Tuesday, November 5, 2013

President Obama and ObamaCare Statements

The problem with simple definitive statements is that if you make them, e.g. "Read my lips, no new taxes" or "We were not trading arms for hostages, nor were we negotiating with terrorists" or "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" they need to be true. They don't need to have legal disclaimers added on at the end written in very small print or read aloud in a hurried cadence and low volume voice. And when it comes out that not only were the statements you made untrue but that also you may have had reason to know they were untrue but that you or your advisers decided that the greater good required you to continue making them, well maybe that's just good old fashioned politics. Politicians don't necessarily get elected by telling people things that people don't want to hear. Remember President Perot? Indeed. But for someone whose brand is that he's not like all the other snake oil salesmen politicians, definitive confident assurances that "If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care planPeriod." are risky things to say right before hundreds of thousands to millions of cancellation notices are sent out.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my eyes and ears deceive me. Perhaps the President was, as he recently implied, merely misunderstood by people who heard him speak on the PPACA. I know sometimes that people in my circles of work associates, family or friends didn't hear what I said or claim I said something different. So I can certainly sympathize with the President if that's what happened to him.

Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was you could keep it, if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,” he said. “We wrote into the Affordable Care Act, you’re grandfathered in on that plan. But if the insurance company changes it, then what we’re saying is they’ve got to change it to a higher standard, they’ve got to make it better, they’ve got to improve the quality of the plan that they’re selling.”

Check out this video. I'm no policy wonk nor am I any sort of legal mind. But a slow Midwestern rube like me can certainly see how someone might have gotten the false idea that they could keep their health care plan if they liked it. Period. I wonder where they got that false idea from. Maybe it was John Boehner?? Hmm. Good for us that the President was here to straighten us out. After the fact of course. But better late than never I always say....

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