President Obama, State of the Union Address, January 27, 2010:
Our [health care] approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.President Obama, remarks to House Republican Retreat, January 29, 2010:
For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [emphasis added]Faithful readers—there are maybe one or two out there—will know that Pun Salad has been a little obsessive on the "you can keep it" topic. Although the pundit quoting Obama at the second link deems it a "stunning admission", it's only "stunning" in that:
Obama has finally admitted what every other skeptical observer
of Obamacare has known since the proposal firmed up; the "you can keep
it" pledge was a lie.
Although he's (apparently) trying to pretend that the "pledge" was only
violated by "provisions that got snuck in" in last-minute
wheeling and dealing, that's simply untrue.
(The AP debunked
Obama post-SOTU, but ABC News did the same thing this
summer, as did CBS. Bob Herbert
around to noticing
it in December. Both FactCheck
and the Obama-tilted Politifact
found the claim to be
truth-impaired long ago. And this just scratches the surface.)
But—still—admitting the lie less than 48 hours after uttering it (hopefully,
one last time) on national TV… well, that takes chutzpah.
… we said from the start that it was going to be important our legislation guaranteed that if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, …Instead, longer-winded but more accurate, he said:
… we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, …The only thing that was "consistent" was the deceptive talking point: what they were "saying to people".
And, indeed, through whatever propaganda mechanisms consistent talking points are promulgated, that was an entirely successful effort.
There's still a White House page devoted to propping
up the "you can keep it" lie, featuring the insufferably smarmy Linda Douglas,
"communications director" for the Administration. (You might want to
check that link as soon as possible, before their wizards notice that
President Obama has admitted it was, er, inoperative.)
My own state's (Democratic) senator, Jeanne Shaheen, claimed (falsely)
that "if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to
keep that" was a "requirement" for supporting the bill.
My own (Democratic) Congressperson, Carol Shea-Porter, has a page that still
claims that the House-passed legislation implemented the "you can keep
You can read the same lie in a USA Op-ed by Nancy
Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, ironically under the subheadline "Let the
facts Be heard".
Baucus, same lie.
It wasn't just politicians;
both the AARP
Reports were only too happy to be sock puppets in spreading this
bit of reassuring fiction.
And, trust me: again: we're just scratching the surface. "You can keep
it" was repeated by multiple sources, over and over; you can Google
That's good to remember, because the same bunch will certainly use this same tactic again. Maybe not on health care, but definitely on some other pressing issue. After all, it almost worked this time.