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

Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

Colbert announces plan to defeat ISIS
President Barack Obama might not have a strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria, but never fear,  comedian Stephen Colbert has him covered. Colbert announced a unique plan Thursday night that involves raising Ronald Reagan from the grave, a captive radio audience and Monty Python-esque horse sound effects. “Remember in 1938 the radio broadcast of ‘War […]
Brand: ISIS better than conservatives
Actor Russell Brand took to Youtube Wednesday to compare terrorist group ISIS to conservatives, eventually coming to the conclusion that conservatives in power were worse than ISIS. Brand was recording yet another video aimed at attacking Fox News when he made the statements about ISIS. He was responding to Fox host Greg Gutfeld’s comments about Brand’s […]
Biden congratulates 'Veep' on Emmy win
From one Vice President to another… Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter Tuesday to congratulate actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy win. Louis-Dreyfus snagged her third consecutive Outstanding Actress in a Comedy series win Monday for her portrayal of a fictional vice president on HBO’s “Veep.” Last year, the VP picked up the phone […]

White House

Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

White House flirt Joe Biden turns on the charm for 108-year-old veteran Lucy Coffey

Joe Biden continues to brand himself the White House flirt. In a recently released video of Biden's July 25 meeting with Lucy Coffee, the vice president kisses the 108-year-old war veteran on the cheek and hand and tells her, "I'm the guy that loves you."

Congress

Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.

Rubio: Obama action would kill immigration reform
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is urging President Barack Obama to forego taking executive action on immigration, warning that would kill any chance for comprehensive immigration reform. “If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” […]