Obama denies promising Americans they could absolutely keep their healthcare plans, but video shows him making that pledge – 29 times!

  • Obama  suddenly pivoted Monday night, adding conditions to his pledge that no one would  lose insurance plans that they liked
  • The  Affordable Care Act requires policies to include a set of coverage items  including maternity and pediatric care, whether or not people want  it
  • As costs  rise, insurance companies are issuing cancellation letters by the  millions
  • The White  House isn’t offering apologies for the about-face, even though the  left-of-center Washington Post found that Obama’s ‘if you like your plan, you  can keep your plan’ promise was a ‘whopper’ of a lie

By  David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

PUBLISHED: 18:42 EST, 5  November 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:16 EST, 5 November 2013

Let me be perfectly clear ... I didn't mean it! Obama changed his rhetoric Monday night, backing off from his oft-repeated promise that no American would be forced to abandon his or her health insurance under Obamacare

Let me be perfectly clear … I didn’t mean it! Obama  changed his rhetoric Monday night, backing off from his oft-repeated promise  that no American would be forced to abandon his or her health insurance under  Obamacare

President Barack Obama told cheering throngs  in Washington, D.C. Monday night that he never truly promised Americans could  keep their health insurance plans once his Affordable Care Act became  law.

‘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,’ he  claimed.

‘So we wrote into the Affordable Care  Act,  you’re grandfathered in on that plan. But if the insurance company  changes it,  then what we’re saying is they’ve got to change it to a  higher standard.’

He remarks came at the posh St. Regis hotel  during a meeting of Organizing For Action, the nonprofit pressure group that  grew out of his presidential campaign organization Obama For America.

But at least 29 videotaped examples available  online show Obama promising between 2008 and this year, in only slightly varied  language, that ‘if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your  health care plan, period.’

It wasn’t until after the Obamacare program’s  central website had its disastrous launch, and millions of Americans began  receiving insurance cancellation letters, that the White House took a new  tack.

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Means to an end: Obama is playing for his presidential legacy, and gambling that the Affordable Care Act will work out in the end; his throngs of fans don't seem bothered by word-parsing or repeated promises

Means to an end: Obama is playing for his presidential  legacy, and gambling that the Affordable Care Act will work out in the end; his  throngs of fans don’t seem bothered by word-parsing or repeated promises

'If you like your plan, and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing,' Obama said on June 23, 2009. 'You keep your plan'

‘If you like your plan, and you like your doctor, you  won’t have to do a thing,’ Obama said on June 23, 2009. ‘You keep your  plan’

More recently, the president and his press  flacks have begun to insert into that promise the caveat that Obama uttered  Monday: that Obamacare will only let Americans keep their existing insurance  plans if nothing about them changes from year to year.

‘If the insurance company changes it, then  what we’re saying is they’ve got to change it to a higher standard,’ Obama told  his fans at the St. Regis. ‘They’ve got to make it better. They’ve got to  improve the quality of the plan they are selling.’

The Affordable Care Act itself, however,  requires all medical insurance plans sold in the U.S. to include a raft of  minimum coverage benefits, a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t appeal to  many buyers.

Pediatric coverage, maternity care and dental  insurance, for instance, are options that the elderly, the single and the frugal  have chosen not to pay for in previous years.

Requiring those additions, and seven others,  have put millions of Americans with ‘grandfathered’ policies in the position of  being forbidden to keep plans they have happily purchased and renewed for  years.

One estimate has 2.5 million such  cancellation letters already sent in the U.S., with a peak of 12 million or more  expected by year’s end.

In a January 2010 speech, Obama promised taxpayers that 'if you want to keep the health insurance you've got, you can keep it'

In a January 2010 speech, Obama promised taxpayers that  ‘if you want to keep the health insurance you’ve got, you can keep it’

Game change: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was left holding the bag as Obamacare's online launch fell apart, and may keep catching spears for Obama as Americans become more frustrated with insurance cancellations

Game change: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was left  holding the bag as Obamacare’s online launch fell apart, and may keep catching  spears for Obama as Americans become more frustrated with insurance  cancellations

Some of the videotaped examples of Obama’s  campaign-style rhetoric are striking for their unqualified language.

