective it was a strategy that worked. If these people had correctly perceived what the law was going to do to their health insurance, their joining the opposition would have swept away any chance of the ACA becoming law. By asking them to trust him and by giving them this promise, Obama effectively neutralized them. He persuasively convinced them that the law would not do what he knew it would.
So if this was the case… great strategy. But it would also mean his Presidency is essentially over. He would have no credibility left after lying so shamelessly to the entire country for months. With three years left in his last term, Obama could not exercise any real leadership on anything. To lead you have to have trust. You have to have credibility with the people you are leading.
If he lied Obama wouldn’t have any credibility left to function as an effective President.
Option #2: He Thought The Promise Would Be Kept. He Was Misinformed.
It is possible President Obama did not really know what the law nobody read before passing would end up doing. I do not think it is a good possibility, but it is indeed possible he thought he was speaking the truth and he turned out to be wrong.
Millions of people did not want to believe their President could be wrong in making such a bold promise. Based on respect for Obama and the office he holds, it is likely large numbers of Americans happy with their present health insurance plans decided to give the ACA the benefit of the doubt because Obama asked them to. They did not join the opposition to ObamaCare because they were led to believe nothing would happen to their health insurance.
As you can see, whether he was being deceptive or was just plain wrong, the result of what Obama did is the same. He made constant appeals to the biggest group of Americans with the most to lose from passage of the ACA based on trusting his word. Plenty of them did trust him. And now they know the promise he made to them isn’t being kept. What does Obama have to say about that? Thus far he has said nothing about it.
And so it is time for some accountability.
Obama made a promise.
It was not kept.
Whether offered innocently or not, when it becomes evident what you claimed would happen is not what is happening, you cannot just turn the page and move on. Especially if you are the President of the country.
The man who stood before all Americans and repeatedly told them they could keep their plans and their doctors needs to come stand before them again, this time to hold himself accountable.