Remember George W. Bush’s “16 words” in his 2003 State of the Union address making the case for military action in Iraq? Sen. John Kerry charged that Bush “hoodwinked the American people.” Sen. Hillary Clinton said Bush “misled” the country. And Sen. Barack Obama accused the White House of “shading intelligence reports to support its case.”
Well, now it seems President Obama has his own 16 words to answer for: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” (Actually, it was a little more than 16 words if you include what the president said next: “Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”)
Obama attempted to move the goal posts in his speech in Boston’s Faneuil Hall Wednesday, declaring that if you like your current health plan, “For the vast majority . . . you can keep it.” Sorry, he didn’t say “the vast majority” back in 2009. He said you can keep your plan. Period. No matter what.
Indeed, Obama repeated this promise on at least 24 separate occasions — before and after the law went into effect. It was critical to his case. Without his 16-word pledge that no one would lose his or her health plans, Obamacare might never have become law.
But Obama’s 16 words were untrue. Across the country, Americans are now seeing their health plans discontinued — and experts say the cancellations could eventually reach 16 million. As one woman in California who got a cancellation letter from her insurer told the Los Angeles Times, “All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it . . . I’m infuriated because I was lied to.”