The Truth About "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by F.F.Wiley of Cyniconomics blog,



Bit by bit, we’re learning more about President Obama’s broken promise that you can keep your health insurance if you like it, which was repeated at least two dozen times in recent years.

As reported last week by NBC’s Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye, the administration knew to expect the current wave of policy cancellations for “at least three years.” NBC cited estimates of about 7 to 11 million cancellations:

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law.


One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration.

Last weekend, The Wall Street Journal added the news that Obama’s pledge was actively debated by his advisory team. Some advisers objected to the pledge, knowing it wasn’t accurate, only to be overruled by “political aides.”

All of this raises the question: What should we call such a deliberate deception?

Did Obama merely misspeak, as claimed by The New York Times editorial board?

Or, is he guilty of an out-and-out lie?

The WSJ’s James Taranto stopped short of the “L” word in his “Best of the Web” column yesterday, but otherwise hit the nail on the head:

To misspeak means to express oneself imperfectly or incorrectly. It implies either a careless choice of words or an unintended candor (as in a “Freudian slip”). Obama did not misspeak. As The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, the slogan was the result of careful deliberation.



Suppose the deliberations the Journal describes had taken place in a corporate suite rather than a government one and had concerned a commercial rather than a political advertising slogan. In that case, we’d be talking about a criminal conspiracy to defraud consumers.

In other words, Obama’s pledge was no different to, say, JPMorgan’s misrepresentations about the toxic mortgages it sold to unwitting investors. Fraudulent mortgage claims were surely discussed within JPM, just as Obama’s team debated the health insurance promise. Moreover, any internal concerns about the mortgage fraud were certainly squashed, just like the reservations expressed by Obama’s more truthful advisers.

But the consequences of Obama’s false advertisements are worse than those of private institutions such as JPM. In an economy that’s awash in misinformation – which is basically any economy – we can at least protect our interests against those of other private entities. We can walk away from claims that don’t pass the sniff test. If we learn we’ve been fooled, we can take our business elsewhere. Finally, we can turn to the courts for compensation.

None of these options are realistic, though, when the transgressor happens to hold the title, President of the United States. Under our new, more socialistic approach to health care, our only choice is to play by Obama’s rules. We also have to accept that information about those rules is tightly controlled by his team. Which means it’s crafted to protect his popularity and legacy above other considerations including the truth.

Just as Taranto didn’t go so far as to use the “L” word in his column yesterday, neither did any of the other mainstream media reports we reviewed. There were plenty of carefully worded euphemisms, but presumably it’s not polite to say the president told a lie.

We’ll show no such restraint:  Obama told a blatant lie, which he then continued to repeat.  It’s not the first time he’s lied, but this was an absolute whopper.

And while Taranto was right to compare his deceit to corporate fraud, we’ll add that we have no recourse against the president’s lies, unlike in the private sector. Therefore, Obama’s actions are more demoralizing and destructive than those of corporate fraudsters.

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Everybodys All American's picture

What else do you expect from a Marxist con man?

Pladizow's picture

Polititians and diapers should be changed often, and for the same reason!

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

What about the big fuckin crybaby Dimon? He stays. As long as he makes his people a dollar and gets fined 50 cents, he's all good.

Oh, and thats why he's richer than you.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Only idiots believed the lie when it was told.

Nearly every business over 50 employees will be
effectively forced to reduce, not increase, nor keep the same base level of benefits
in order to afford the new premiums.  Nearly everyone is going to see
higher deductibles, higher co-insurance, and fewer covered procedures. 

It is simple math.

The haves get less and pay more so more of the have nots can have a little more.

Net-net, the insurance companies are the big winners for three reasons.

  1. Guarantee profits
  2. Eliminate competition
  3. Bigger market for the product
Sudden Debt's picture

Why doesn't Obama just print the money and make it free for everybody?!


hedgeless_horseman's picture



Why doesn't Obama just print the money and make it free for everybody?

Free?  Ha!  Because Obama is a puppet of the fascists, not a marxist, communist, nor socialist.

Healthcare costs are getting shoved onto the backs of labor, and off the P&L of business.



Obama / Buffett

Woodyg's picture

Bingo! Tell me why at this late date people still trot out the "socialist" term when whatbthe Obummer adminis is Pure Fascist -
Food safety - Monsatan vp
Jobs czar - GE
Etc etc

If he's a socialist where's the Union support? Nowhere -

TPP? That one will rewrite labor, safety and environmental laws in favor of corporations OVER democracy -

That my friends is FASCIST.

DOT's picture

The Unions provide both cash and organizational support to Organizing for Obama. They are continuing to accept the Progressive march towards more federal power as long as exemptions are made on their behalf.

onewayticket2's picture


Sure, plenty of people knew obama was full of it when he said this...but for anyone who claimed he was full of it, they were met with a swift accusation of being a "racist" who "hated the president and would make wild, baseless claims only to try to hurt his historic presidency"

stuman's picture

Because the majority don't know the difference ;)

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

feudalists might be better applied here.... it is clear his handlers or manipulators (not all are hands on) are helping remove wealth from this country and reestablishing the old crown heads (so to speak) in europe... the only reason obama has not been assassinate is because he is going a long... lincoln and kennedy did the opposite and look what happened

RSloane's picture

Thanks HH, that sums it up perfectly.

