WASHINGTON, November 12, 2013 — President Obama’s “apology” last week about Obamacare was phony. Another sham like his Rose Garden “sham-wow” pitch for the Obamacare website.
The phoniness was proven by the White House itself. Since then, its website renewed Obama’s false claim that people can keep their health insurance despite Obamacare.
And Obama snubbed a chance to redeem his promise by endorsing a bill that the House of Representatives is expected to pass this week, allowing Americans to keep their current health policies. Instead he’s keeping his distance from the legislation. That is another sign that the President’s remarks don’t deserve to be called an apology.
It took media contortion to even label those comments as an apology for his dozens of falsehoods. Here is what Obama actually said, in words that had to be squeezed out of him by NBC’s Chuck Todd:
And I am sorry that they— you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me.
Being sorry that people are in a predicament is not an apology for lying to them. Obama did not admit a single smidgen of fault. And even if he issued an apology, it didn’t rescue anyone from their “situation.”
President Obama relied on sympathetic media to give him more credit than he deserved and to elevate his fumbling remarks into seemingly noble words. But those words were empty.
Any doubts about the phoniness of his supposed remorse were removed over the weekend by a posting on whitehouse.gov. The White House was under criticism because even after Obama’s statements were widely discredited, the official website continued to feature that false claim on its Obamacare page, stating:
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.
Over the weekend that page was re-done. The Obama White House re-worded the statement. The new statement is every bit as false as the previous 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.
In other words, the White House continues to repeat Obama’s same phony and dishonest claim.
The other indicator of phony remorse is that Obama still is not willing to fix the law to keep his promise.
White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked if Obama will support legislation to allow millions to keep their current insurance. Carney weaseled, but hinted at a veto, “It is certainly the belief of the drafters of the law and the President that one of the purposes here is to set some minimum standards for coverage so that every American who gets insurance coverage has some security and certainty about the benefits they’re going to receive.”
This week the House will vote on HR3350, the “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R, MI) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R, WI). It allows insurers to continue to sell all individual health policies that were offered for sale on January 1, 2013, despite the prohibitions of Obamacare. It does not limit purchases to current policyholders.
The legislation permits what Obama is trying to outlaw: True competition. Obama claims to create competition, but his law mandates that virtually all plans must have the same features. A Heritage Foundation study shows the result of Obamacare is less competition and choice than before.
The “Keep Your Health Plan Act” gives individuals fare more choice over what features they want and which they can afford in their health insurance. Some portions of the Obamacare law took effect prior to 2013, so they would remain mandatory (such as covering children to age 26; covering pre-existing conditions to age 19; no lifetime limits on hospital stays). But Obamacare features that start in 2014 would be optional for these grandfathered policies. That enables insurers to hold down costs since every add-on creates extra expense.
Senate leaders are not expected to permit a vote on Upton’s bill, however. A similar bill has been introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D, La.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D, W. Va.), S1642, the “Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act.” No votes are scheduled on that measure, either.
The President is fast losing what credibility he has left. Just giving speeches won’t restore it. Fixing his lies requires admitting them and correcting them. Obama needs to do both, but so far he’s not done either.
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