Legal & Policy Challenges

Another broken promise?

During the campaign and throughout the ongoing health care “reform” debate, President Obama has made a promise to the American people – one that he repeated in a speech to a convention of the American Medical Association last week: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

 

Now that the Democrats’ health care plan has been brought into greater focus, that promise doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. A Lewin Group study confirms that under a new government-run health plan more than 100 million Americans may lose their current health care coverage and be forced onto government rolls. Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that 23 million Americans would lose their current plans if a Senate Democratic health care “reform” bill was enacted. As a result, the White House began to walk back from its promise, with the Associated Press reporting, “White House officials suggest the president’s rhetoric shouldn’t be taken literally.” At his news conference yesterday, the President continued the reversal, answering a question about the promise with some rather tortured language:

 

JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS: “I’m sorry, but what about keeping your promise to the American people that they won’t have to change plans even if employers –“

 

THE PRESIDENT: “Well, no, no, I mean – when I say if you have your plan and you like it and your doctor has a plan, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”

 

 

In an interview today on Good Morning America, the backtracking continued, with the President telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “I can’t pass a law that says, ‘I’m sorry, employers, you can never make changes to the health care plans that you provide your employees.’” In other words, the Administration has gone from “If you like your plan, you get to keep it” to “Well, we really can’t promise much of anything.” That’s “change” alright – but not exactly the type of change Americans were hoping for during this new era in Washington.

 

The reason this broken promise is especially painful for the Administration is because it underscores just the real fear Americans have about a government takeover of health care. Today’s Washington Post reports:

 

“Part of the reason so many are nervous about future changes is a fear they may lose what they currently have. More than eight in 10 said they are satisfied with the quality of care they now receive and relatively content with their own current expenses, and worry about future rising costs cuts across party lines and is amplified in the weak economy.”

 

 

No wonder Washington Democrats are doing anything and everything they can to NOT answer questions about how and why tens of millions of Americans will lose their current plan under Democratic versions of health care “reform.”

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