I’m grateful for reader Matt Kesler’s help in helping us keep up with Dear Leader’s pronouncement this afternoon. There is some puffing, there is some argumentative exaggeration, there is some belligerence, there are some stretchers, there are some of the familiar outright lies, and there is dishonesty throughout:
Today’s address added to that total by seventeen, if I counted right. But I only counted it once if he told two in a single sentence.
1. “…what we’re doing to implement and improve the law.”.
Actually he has blocked any attempt to improve the law, and has insisted on making “administrative changes” – that is, ignoring the law and imposing what he chooses without approval by Congress. For example, the delay in the “employer mandate” – the House passed that but Obama instructed Reid not to take it up, and instead he made that change unilaterally, in violation of the ACA which he signed.
So no, he hasn’t worked to “improve the law,” he has fought efforts to do that.
2. “In the first month, more than 100,000 Americans successfully enrolled…”.
Not true. Based on published reports, about 106,000 have put a plan into their online shopping carts, but far fewer have actually bought the policies. And there is no way to know whether the others ever will.
If a CEO stated, “We sold more than 100,000 widgets last month.” when in fact far fewer had been sold, he could be charged with fraud.
3. “…more than 500,000 Americans could know the security of health care by January 1, many of them for the first time in their lives…”
No, these are not people who have “never known the security of health care,” they are people who either don’t have insurance, or who think they can get better or cheaper insurance through Obamacare. Health care is already available more or less to all of them.
4. “The other problem that has received a lot of attention concerns the Americans who have received letters from their insurers that they may be losing the plans that they bought…”
No, these letters (and I received one) don’t say we “may be” losing our plans. They say we are losing our plans, effective the end of the year. Implying that it is iffy is dishonest.
5. “I’ve said from the beginning, I’m willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to fix problems as they arise. This is an example of what I’m talking about.”
But it’s not.
He is not “working with Democrats and Republicans” to fix this. He is unilaterally stating how it will be, in violation of the ACA, which he signed into law. There are no Republicans involved in this, in any way. Saying this is an example of “working with Democrats and Republicans” to fix this is not true.
6. “[In the Obamacare exchange], [t]here is a good chance they will be able to buy better plans at lower cost.”
Not really. Prices there are very high. If your income is low, the cost may be borne partly by others, but it’s still high. Subsidies don’t lower cost, they just pass it on to somebody else.
7. “I’m not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to have health care for the first time…”
Actually two lies in one phrase here.
First, he’s again using “health care” to mean “health insurance. Almost all these people have had health care, just not insurance. It’s dishonest to imply that if you don’t have insurance you don’t get health care – that is almost 100 percent false.
Second, he is stating that these people have not had “access” to insurance, but most or all of them have had access to insurance, the same as they have had access to food, shelter, and everything else you buy with money. They may not have been able to afford it, or they may have chosen not to buy it, because they wanted to spend their money on something else. (I wonder how many of them smoke or drink…?)
8. “We’re at the opening weeks of a project to build a better health-care system for everybody.”
Again, at least two blatant lies here.
First, the ACA was passed in early 2010, and it presumably had a little thought before it was passed. So it’s been at least 3 1/2 years, not “weeks.”
Second, the bill is constructed to make insurance cheaper for some – those who have low income or pre-existing conditions – at the expense of others. It cannot possibly be claimed to be “better” for those who pay more to subsidize those who get the subsidies.
9. “It’s important that we’re honest and straightforward when we come up with a problem with these reforms and these laws that we address them.”
Not a lie exactly, but what would you call it if a worm said, “It’s important that we have arms and legs!”?
10. [His promise “If you like your plan you can keep it”] “…ended up not being accurate.”
No, it was false when he said it, and he knew that.
He lied, dozens of times.
11. “…premiums would go up an average of 15 percent a year.”
This one would take some research, but he offers no evidence to support this, and I don’t think it’s true. My insurance has been pretty flat for several years, til the ACA was imposed.
12. “…my expectation was that for 98 percent of the American people, either it genuinely wouldn’t change at all, or they would be pleasantly surprised…that proved not to be the case.”
Published reports show that he knew the reality – he was informed years ago – and he went ahead saying “If you like your policy you can keep it” anyway.
13. “The Affordable Care Act is not going to be the factor in what happens with folks in the individual market.”
Of course it is. If he thinks that insurance companies – having put a bunch of effort into re-designing their plans to comply with the ACA, that because he holds a press conference, and says that those parts of the law – which he did not specify – that are causing the problem, are somehow void – but only for 2014 – and that insurance companies will all turn on a dime, without any regard for what might come next – what the rules will be in 14 months – he is absolutely nuts. He can’t be that stupid, so he must be lying.
14. “…the status quo before the ACA was not working at all.”
I guess it all depends what “working” means, but any definition you could apply, if you apply that same definition to any other industry, you would find that nothing in America is “working”, because nothing is perfect. Which may be how Obama views things.
Of course it was “working” to some degree. Most of us were relatively satisfied with our insurance and it was affordable. (I always found that insurance companies’ customer service was horrible, but the products and prices were OK.)
Does he really claim that if everything in an industry isn’t perfect, then something like the ACA is justified? The implications are staggering.
15. “When I see people on Capitol Hill…who want to repeal it…”
Essentially he is claiming that if you favor repeal of the ACA, then you favor the status quo before it was imposed, which is not true at all.
He is pretending not to know that the House has already passed a number of reforms that would reduce cost and increase coverage. He can’t be that poorly-informed, so he must by lying.
16. “…and it certainly wasn’t working for the 41 million people who didn’t have health insurance.”
Of course it was working, for many of them. Some couldn’t afford insurance, but many of those 41 million simply chose not to buy it, because they believed – probably correctly – that it wasn’t worth the money. The President can disagree with them, but only if he looks at an individual’s situation and concludes that person would be better off with insurance. But even then, what counts is each individual’s values and choices – that’s what “better” is in a free society. So those who could afford it and chose not to buy it – for them, the system was working fine.
17. “Somebody sooner or later had to do it.”
He doesn’t say exactly what “it” is, but he was talking about the ACA, so presumably he means “Somebody had to impose something like the ACA.” and that’s obviously not true. The status quo was a viable option, or there were other reform options, like those passed by the House. Nobody “had” to do something like the ACA.
I notice he lies less when he answers questions than when he makes prepared remarks. When he answers questions, he rambles and repeats himself, but he seems to avoid direct lies.
Which suggests that he and his team must sit around, before he speaks in public, and write the lies; they are carefully prepared, not extemporaneous.
Thanks to Mr. Kesler for his contribution to this series.