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

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Barack Obama, certified liar.

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.

May as well just call it the Lie of the Decade and be done with it. Meanwhile, this lawless thug is now strongly encouraging (cough, cough) insurers to basically bail him out. Lovely.

In a press release, HHS said it was also “strongly encouraging insurers to treat out-of-network providers as in-network to ensure continuity of care for acute episodes or if the provider was listed in their plan’s provider directory as of the date of an enrollee’s enrollment.”

HHS is also “strongly encouraging insurers to refill prescriptions covered under previous plans during January.”

On a conference call, an HHS spokeswoman emphasized: “We are just proposing it as an option and we’re encouraging issuers. There is no requirement.”

Translation: HHS has a huge mess on its hands and it hopes that by getting ahead of this news, it can foist the blame for the problems on insurers.

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