During a June 15, 2009 speech at the American Medical Association’s  annual meeting, he pledged that ‘no matter how we reform health care, we will  keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be  able to keep your doctor, period. (If you like your health care plan, you’ll be  able to keep your health care plan, period.’

On September 12 of that year, he told an Obamacare rally in Minneapolis that  ‘nothing in this plan requires you to change what you have if you’re happy with  it.’

Obama’s January 27, 2010 State Of The Union  address to Congress included the reassurance  that ‘our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to  keep their doctor and their plan.’

Speaking at George Mason University in  suburban Virginia on March 27, 2010, he doubled down on that claim.

‘If you like your doctor, you’re going to be  able to keep your doctor,’ Obama said, to strong applause. ‘If you like your  plan, keep your plan.’

‘I don’t believe we should give government or  the insurance companies more control over health care in America. I think it’s  time to give you, the American people, more control over your  health.’

His rhetoric got progressively more  definitive as 2010 wore on.

'If you're happy with what you've got,' nobody's changing it,' the president said in September 2010, just weeks before that year's congressional midterm election

‘If you’re happy with what you’ve got,’ nobody’s  changing it,’ the president said in September 2010, just weeks before that  year’s congressional midterm election

This man's Anthem BlueCross BlueShield policy was cancelled, and he was offered new insurance at nearly triple the price. He send this photo to MyCancellation.com

This man’s Anthem BlueCross BlueShield  policy was cancelled, and he was offered new insurance at nearly triple the  price. He send this photo to MyCancellation.com

Obama abruptly changed his promise on Monday

The president abruptly changed his promise on Monday,  telling a friendly crown that ‘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’

On April 1 in Portland, Maine, Obama promised that ‘if Americans like their  doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you  will keep it.’

‘No one will be able to take that away from  you. It hasn’t happened yet. t won’t happen in the future.’

Later, during his October 12, 2012  presidential debate with Republican Mitt Romney, the president assured Americans that ‘if you’ve got health  insurance, [Obamacare] doesn’t mean a government takeover. You keep your own  insurance. You keep your own doctor.’

Cassandra complex (look it up): Rep. Tom Price floated his own health care bill in 2009 while insisting that Obama couldn't possibly keep his promises

Cassandra complex (look it up): Rep. Tom Price floated  his own health care bill in 2009 while insisting that Obama couldn’t possibly  keep his promises

Taken together, the Washington Post’s  fact-checker wrote last week, ‘his repeated pledge … is one of the most famous  statements of his presidency.’

The Post gave it a dreaded ‘four Pinocchios’ rating for dishonesty, its  worst grade. The paper says four-Pinocchio lies qualify as  ‘whoppers.’

‘The president’s statements were sweeping and  unequivocal – and made both before and after the bill became law,’ the Post  ruled. ‘The White House now cites technicalities to avoid admitting that he went  too far.’

The Post noted, too, that Republicans were  calling shenanigans on Obama’s pledge as early as the first year of his  presidency.

Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, a medical  doctor himself, proposed an alternative health care bill in 2009. During the  Republican Party’s weekly address on Aug. 24 of that year, Price claimed Obama  wasn’t playing it straight.

‘On the stump, the president regularly tells  Americans that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,”‘ Price said.  ‘But if you read the bill, that just isn’t so.’

‘For starters, within five years, every  health care plan will have to meet a new federal definition for coverage – one  that your current plan might not match, even if you like it.’

Obama is now calling those plans  ‘substandard,’ and playing up his insurance law’s aspiration to upgrade every  policy, even at a sometimes significant cash price.

The website MyCancellation.com has collected  dozens of insurance cancellations letters from Americans who have lost their  policies. Most are being told to choose between renewing at more than twice the  price, or casting their lot with the Obamacare federal health insurance  exchange.

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