Meadville Tribune

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November 1, 2013

Health care choice another of Obama's broken promises

(Continued)

The president doesn’t need to run again. Who cares if he had to make blatantly false promises to achieve his “fundamental transformation of America”?

Outrage is generally applied to a gross aberration. This is normal for Obama. We trusted him – that’s our mistake, not his.

Sure, his people are now saying that’s not exactly what the president really meant, but that is just patronizing spin about how government knows so much better than we do about what is good for us.

It makes President Bill Clinton’s effort to dance around, “what the meaning of ‘is’ is," look amateurish.

First, if you are shocked that the president was lying, it’s your fault. The evidence was there more than three years ago – for some reason not all that well-covered at the time by an adoring press corps.

In this case, it came down to what the meaning of “plan” is. While the original law did have language preserving the right of people to maintain their existing coverage, the president’s Health and Human Services Department changed that in 2010 to apply only to plans as they existed at that moment.

It published a regulation saying that if such a plan were amended in the slightest – like increasing a copayment by a few bucks – then it would no longer be “grandfathered.” It would have to comply with all of the provisions of Obamacare.

This, of course, means that people who liked the fact that they could choose what level of coverage they wanted – some wanted only catastrophic coverage, some didn’t need or want maternity coverage or mental health coverage etc. – would no longer have that choice.

HHS did acknowledge during a debate over that language in September 2010 that somewhere between 34 percent and 80 percent of those policies would lose their grandfathered status. Of course, the president never amended or clarified his guarantee. But, if you weren’t paying attention to every moment of that debate, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

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