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The Lie Used To Sell Obamacare To America #TBT

- March 16, 2017

Obamacare's Ever Increasing Problems Began With A Broken Promise That Resulted In Millions Of People Losing Their Preferred Health Insurance Coverage


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • While pitching Obamacare in 2009, President Barack Obama said that "we 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."
  • Four years later, this frequently-repeated claim was rated the "lie of the year" and was characterized as an "unfulfillable blanket promise" that was "impossible to keep."
  • Millions of Americans lost their individual plans and hundreds of employers had to drop their health care options for employees when Obamacare provisions kicked in in 2014.
  • Many people were even forced to change doctors as insurers and hospitals struggled to reconcile who would bear the burden of increasing Obamacare costs.
  • Obamacare problems continue as premiums continue to rise and fewer insurers are able to participate on the health care exchanges.

DESPITE PROMISING THAT "IF YOU LIKE YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN," OBAMA'S PROMISE WAS PROVEN TO BE COMPLETELY FALSE

President Barack Obama In June 2009: "And That Means That No Matter How We Reform Health Care, We 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." PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage; they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we 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. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: Fix what's broken and build on what works. And that's what we intend to do." (President Barack Obama, Remarks To The American Medical Association National Conference , Chicago, IL, 6/15/09)

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Factcheckers Descended On Obama's Claim, Which Was Called The "Lie Of The Year"

PolitiFact Headline: "Lie Of The Year: 'If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It.'" (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Lie Of The Year: 'If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It,'" PolitiFact , 12/12/13)

  • PolitiFact's Angie Drobnic Holan: "We Found 37 Separate Instances Where He Said Clearly, With No Caveats, That You Could Keep Your Plan And That Got The Pants On Fire Rating, That Excuse." (CNN's " The Lead With Jake Tapper ," 12/12/13)

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The Washington Post 's Fact Checker Gave Obama's Promise That Americans Could Keep Their Health Care Plan Four Pinocchios. "The president's promise apparently came with a very large caveat: 'If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan - if we deem it to be adequate.' Four Pinocchios." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Pledge That 'No One Will Take Away' Your Health Plan," The Washington Post's Fact Checker, 10/30/13)

FactCheck.org: "Reality Is Catching Up With [Obama's] Political Spin." "We've been saying for years that President Obama was over-simplifying and over-promising when he kept saying, 'if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan' under the new health care law. Now reality is catching up with his political spin." (Brooks Jackson, "Reality Confronts Obama's False Promise," FactCheck.org , 10/29/13)

Obama's Promise Was Called A "Catchy Political Pitch" That Was "Impossible To Keep," An "Unfulfillable Blanket Promise"

Obama's "Catchy Political Pitch" Was "Impossible To Keep." "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." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Lie Of The Year: 'If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It,'" PolitiFact , 12/12/13)

The Washington Post 's Fact Checker: Obama's Keep Your Plan Promise Was "One Of The Most Memorable Of His Presidency" And "Possibly Foolish." "The president's pledge that 'if you like your insurance, you will keep it' is one of the most memorable of his presidency. It was also an extraordinarily bold - and possibly foolish - pledge, unless he thought he simply could dictate exactly how the insurance industry must work. At the time, some observers noted the problems with Obama's promise." (Glenn Kessler, "Obama's Pledge That 'No One Will Take Away' Your Health Plan," The Washington Post's Fact Checker, 10/30/13)

  • It's Another "Unfulfillable Blanket Promise" From Obama. "This was another example of reality catching up to the president's unfulfillable blanket promise that 'you can keep your plan.' Not everybody can. That's been widely expected for years, and now it's becoming obvious." (Brooks Jackson, "Reality Confronts Obama's False Promise," FactCheck.org , 10/29/13)
  • "The Promise Stretched Credulity A Number Of Ways: - It's Practically Baked Into The Law That Some Policies Are Going To Disappear." (Calvin Woodward, "Promises, Promises: A Big One That Got Away," The Associated Press , 10/31/13)

Obama Eventually Gave "A Rare Presidential Apology" For This Broken Promise

The Uproar From Obama's Broken Promise Led To "A Rare Presidential Apology." "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." (Angie Drobnic Holan, "Lie Of The Year: 'If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It,'" PolitiFact , 12/12/13)

  • President Obama: "I'm Sorry That They Are Finding Themselves In This Situation Based On The Assurances They Got From Me." PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. 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." (Chuck Todd, "Obama Personally Apologizes For Americans Losing Health Coverage," NBC News , 11/7/13)

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MILLIONS OF AMERICANS LOST THEIR HEALTH COVERAGE BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE, AND HAVE SINCE STRUGGLED WITH HIGHER PREMIUMS AND FEWER INSURANCE OPTIONS

In 2014, When Obamacare Requirements Kicked In, Millions Of Americans Lost Their Insurance And Hundreds Of Employers Dropped Their Health Care Plans

Obamacare Required Individuals To Purchase An Obamacare-Compliant Plan By January 1, 2014. "Anyone who bought a health insurance plan after March 23, 2010 would eventually have to enroll in a new plan that met all of the new standards of the Affordable Care Act. The original deadline for this transition was January 1, 2014 or on a plan's renewal date within the 2014 plan year." ("History And Timeline Of The Affordable Care Act," eHealth , 9/22/16)

Millions Of Americans Lost Their Individual Health Plans Because They Failed To Meet Obamacare's Strict Requirements. "Millions of Americans who buy their own health insurance were informed this fall that their policies would no longer be offered starting in 2014 because they do not meet the higher standards of the federal Affordable Care Act." ("Policy Notifications And Current Status, By State," The Associated Press , 12/26/13)

  • In Total, At Least 4.7 Million Americans Had Their Health Coverage Canceled. "President Barack Obama then said insurance companies could allow the older policies to continue, but left that decision to the states and individual insurers. The response has been mixed. This chart shows that at least 4.7 million Americans received the cancellation notices. It also provides details about what decision has been made in each state since Obama's announcement (some states had previously decided to allow insurers to continue older policies for a limited time)." ("Policy Notifications And Current Status, By State," The Associated Press , 12/26/13)

"More Than 1,200 Employers" Dropped Their Employer Sponsored Health Care Plans Because Of Obamacare. "The U.S. arm of Sweden's Securitas AB SECU-B.SK is among more than 1,200 employers that offer the kind of bare-bones health plans that must be phased out beginning Jan. 1 under the health-care law." (Scott Thrush, "Firms Drop, Rather Than Upgrade, Cheapest Health Plans," The Wall Street Journal , 9/25/13)

  • The Nation's Largest Provider Of Security Guards Discontinued Its Lowest-Cost Health Plans, Impacting 55,000 Employees Who Had To Find New Health Insurance. "The nation's largest provider of security guards plans to discontinue its lowest-cost health plans and steer roughly 55,000 workers to new government-sponsored insurance exchanges for coverage next year, in the latest sign of the fraying ties between employment and health care." (Scott Thrush, "Firms Drop, Rather Than Upgrade, Cheapest Health Plans," The Wall Street Journal , 9/25/13)
  • Home Depot Ended Medical Coverage For About 20,000 Part-Time Employees To Meet Obamacare's Requirements. "Home Depot Inc. (HD), the world's largest home improvement retailer, plans to end medical coverage for about 20,000 part-time employees and direct them to government-sponsored exchanges scheduled to open next month as companies revamp benefits to fit the U.S. Affordable Care Act." (Chris Burritt, "Home Depot Sending 20,000 Part-Timers To Health Exchanges," Bloomberg , 9/19/13)
  • Due To Obamacare And Rising Health Care Costs, Walgreens Shifted Its Employees From Their Employee Health Plans To Private Insurance Exchanges. "Rising health-care costs and a climate of change brought about by the new federal health law are prompting American corporations to revisit the pact they've long had with employees over medical benefits. … On Wednesday, the drugstore giant is expected to disclose a plan to provide payments to eligible employees for the subsidized purchase of insurance starting in 2014." (Timothy W. Martin and Christopher Weaver, "Walgreen To Give Workers Payments To Buy Health Plans," The Wall Street Journal , 9/18/13)
    • As A Result, 160,000 Employees Lost Their Coverage. "The plan will affect roughly 160,000 employees, and will require them to shop for coverage on a private health-insurance marketplace." (Timothy W. Martin and Christopher Weaver, "Walgreen To Give Workers Payments To Buy Health Plans," The Wall Street Journal , 9/18/13)

Many Patients Even Lost Their Doctors As Insurers Attempted To Deal With Increasing Obamacare Costs

