NRL News
202.626.8824
dadandrusk@aol.com

Obama’s “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” is the “Lie of the Year for 2013,” according to sympathetic fact checker

by | Dec 13, 2013

 

By Dave Andrusko

politifactBy now, many of you have undoubtedly heard or read that PolitiFact has named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013. In case you don’t know what PolitiFact is, it’s a “fact checker” produced by the Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact project.

It bills itself as non-partisan, which it is decidedly not, which is why even though the President’s whopper richly deserved the award, the announcement did come as a surprise. (See www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/12/lie-year-if-you-like-your-health-care-plan-keep-it.)

Let’s talk for a moment about the way PolitiFact handled the substance of this phony baloney assurance (hint: it kept looking for excuses and ameliorating factors).

The story, “Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,”’ by Angie Drobnic Holan is a pitch-perfect example of an account that would take twice as long to fully explicate as she actually took to write her story. Holan never backs off from the bottom line—how could she when millions of policies are being cancelled and even the President has retreated not only from the initial pledge but also from various reformulations that were transparently false?

But there is a two-fold thread running through Holan’s story.

(1) Healthcare overall (of the magnitude Obama pushed through) was inherently complicated–which is obviously true—and difficult to explain—also true. But we are to believe that Obama’s “own oversimplifications” were as much a response to “inaccurate attacks” [read Republicans] as they were an attempt to hide the ugly truths about ObamaCare. And, as everyone now knows, there are other (to be kind) misstatements as well, including the assurance that people can keep their own doctor.

(2) Read closely you might conclude there is a back-handed, kind-of-grudging admission that perhaps dubbing the same assurance first as true, later (2009 and 2012) as half-true (“partially correct and partially wrong”) might not have been totally accurate. On second thought, PolitiFact took no more responsibility for offering President Obama political cover than the President did for the debacle that is Healthcare.gov.

As more than a few people have observed, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” should have already won the Lie of the Year award multiple times. Given the administration’s secrecy and the prospect that things will only get worse for many tens of millions of Americans, there is a good chance another Obama administration “promise” will be the leading contender for 2014.

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.

Categories: ObamaCare