Then-President Obama and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pledged in 2009 that if you like your doctor, you could keep your doctor.
The two Democrats were bent on overhauling health care in the United States, but Americans were wary. Lots of them liked their health, and liked their long-time doctors. They were all for lower costs, but they figured that the people they elected would listen to that one demand: We want to keep our doctors.
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” Obama said before the Affordable Care Act passed. (Politifact in 2013 named that statement “Lie of the Year.”) Pelosi followed suit, and then made her bizarre argument that “we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it….”
Of course, Americans quickly found out that everything about their health care was about to change. No longer could they pick and choose their coverage — the government mandated across-the-board coverage, which meant that a 62-year-old man in Muskegee was not covered for pre-natal care. What’s more, Obama’s promise that premiums would drop $2,500 turned out to be a big old lie, too.
Then, Americans learned that no, they couldn’t even keep their own doctors. But Pelosi, who has deflected blame over her own lie for years, said on Sunday that the government had to nix all that for the good of the country.
“Here’s the thing,” Pelosi said on “This Week,” “when we did the Affordable Care Act, if everyone loved their care, if everyone loved it, which they didn’t, and their insurance, we would still have had to do it because the escalating cost of health care in our country were unsustainable to individuals, to families, to small business, to corporate America, and to the public sector.”
So, Pelosi admits that they had to say one thing — then do another.
“The costs were just soaring. So we do the care and had three goals. One, to lower costs. The other, to expand benefits. And the third, to improve — increase access of many more people, 20.4 million people now have health care who didn’t have it before,” she said. “But this is the important part, 155 million people who get their health insurance through their workplace have now had expanded benefits, stop the rate of increase of costs. But, no longer will you have a pre-existing condition prevent you from getting care.”
Host George Stephanopoulos, though, asked if Democrats have an obligation to work with Republicans to fix some of the clearly deficient parts of Obamacare.
“Well, it isn’t a question that you have to have the full package. If they come up with something that keeps lowering costs, expanding coverage, and increases benefits, then we can have something to talk about,” Pelosi said. “But we haven’t seen anything to talk to them about yet in any category. They have put forth nothing.”
She called Republicans’ vow to “repeal and replace” nothing more than “alliteration.” But in the end, she refused to say that she would work with the party in control of both houses of Congress to fix health care.
And that, for once, won’t turn out to be a lie.