White House: Actually, if you like your health care plan, you can only keep it if we think it’s good

Obama Obamacare Meme 9White House Press Secretary Jay Carney implied Monday that the administration had shifted from the ‘if you like it, you can keep it’ narrative. But instead of copping to the truth that President Obama’s oft-quoted line about existing health care under the Affordable Care Act was bogus, Carney just tried to provide a little context.

FOX News White House reporter Ed Henry questioned Carney on the subject during the daily press briefing, asking, “From that podium, will you admit that what the president said — if you have a plan, you’ll get to keep it — that that was not true?” After proceeding to the obligatory ‘let’s be clear’ talk, the press secretary spun Henry’s question to make a statement about the White House saying all along that Obamacare was going to cause upheaval to the U.S. health care system — including existing insurance policies that the law deemed ‘substandard.’

“So it’s true there are existing health care plans on the individual market that do not meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act,” Carney said.

When President Obama made his ‘if you like it, you can keep it’ comments in 2009, he was unequivocal about Americans who already possessed insurance. There were no qualifiers about the vulnerability of existing health care plans under his law. His words, verbatim:

So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: 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.

Turns out, unsurprisingly, that this isn’t the case.

Forget just the anecdotal evidence, the individual stories of one person here and one person there receiving a cancellation notice from an insurance carrier. These anecdotes aggregate to a larger story. A much larger one.

“In California, Kaiser Permanente terminated policies for 160,000 people,” CBS reported Monday. “In Florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage.” And on and on it goes, to the point at which one highly respected health policy expert predicted that 16 million people will lose their current plans due to the president’s health care law. Whether or not this estimate turns out to be on the nose is irrelevant. What is, is the very fact that someone of such repute made such an extraordinary estimate.

Some, including columnist Josh Barro, have argued that such galactic-scale turnover actually is a good thing, for the same broad reasons that Carney gave Monday: If your health care plan is ‘insufficient’ — and that accepts Obamacare’s definition of ‘insufficient’ — then you shouldn’t have it anyway.

Go ahead and have that debate. Make the case. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But for the president to be so adamant in that speech four-plus years ago, then to be so wrong, then to have his officials play down those comments as if they carried no weight or were misinterpreted — as if there is anything in what he said to misinterpret — is, first, terribly erroneous. Then, it is terribly shameless in the face of hundreds of thousands of Americans who were duped.

Comments

Polititainment

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder' about candidacy

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's visa to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

White House

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.