Attached is an overview of the assignment. Obviously, the easy answer is that he really did say that. The YouTube montage below suggests that there are 36 times in which he said it. So the fact that he said the words is not in dispute. What is in dispute is whether or not President Obama intentionally misled the American people and Congress. That is the important part of this assignment.
Did President Obama intentionally mislead the American people and Congress?
At various points during his presidency, President Barack Obama provided numerous arguments on public forums regarding the need for Congress and the American public to support the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. One of his comments that have become highly controversial is the claim that under the ACA, an individual can keep his/her health insurance if he/she likes it. It is obvious that President Obama lied when he made this statement. A lie is an intentionally false statement that of communicated with the aim of deception. The only way in which President’s statement would have been judged as not a lie is if its outcome was an intended consequence of Obamacare. On the contrary, the consequence of the president’s lie essentially turned out to be precisely what was required for the law to work (Lowry, 2013). Thus, one may argue that the president lied and misled the American people and Congress to have his way in terms of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
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The president has all but admitted that his misled the people considering that White House continues to oppose bills aimed at addressing the growing problem whereby millions of Americans are having their current individual insurance plans cancelled. If people were allowed to keep their insurance, then a key component of Obamacare would have to be dismantled, and this is something White House is not ready to do (Tanner, 2014). This explains why President Obama’s lie was meant to mislead the American people and forcing them onto the healthcare exchanges.
As Lowry (2013) points out, the healthcare law cannot work well in a market where millions of Americans are in the individual insurance market. Under such an arrangement, membership in the exchanges would comprise mainly older people and those with preexisting conditions (Martin, 2015). Thus, the President needed to devise a strategy to trick Americans into passing a law that would require them to cancel their individual insurance plans to derive its direct benefits.
President Obama’s lie may not have been viewed as a misleading statement if its impact arose as an unintended consequence of a new healthcare law. On the contrary, the costs hidden and the consequences are not unintended. The law was designed to trigger higher premiums and cancelled policies for the promised benefits to materialize.
A major problem with President Obama’s lie is that he initially appeared to blame Americans for misunderstanding him, triggering a public uproar that culminated in a presidential apology, itself a rare phenomenon (Holan, 2013). Even after apologizing, the president did not give Americans a more accurate explanation of the repercussions of the law in a real-world context.
Besides, the best-case solution provided by the Obama administration to make the president’s lie seem less deceptive did little to mitigate the problem of cancelled insurance plans. The solution entailed a highly complicated process known as “grandfathering” whereby insurance companies could continue selling plans to individuals as they had always done as long as they adhered to certain rules (Leonard, 2011). However, the administration did not provide an honest acknowledgement of the strictness of those rules. So, when many insurance companies ended up deviating a little from the rules, they automatically lost their grandfathered status, and this is how millions of cancelled plans came about. Overall, this topic matters because it provides a strong reference point as to the lack of honesty by the Obama administration in its quest to impose its will on the American public through the politics of Obamacare.
Holan, A. (2013). Lie of the year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’. Tampa Bay Times, December 12, 2013.
Lowry, R. (2013). The Obamacare Lie That Can’t Be Fixed. Politico Magazine, November 14, 2013.
Leonard, E. (2011). Can You Really Keep Your Health Plan? The Limits of Grandfathering under the Affordable Care Act. Journal of Corporation Law, 36(4), 753.
Tanner, M. (2014). Obamacare: What We Know Now. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, No. 745, January 27, 2014.
Martin, E. (2015). Healthcare policy legislation and administration: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 37(4), 407-411.