After President Obama’s big speech on health care, I was among the first to note that I couldn't see how he could possibly keep his promises. Now, according to the Associated Press, the White House has backed off Obama’s promises made just last Monday.
Here is part of my post last Monday:
In President Obama’s speech to the AMA, he made firm promises that I don’t think he can keep if his plan were to be enacted:
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. . . .
If you don’t like your health coverage or don’t have any insurance, you will have a chance to take part in what we’re calling a Health Insurance Exchange. . . .
If this goes through, many employers will do little different than they are today. But if the Obama plan is enacted, a substantial portion of employers will cut their health subsidies — raising their employees’ share of contributions to the company plan — in order to drive some of the employees into the government exchange and the public option. Other employers may drop their plans altogether — after all, workers could buy their own coverage in the government exchange — or simply fund part of their workers’ participation in the exchange.
These changes, which would be the direct results of the implementation of the Obama plan, would make it virtually impossible for Obama to keep these promises: “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.”
Here is Mike Gonzalez at Heritage on Friday:
Less than 24 hours after Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner questioned the veracity of President Obama’s persistent claim that, under his health care proposals, “if you like your insurance package you can keep it”, the White House has begun to walk the President’s claim back. Turns out he didn’t really mean it.
According to the Associated Press, “White House officials suggest the president’s rhetoric shouldn’t be taken literally: What Obama really means is that government isn’t about to barge in and force people to change insurance.” How’s that for change you can believe in?
Depending on how the public plan is designed in Congress, millions of Americans would lose their existing coverage. By opening the public plan to all employees and using Medicare rates, the Lewin Group, a nationally prominent econometrics firm, has said that the public plan could result in 119.1 million Americans being transitioned out of private coverage, including employer based coverage, into a public plan. With employers making the key decision, millions of Americans could lose their private coverage, regardless of their personal preferences in this matter.
In other words, if you believed something closer to the opposite of what Obama promised, that would be closer to the truth. When Obama said he “will keep this promise”:
If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.
he actually meant:
If you like your doctor, many of you will NOT be able to keep your doctor. Period.
And when Obama said he “will keep this promise”:
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.
Obama really meant:
If you like your health care plan, many – perhaps most – of you will NOT be able to keep your health care plan. Period. Someone – perhaps your employer – may take it away. It all depends on how things work out.
Related Posts (on one page):
- White House says Obama Health Care Promises Should Not Be Taken Literally.
- Can Obama Keep His Most Emphatic Promises on Health Care?