Obama promised, repeatedly, that you could keep your plan if you like it.  Period.

When called out on that, he tried to deny such a categorical promise, the video notwithstanding.

Politifact gave him a “Pants on Fire” rating for trying to make the promise conditional:

According to Obama, “What we said was you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

But we found at least 37 times since Obama’s inauguration where he or a top administration official made a variation of the pledge that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and we never found an instance in which he offered the caveat that it only applies to plans that hadn’t changed after the law’s passage. And seven of those 37 cases came after the release of the HHS regulations that defined the “grandfathering” process, when the impact would be clear…. We rate his claim Pants on Fire.

Politifact Obama Promise Pants on Fire

Tonight Obama said he was “sorry” that some Americans have had their health insurance plans dropped after his repeated assurances that they could keep their plan if they liked it.

From NBC News:

President Obama said Thursday that he is “sorry” that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.

“We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

The President seemed to parse his words carefully, and it’s difficult to determine precisely what that apology means.

In the wake of criticism of Obama’s failed promise, the White House has recently tried to pin the blame on insurance companies for dropped plans, in what the Washington Post’s fact checker called a “classic case of misdirection” and rated three Pinocchios.

Blaming the insurance companies can only go so far. First of all, the administration wrote the rules that set the conditions under which plans lose their grandfathered status. But more important, the law has an effective date so far in the past that it virtually guaranteed that the vast majority of people currently in the individual market would end up with a notice saying they needed to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

The administration’s effort to pin the blame on insurance companies is a classic case of misdirection. Between 75 and 95 percent of the problem stems from the effective date, but the White House chooses to keep the focus elsewhere.

In related news, Reuters reports today that the House Oversight Committee next week will hear from technology officials involved with the development or rollout of the HealthCare.gov website.  Committee chairman Darrell Issa wants to hear from the panel as to whether or not information technology best practices were followed.

“When HealthCare.gov launched on October 1, testing was incomplete, the system had not yet been fully tested for security concerns and new problems kept appearing,” said Issa, a Republican.

“This hearing will ask top administration technology officials what went wrong, what they’re doing to fix it, and whether recognized IT (information technology) best practices were really followed,” he said.

According to the committee’s announcement, those expected to appear are Frank Baitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Technology at HHS; Henry Chao, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Deputy Director of the Office of Information Services at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Steve VanRoekel, U.S. Chief Information Officer, Administrator, Office of Electronic Government, Office of Management and Budget; and David Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park was also asked to testify, but The Hill reports that Park’s office declined, due to his need to stay close to his work involved with the project at this time.  His office indicated Park would be available the first two weeks in December.


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