Free Markets, Free People

Don’t Take Obama Health Care Promises Literally

Jim Lindgren at The Volokh Conspiracy says the White House is backing off of the promises Barack Obama made in his speech to the AMA.

You remember the 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.

Where I come from those sound like pretty straight-foward promises, wouldn’t you say? But Lindgren cites Mike Gonzales at the Heritage Foundation:

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.

So the public plan will see those who have health care plans they like (and doctors) at the mercy of a distorted market (distorted by government intrusion and artificial pricing) which will see employers dump coverage of the present health care plans in favor of the public plan. How such a plan “fixes” anything remains a mystery.

However, for the record Lingren reformulates the Obama “promises”:

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.

Hope and change.


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7 Responses to Don’t Take Obama Health Care Promises Literally

  • Gotta love Obama’s relativism

  • Given that health care reform is in chaos on Capitol Hill, I’ve been asking myself exactly what will POTUS Obama be saying in all that air time that ABC has given him.  Which “plan” will he be talking about ?
    I suspect that GAO report, casting the most likely plan as $1.6 trillion with 34 million still uninsured, took the veneer off of the “roll out” that the White House had planned with ABC’s help.
    As Harry Callahan once said ..  “Captain, if you want to j@rk all these people off, you can, but don’t do it with me”

  • What plan will he be talking about?  Simple: the one he’s ALWAYS talked about.  You know: the one that will let you keep your own doctor, won’t have Uncle Sugar running doctors offices and hospitals, will provide excellent health care coverage to all Americans, and will be cheaper, faster, more efficient, and more innovative than anything that’s come before.  Oh, and will also be funded through taxes on cigarettes and the sale of bottled unicorn farts.

    As Michael Barone has noted (and McQ posts about elsewhere today), TAO is long on ideas and woefully, woefully short on details.  But I think that’s because he knows that the devil is in the details: once you start talking about the nuts and bolts of ANY program, it gives the opposition too many opportunities to attack it, which in turn allows the American people to tune out of “American Idol” long enough to wonder how it will ACTUALLY affect them and, more importantly, who’s ACTUALLY going to pay for it.  What TAO wants is for everybody to put on their ruby slippers, click their heels together three times, and repeat, “Hope and change… hope and change” until the bill is signed into law and it’s too late to do anything to change it.

  • The White House meant to say that Obama promises were as good as “The Bibile” .. the book of Genesis to be exact.

  • el presidente has been a major disappointment, but pedro isn’t shocked by this discovery.  it beats the alternative of having that raging crazy old guy from arizona calling the shots.
    zee beeg question is who in the world are the republicans going to offer as an alternative?  campaigning begins, what, next week?  all i see are very stoopeed people like the alaska guvner,   robber barons like willard romney,  and sex fiends too numerous to list waiting in the wings.  at least el prez is smooth.  that’s something for a change.

  • >>>el prez is smooth

    diahrea is smooth too but I don’t want that either

  • Pedro nails the GOP problem – offer up a real candidate worthy of voting for; the same old crappy politicians aren’t going to cut it anymore and when that’s all there is anyone who simply sounds good from the Dems is likely to win.  I think the Presidential race is *always* the GOP’s to lose.