"Doctor And Hospital Switching Has Become A Recurring Scramble As Consumers On The Individual Market Find It Difficult Or Impossible To Stay On Their Same Plans Amid Rising Premiums And A Revolving Door Of Carriers Willing To Sell Policies." "Doctor and hospital switching has become a recurring scramble as consumers on the individual market find it difficult or impossible to stay on their same plans amid rising premiums and a revolving door of carriers willing to sell policies. The instability, which preceded the health law, is intensifying in the fourth year of the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces for people buying insurance directly instead of through an employer." (Jordan Rau, "The Real Reason Losing Your Obamacare health Plan Is So Frustrating," TIME , 10/17/16)

  • "Because Of All The Carrier Exits, There Are Going To Be People Making Involuntary Changes" To Their Health Insurance Plans In 2017. "'In 2017, just because of all the carrier exits, there are going to be more people making involuntary changes,' said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a New Jersey philanthropy. 'I would imagine all things being equal, more people are going to be disappointed this year versus last year.'" (Jordan Rau, "The Real Reason Losing Your Obamacare health Plan Is So Frustrating," TIME , 10/17/16)

Customers That Sought To Save On Premiums "Cost Many Patients Their Choice Of Doctors." "In doing so, consumers saved an average of $42 a month on premiums, according to the government's analysis. But avoiding higher premiums has cost many patients their choice of doctors." (Jordan Rau, "The Real Reason Losing Your Obamacare health Plan Is So Frustrating," TIME , 10/17/16)

  • "Forty-Three Percent Of Returning Consumers [To Obamacare] Switched Policies" In 2016. "Forty-three percent of returning consumers to the federal government's online exchange, healthcare.gov, switched policies last year." (Jordan Rau, "The Real Reason Losing Your Obamacare health Plan Is So Frustrating," TIME , 10/17/16)
  • "Some Were Forced To When Insurers Stopped Offering Their Plans While Others Sought Out Cheaper Policies." (Jordan Rau, "The Real Reason Losing Your Obamacare health Plan Is So Frustrating," TIME , 10/17/16)

Insurers Were Forced To Ask Doctors And Hospitals To Accept Reduced Payments As Obamacare Costs Increased, Resulting In These Doctors And Hospitals Deciding To Not Re-Sign Contracts. "The Affordable Care Act increased insurers' costs by forbidding denial of coverage to consumers with pre-existing conditions and by imposing taxes and fees to fund aspects of the new law. To make up for ACA costs and keep premiums low, Blue Shield asked its doctors and hospitals to accept payments from the insurer at rates reduced up to 30 percent. Not surprisingly, some doctors and hospitals rejected Blue Shield's reduced payment rates and decided not to re-sign contracts with the insurer." (Kathleen Miles, "How Obamacare Leaves Some People Without Doctors," The Huffington Post , 4/10/14)

  • This Left Consumers Unsure Which Doctors And Hospitals Were Still Covered As Back And Forth With Insurers Persisted. "And when signing up for a plan, it's difficult to determine which doctors and hospitals are still covered." (Kathleen Miles, "How Obamacare Leaves Some People Without Doctors," The Huffington Post , 4/10/14)

Americans Have Faced Higher Premiums And Fewer Insurer Options Due To Obamacare

Nationally, The Average Premium Hike For The Benchmark Plan Is 25 Percent For 2017. "Across states using the HealthCare.gov platform, the median increase in the second-lowest cost silver plan premium is 16 percent, while the average increase is 25 percent." ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

Several Major Health Insurers Opted To Abandon The Obamacare Exchanges "In All But A Handful Of States" For 2017. "The announcements come at a time of uncertainty for health insurance markets nationwide, with several major health insurers opting to abandon the exchanges in all but a handful of states." (Edgar Walters, "Health Insurers' Exit Spells Trouble For Obamacare In Texas," The Texas Tribune , 8/24/16)

  • Prices Have Dramatically Risen As Insurers Adjust Premiums "After Finding That The Pool Of Clients Buying Plans On The Individual Market And More Costly Than Expected" When Obamacare Was Implemented. "While consumers have faced sticker shock, the insurers have faced what might be called 'sicker shock,' which has sent their prices spiraling. They are adjusting premiums after finding that the pool of clients buying plans on the individual market were sicker and more costly than expected when the health law was implemented." (Virginia Anderson, "Rising Obamacare Premiums Anger Those Paying Full Price," CNN , 10/15/16)
  • Insurance Companies Lost $2.7 Billion On The Individual Market "Because They Had To Pay For More Claims Than Expected." "A 2015 report from consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that insurance companies lost $2.7 billion on the individual market, in part because they had to pay for more claims than expected." (Dr. Alex Weller and Margaret Chadbourn, "Why Health Care Premiums Are Rising Under Obamacare," ABC News , 10/25/16)

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