Okay, so that title was a mouthful, but Common Sense Conspiracy has been watching all of the political pandering about President Obama’s supposed lies about the Affordable Care Act and we have decided that it is time to set the record straight on this matter.
The subject in question is simple. One of President Obama’s sticking points while selling Obamacare to the American people was that it would not cause people to have to abandon health care plans that they were already happy with to go to government-subsidized and provided plans. The law simply requires you to have health insurance and then provides a method for those that previously could not afford it to get it at a better rate than they would before the law went into effect.
Was it a lie? Well, a lot of people think so, and it’s easy to see why they might be frustrated. Despite Obama’s reassurances over the past several years, people are receiving notices of cancellation in droves all across the nation, and they are bitterly looking back at what Obama said and saying that this is as bad as anything George W. Bush ever did or perhaps even worse. An outright lie that he just had to know was one when he uttered the now infamous words is what many people believe the President has been caught in.
Well, they are wrong. President Obama didn’t lie. His words are absolutely correct. You are 100% welcome to keep your health care plan under the ACA. You do not have to change if you don’t want to. The only thing Obama left out or didn’t realize was that this 100% option you have only applies if your plan still exists.
A lot of insurance providers are simply finding it more economical to phase out the old plans instead of trying to comply with the law. The problem arises in that the new plans they are offering in their stead carry much higher rates. But Obama is right; if you’re plan still exists, and you can still afford it, then you can certainly stay with the status quo. The problem is that the law left a gigantic, gaping loophole for the entire healthcare and insurance industry to jump through. There’s a lot of things that Obamacare says they can’t do, but discontinuing your plan altogether is not one of them.
But, getting back to the title question, the real thing that people should be stressing about is not whether Obama lied technically or not, but whether this was intentional or not. See, there are two schools of thought here, and both are fairly disturbing in their own way.
The first possibility is that President Obama and the crew of people that helped craft the law simply didn’t realize that they left the door open for this to happen. So, in this scenario, Obama said what he said fully believing that Americans everywhere would be able to keep their current coverage without incident. If you believe this, then two things are true. First, Obama is just as shocked and outraged as everyone else that these companies have found a way to sidestep the law and pass the buck down the line to the average working class American. Second, it means that they are idiots. When crafting a law of this magnitude, one would think that every T would be crossed, every I dotted, and every possible outcome considered. So, under this scenario, we have to accept that it was an honest mistake that came out of people just not knowing what they were doing.
The second possibility is just as bad, but in a much more sinister way. Perhaps Obama fully realized what would happen when he said that. But now he wants us to think that he and the government got duped just like everyone else. However, the end result is quite pleasing. These companies are discontinuing these plans and replacing them with higher cost alternatives. So, these people that would have continued on their previous plan happily if it was possible are now facing a much higher plan, a government-sanctioned penalty for not holding a policy, or looking into the government options. So, there’s Obamacare to save the day, both the thing that caused and solves the problem. But when the smoke clears, you have millions of Americans with another area of their life under the government’s thumb. Mission accomplished.
So which is it? Is America a liar, an idiot, or an absolute genius of political deception to advance an agenda?
The answer is probably some combination of the three.