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October 08, 2013

Obama Told Us One Lie After Another to Sell His Health Care Snake Oil and the Media Refuses to Ask Him About His Previous Promises

Accountability is for mortals.

Obamacare, recall, was sold with a specific set of political promises: The new regime, advocates insisted, would reduce the deficit, cover the needy, and reduce total health spending — all while lowering the premiums of those who were already insured. Back in 2007, when Obama was running for the Democratic nomination, he introduced what was then an embryonic proposal with the quixotic assurance that, “if you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums.” Then he adumbrated what would happen to the “amount of money” that Americans would “spend on premiums.” “That will be less,” Obama told anybody who would listen.

In case you’re wondering, that’s “less” in the classical sense of the word, as opposed to in the sense of “more,” or “well, that depends on who you are.” Likewise, just so we’re painfully clear: When the president said that he was talking about people who “already have health insurance,” he meant that he was talking about people who already had health insurance. This is not a matter of opinion or a subjective piece of literary criticism. It is a fact. In plain language that he intended listeners to take at face value, Obama established a hypothesis — one that can be easily tested. He must be held to it.

As a candidate, Obama also made this promise: “I will sign a universal health-care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” Again, this is not a “right-wing talking point,” nor is it a slur cooked up by an intransigent conservative movement intent upon destroying the president at all costs. It is a verbatim pledge that the candidate made to the American people on camera over and over and over and over again — so often, in fact, that the New York Times ran an entire feature on the “audacious promise” that was submitted in “speech after speech.”

After he was elected president, Obama continued to make definite commitments. On June 15, 2009, in the midst of the legislative fight, the president told the American Medical Association’s annual meeting: “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.”

...

To recap, then: Before, during, and after passage, Americans were promised that Obamacare was going to lower premiums for “everyone” (the goal of merely maintaining premiums being too modest); it was not going to interfere with anybody’s health care or health insurance if they already had it; and it was not going change anybody’s patient-doctor relationship. The message was unmistakable: All the government wanted to do was extend health insurance to people who didn’t have it. This wouldn’t affect you. No need to worry. Period. Move along.

He then turns to the Left's recalibration of promises --- suddenly Ezra Klein, for example, is saying of course some people will pay much more for health insurance. Duh!

Old Claim from the Left: The Right's claim that there is cost-shifting and mandated cross-subsidization in this bill, to impose a not-so-hidden tax on many in order to afford a subsidy to others, is crazy! We'll all pay lower premiums!

New Claim from Left: Of course there is cost-shifting and mandated cross-subsidization in this bill; how else could we have hidden a tax in order to afford a subsidy to others? It's brilliant. Some of us will pay more so that a few of us will pay less. This is precisely how it was always supposed to work.

A Future Claim from the Left: I'm not sure how that happened. I thought I was in control and then all of a sudden I was getting whipped around by the hose like a fireman at a oil refinery blaze. But when you think about it, wasn't this just the way I had always told you it would go? In a way?


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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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