On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden brought back fond memories of yesteryear by repeating the mantra of his former boss, former President Barack Obama, stating, “If you like your health care plan … you can keep it.”
Biden was speaking at an AARP-sponsored conference when he reportedly asserted, “I give people the option. If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it.” As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The 2020 Democratic frontrunner released a health care plan Monday that would seek to build upon the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which included subsidies to lower prices on the exchanges and also allowing for a ‘public option’ his campaign called similar to Medicare.”
Biden added, “You get a choice. You get full coverage and you can stay with your plan if you like it. You can stay with your employer-based plan, or you can move on. I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage.”
Fox News noted of Obama’s infamous promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan”:
That familiar pledge, made repeatedly over several years by former President Barack Obama, was named the 2013 “Lie of the Year” by fact-checking website Politifact, as millions of individuals lost their private insurance — and had to switch to costlier options — due to changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act tried to allow existing health plans to continue under a complicated process called “grandfathering,” which basically said insurance companies could keep selling plans if they followed certain rules.
The problem for insurers was that the Obamacare rules were strict. If the plans deviated even a little, they would lose their grandfathered status. In practice, that meant insurers canceled plans that didn’t meet new standards.
Obama’s team seemed to understand that likelihood. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the grandfathering rules in June 2010 and acknowledged that some plans would go away. Yet Obama repeated “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” when seeking re-election last year.
In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt in October 2013, even the noted Obama defender Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune reluctantly admitted that Obama lied about his promise. The exchange went like this:
Hewitt: Now Clarence, you have written a few columns defending Obamacare, but you can’t defend that as other than an utter untruth, can you?
Page: Oh, Obamacare is like the proverbial camel being a horse designed by committee, right? It’s gone through so many changes and all, that the original dream has been largely corrupted. And there’s no guarantee, I knew even, and Obama knew even at the time he said it, there was no guarantee everybody was going to keep their insurance, because people couldn’t keep their insurance under the old system.
Hewitt: So he knew he was lying when he lied?
Page: I’m sorry?
Hewitt: He knew he was lying?
Page: Probably. Probably. But that’s one of those political lies, you know.
Hewitt: Well, don’t you think a lot of people…
Page: It’s one of those, you know, in the abstract, it’s correct, but the fact is…
Hewitt: Is it forgivable? Are you allowed to lie to get a bigger good? Is that it?
Page: Well, the question is, most people will be able to keep their own insurance policies. And that was the point he was trying to make. He was just being too grandiose and saying, and guaranteeing that everybody was going to keep their insurance.
Hewitt: Well, I agree with you. He knew what he was doing when he did that.
Hewitt: And is that acceptable for people to just out and out mislead the low information voters out there?
Page : He said it repeatedly in a political campaign that he won, so that’s what a political lie is all about, right?
Hewitt: But when he said this, it was after he was already in the White House.
Page: Well, he said it on the campaign trail repeatedly.
Hewitt: I know, but after he won, he then said it. Was that okay?
Page: Right, right. Well, what’s the difference?
Hewitt: Well, the difference is you’re the president of the United States.
Page: He made a promise to the public either way.
Hewitt: So it doesn’t bother you that he lied to us?
Page: Well, a lot of things bother me. You act like all lies are equal, right?
Obama on video here: