The lie obscured something monstrous
By Phil Kerpen
You might not be able to keep your plan and you might not be able to keep your doctor. Even President Obama has now apologized for his infamous statement to the contrary. But the promise was worse than untrue. It was used to obscure a moral wrong at the heart of Obamacare.
Democrats usually send more competent apologists to the national Sunday talk shows, but a couple of weeks ago they sent the junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand.
“Were you misled?” asked ABC host Martha Raddatz about the famous Obama lie.
“No,” Gillibrand replied: “We all knew.”
So why did they all lie?
“This is life-or-death stuff,” President Obama recently said. “Tens of thousands of Americans die each year just because they don’t have health insurance.”
If Obama is correct on this point, the lie was absolutely central to obscuring something monstrous at the heart of the law: millions of Americans were to intentionally and deliberately have their insurance taken away. According to a RAND Corporation analysis 3.8 million of the people losing their existing insurance because of Obamacare will not be able to replace it and will become uninsured.
By Obama’s own “life-or-death” logic, he and his Democratic allies were sentencing innocent Americans to die – so that others might live. Even if the latter number is greater than the former, such a proposition would make most Americans squeamish, and for good reason.
Since 1996, federal law has included guaranteed renewability in the individual health insurance market. The Democrats knew they were repealing that guarantee for millions of Americans while publicly stating precisely the opposite. It was “a social policy decision the government made,” explained Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber. A “social policy” to decide who lives and who dies.
On September 26, 2013 – just five days before the failed launch of Healthcare.gov – President Obama was still clinging to the lie.
“About 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance – either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market,” Obama said. “So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you -- especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”
He said it even though millions of Americans had already received cancellation letters. Millions more were coming.
Now the administration’s propagandists have retreated to euphemizing the lie away as an “incorrect promise” or, in the almost comically corrupt formulation of the New York Times, just 35 times the president “clearly misspoke.” They want to move on, act as if it doesn’t matter that this was done intentionally, and simply tally up the bodies on both sides like so many matchsticks.
“Why are we so fixated on 4 million insured people who may lose their current and mostly sub-standard health insurance policies,” MoveOn.org asked in an blast email explicitly calling for the “needs of the majority” to be put ahead of those who acted responsibly and paid their premiums but will now be made uninsured.
We’re fixated, to answer their question, because it is immoral to intentionally sacrifice people in the service of a perceived greater good. And that wrong is only further compounded when, knowing that being honest about this aspect of the plan would have shocked the moral conscience of America and prevented the bill from ever passing, Democrats chose to lie instead.
There is a better way. Targeted reforms would make insurance accessible to the uninsured without uninsuring the insured. The lie having been exposed, it’s time for Congress to close this sad chapter and move forward with real, positive, health care reform.
© Copyright 2013 Phil Kerpen, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Mr. Kerpen is the president of American Commitment and the author of "Democracy Denied."