You may recall that while selling the federal takeover of health care President Obama repeatedly promised “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” It was one of the foundational lies of Obamacare, and Obama smugly repeated it on many occasions in a tone suggesting that those who denied it were beyond the pale. The video below collects several iterations of Obama’s lie.
The lie appeared together with a few other of the foundational lies in Obama’s June 2009 address to the American Medical Association. Before the AMA Obama made “a sweeping pledge” (as the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Lu Carnevale characterized it) that “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: 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.”
That was then. Now, of course, it turns out that’s not true, and Obama has conceded as much, in his own inimitable style. Peter Suderman picks up the story here:
Asked in a recent WebMD interview about limited access to doctors under the law, Obama responded, “these are private insurance plans, which means that they’re going to have networks. That’s pretty much true of any health insurance plan you’ve got right now…that’s not unique to the Affordable Care Act.”
What it comes down to, he said, is people making choices.
“For the average person, for many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices. They might have to end up switching doctors in part because they’re saving money. But that’s true if your employer suddenly decides this network is going to give you a better deal. ‘We think this is going to help keep premiums lower. You gotta use this doctor as opposed to this one.’”
Well, yes, people in the private health insurance market have to consider tradeoffs and make their own choices, as do employers. But the choices about plans and coverage networks facing many people now have come about as a direct result of Obamacare, which, by design, shook up the market for individual health coverage.
Note the tone of clinical detachment with which Obama walks away from his previous assurance. This is so cold: