Obama’s ‘If’ vs Clinton’s ‘Is’ and the foundational lie of Obamacare

November 6, 2013

From Nixon’s “I am not a crook” to Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”, America has had her share of Presidential miscreants.  We have been lied to so many times it’s no wonder the level of cynicism today.  So why then is our current President so determined to elevate our collective disgust with Washington?

For the past four years Barack Obama told anyone and everyone regarding his health care “reform” that “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.”  And on many of those occasions, Mr. Obama ended his claim with an emphatic “period”.  No “if’s, and’s or but’s”, no “qualifiers”, no “clarifications” needed, just a simple “If you like, you keep”.

For those who actually read the Affordable Care Act when it passed and who followed the regulations formulated in its aftermath they knew the claim was a lie.  But those reporting such facts were met with motives impugned and character questioned.

Only now, only after millions of Americans are getting cancellation notices for health plans they like and want to keep is the main stream media finally reporting the details behind the debacle. 

Lisa Meyers and Hannah Rappleye of NBC news reported last week that the administration, through HHS, wrote the regulations so narrowly that the only possible outcome was to make the ACA’s “grandfather” provision moot for millions. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that White House policy advisors warned that the President’s statement was misleading at best, untrue at worst, but were overruled by political aides.  As reported in the article: “The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate “if you like your plan, you can probably keep it” isn’t a salable point.”

And therein is the fundamental problem.  From planning, to passage, to implementation, the entire Affordable Care Act is based on a lie.  A lie the President is now desperately trying to undo. 

Speaking to supporters at an Organizing for Action event Monday evening in Washington, Mr. Obama started the biggest walk back of his career:

“If you have or had one of these plans before (Obamacare) came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hadn’t changed since the law was passed….If the insurance company changes it, then what we are saying is they have to change it to a higher standard. They have got to make it better.”

Yet even that “clarification” is only shades of the truth.  Blaming insurance companies for changing plans to comply with regulations the administration authored smacks of blaming a rape victim for wearing too short a skirt.

In attempting to redefine the word ‘if’, Barack Obama has succeeded in making Bill Clinton’s “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is., seem like a thoughtful, philosophical discussion.

But for all the obfuscation, all the spin, the most disheartening is how the White House so easily dismisses those millions of Americans having their policies cancelled as just an insignificant 5 percent; that the end justifies the means. 

Such an attitude is as un-American as it gets.  Enshrined in our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our very soul as a nation, is that the majority, no matter how righteous in its own mind, be not allowed to run rough shod over the rights of the minority.

Mr. Obama routinely describes himself as a Constitutional Law Professor.  In light of all the recent revelations it does beg the question:  Which Constitution?

(Publisher’s note:  An edited version of this column first appeared in the November 6, 2013 edition of the Joplin Globe.)

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