Last week, I reported that the whitehouse.gov website section pertaining to Obamacare still had the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” Promise. I checked out whitehouse.gov on November 6, a few days after Obama gave a speech during which he explained that the Promise actually had qualifiers.
Obama’s new Promise during that speech was: “Now, 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”. This Animal Farm-esque change drew outcries from around the county.
Back to whitehouse.gov. On November 6, the “Health Reform” section on Obamacare included the very bold statement:
“For those Americans who already have health insurance, the only changes you will see under the law are new benefits, better protections from insurance company abuses, and more value for every dollar you spend on health care. If you like your plan you can keep it and you don’t have to change a thing due to the health care law”
And here is the screenshot from November 6:
Checking back a week later to see if whitehouse.gov has updated that section to include the new Promise made by Obama, an interesting thing occured ont the website. The same original Promise is still there. But the IT guys for whitehouse.gov did manage to edit that section by adding a new line after the original Promise. That line reads “The President addressed concerns from Americans who have received letters of policy cancellations or changes from their insurance companies in an interview with NBC News, watch the video or read a transcript”
Here is that screenshot of the same section, with the new line added.
Because the whitehouse.gov included a link to Obama’s interview and transcript, I clicked on it to see what Obama had to say about his Promise.
From the transcript:
“Well — first of all, I meant what I said. And we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn’t do enough — a good enough job — and I regret that. We’re talking about 5% of the population — who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buyin’ health insurance on their own.
A lot of these plans are subpar plans. And we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was subpar — when the law was passed, you could keep it. But there’s enough churn in the market that folks since then have bought subpar plans. And now that may be all they can afford. So even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get — this letter cancelled”…
“You know — I regret very much that — what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want ’em, as opposed to because they’re forced into it. That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be — in terms of the changes that were takin’ place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position — a better position than they were before this law happened”.
Obama regrets that “we weren’t as clear as we needed to be”, but still has the original Promise in plain text right on the whitehouse.gov website. It still says, clear as day,
“If you like your plan you can keep it and you don’t have to change a thing due to the health care law”
The same Promise he repeated previously at least 29 times.
What’s worse, not only is the original Promise still on the page mentioned above, it is also on ANOTHER page of the Obamacare section on whitehouse.gov. Head on over to the section on “Quality Affordable Health Care for All Americans, and you can see the text:
“For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period”
Here’s that screenshot as well.
And at the bottom of the page when you scroll down, whitehouse.gov urges Americans to continue on to the page entitled “If You Like the Insurance You Have, Keep It“. That is the name of the actual page.
On that page, it boldly proclaims:
“If You Like the Insurance You Have, Keep It:
Nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Period.”
And the screenshot of that.
So whitehouse.gov continues to peddle the original Promise that Obama has to explain away. Whitehouse.gov can take the time to update their website to add the explanations, but can’t edit the Promise.
If Obama regrets not being clear as he said in the interview, why hasn’t the White House updated the Promise to the new explanation in order to be clear? How can the White House be “clear” when their own website says one thing in several places, and the President is running around explaining it in a different way? How is this transparent?
Despite the regrets Obama expressed in his latest remarks on the Promise, it is clear that the Obama does not want to be clear.