President Obama’s “If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare” has already been painted with four Pinocchios by the Washington Post.
That lie demanded this week’s new lie, “What we said was, if you like your healthcare, you can keep it, if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.”
PolitiFact rates it hard and fast.
Obama’s speech on Nov. 4, 2013, at a meeting of Organizing for Action, his campaign organization, seemed to offer a new, and confusing, wrinkle.
“Now, 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 can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” Obama said.
The way we read that comment — and, judging by the contentious White House press briefing the following day, the way other Washington journalists read it — was that Obama was saying that people had been misreporting the pledge he had made.
It wasn’t that he said “if you like your plan, you can keep it” — it was “if your plan hasn’t changed since the law passed,” you can keep it.
We wondered whether there was any evidence that Obama had used this particular caveat in the past.
According to Obama, “What we said was you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
But we found at least 37 times since Obama’s inauguration where he or a top administration official made a variation of the pledge that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and we never found an instance in which he offered the caveat that it only applies to plans that hadn’t changed after the law’s passage. And seven of those 37 cases came after the release of the HHS regulations that defined the “grandfathering” process, when the impact would be clear.
While Sebelius’ teleconference with reporters did provide that sort of caveat, in other instances, such as her blog post, she focused on the upside, not the downside. Her one mention of the extent to which grandfathered plans might be doomed strikes us as the equivalent of the fine print on a television commercial running in heavy rotation. Obama is ignoring the overwhelming majority of times he addressed the issue, where most people would have heard it. We rate his claim Pants on Fire.
37 times. 37 times. A massive part of the Obama re-elect argument is and always was a fraud.
Where does this administration go from here?