NEWS: PolitiFact: Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’

December 13, 2013

Nearly 6 Million Americans Now Paying the Price Due to President’s “Lie of the Year”

“[W]e 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.” President Obama repeated these promises for years in selling his signature health care law, even as it was understood within his administration and chronicled in the Federal Register that they would be broken. Remarkably, on September 26, 2013, just days before the exchanges went live, the president said, “The first thing you need to know is this: if you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.” The repeated promise has deservedly been deemed the “Lie of the Year,” and there have been significant consequences for the nearly six million Americans who have received cancellation notices. Many Americans who took the president at his word are now worried about finding coverage they can afford, with access to their doctors, before December 23.

The House of Representatives acted in a bipartisan manner to approve the Keep Your Health Plan Act, introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), in an effort to provide peace of mind to those Americans left to worry in the wake of this broken promise. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that these broken promises will only continue to pile up.

December 12, 2013

Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’

It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system.

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," President Barack Obama said -- many times -- of his landmark new law.

But the promise was impossible to keep.

So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.

Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief.  Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.

For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice. (PolitiFact first announced its selection on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper.)

For four of the past five years, PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year has revolved around the health care law, which has been subject to more erroneous attacks than any other piece of legislation PolitiFact has fact-checked.

Obama’s ideas on health care were first offered as general outlines then grew into specific legislation over the course of his presidency. Yet Obama never adjusted his rhetoric to give people a more accurate sense of the law’s real-world repercussions, even as fact-checkers flagged his statements as exaggerated at best.

Instead, he fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.

The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president’s "you can keep it" claim has been a real hit to his credibility. …

Read the complete story online here.

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