Cruel Aid's picture

How about the hit to christmas when the only ones who pay for ocare, without getting half of it covered, let the cost settle in.

Sounds like lots of em will get a huge price break as the economy stands.

Well maybe they will spend it on christmas.

Anusocracy's picture

A study done in the 90s concluded that what it took to be a successful President is to be able to lie and be believed.

Unfortunately for Obama, the government can't bury the truth for 50 or 60 years this time.

Sudden Debt's picture

Another study also showed that CEO's and politicians didn't realize they where telling a lie in 75% of all cases.

And also 75% of them liked golf more than they do sex...


insanelysane's picture

The lie is actually a strategy and it works because the context of the lie is lost with time.

At the time that the lie, "if you like it, you can keep it", was being told, the country was evenly divided or slanted against Obamacare.  In order to neutralize the opposition, the lie was born because at least 1/3 of the population figured, well this law doesn't affect me.  The result was a razor thin passage of the law.

The strategy continues as only the private insurance was affected this year.  So we get the mantra of how only a few people have actually lost plans and that the new plans are so much better.

Next year the real challenge begins because the majority of the people that thought "if you like it, you can keep it" was true will be affected and it will occur right before the elections.  However, I expect the pols to somehow delay it another year or cause some type of chaos that will push the open enrollment from October to late November or December.

Pure Evil's picture

Yep, that'll be called the great stock market crash of 2014. Just in time to destroy all Republican hopes. Not that the stupid party doesn't deserve to go extinct.

analyzer_66's picture

Which delivers us to the amended version of the 3 biggest lies ever told...
1) I will not come in your mouth
2) the check is in the mail
3) if you like your policy; you can keep it

Silver Bully's picture


Jane, you ignorant slut.

He has 2 daughters so he already has 2 possible heirs. Ever hear of a queen before?


kchrisc's picture

And people should out grow politicians like they do diapers.

Sudden Debt's picture

well... in the end... everybody grows back into diapers...

and if you like McDonalds hamburgers... leakage... GROWS YOU BACK INTO DIAPERS EVEN FASTER!!

James-Morrison's picture

Nixon's lie resulted in his impeachment.

Obama's lies, surrounding this bill should result in at least the same.

Once you permit blatant lies, for political gain, you seal shut the door to freedom.

There are more attractive banana republics to move to right now.

Sudden Debt's picture

well... that door was closed with the Bush administration.

actually... the Clinton administration when they threw the rulebook overboard for the stockmarket...

and now all the remaining rules for derivatives where also thrown overboard...

strange that it didn't hit frontpage last week...

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

only if the used diapers can be used to change said politicians

GetZeeGold's picture



If there any fallout when you con millions of people?


I guess we'll soon find out.

ArkansasAngie's picture

I have had private insurance. My plan is cancelled

Yes there will be fall out.

I will not be silent.

LawsofPhysics's picture

make all the noise you want, unless you actually do something, nothing changes.

Ignatius's picture

There's an 800lb Gorilla in the living room.

Your move.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Well then, it looks like we're having gorilla for dinner.

Ignatius's picture

You kill it... and I'll see what I can do in the kitchen.

chunga's picture

“we’ll add that we have no recourse against the president’s lies, unlike in the private sector”.

What? Recourse?


analyzer_66's picture

European recourse ..? African recourse?

chdwlch1's picture

You didn't kill that gorilla!?!?

KnightTakesKing's picture

If you kill it, for God's sake don't post pictures of it hanging upside down!

Everybodys All American's picture

I'm curious to know if you voted for the president/er dictator.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Are you sure....I say this because I am absolutely positive I did not vote for him, so if 51% of the population voted for him, then it must've been you....that or Diebold REALLY did have an impact in the election.

TeamDepends's picture

104% of registered voters in some districts can't be wrong!

RSloane's picture

Hang in there Angie, what happened to you and everyone else getting cancellation notices is an abomination that can only be rectified by Laws' guillotines.

thewhigs's picture

"Thanks" to the new crappy law, my wife and I got the "termination" letters as well. Of note, we are on two different insurances. Looks like this is going to get ugly, reeaaaaaaaal ugly!



Sudden Debt's picture

nah... in 99,99% of all cases it doesn't.


DosZap's picture

In most cases you can KEEP your plan, IF you can afford it.(Hardeeharrharr)

RichardP's picture

Did the Affordable Care Act cancel those individual plans?  Or was it the Health Insurance Companies that cancelled the plans?  Remember Liz Fowler?

For a small increase in the premium, the insurance companies could fix these individual policies.  But the healthcare insurance companies would rather cancel the policies and force the people into much higher payments.  Why?  Because they can.  And they get more money that way.

President Obama said the only thing he could say:  The ACA does not force people to change health insurance policies or doctors.  That is a true statement.  It is the health insurance companies and doctors that are forcing this.  President Obama was not / is not speaking for them, because he.  He was / is speaking for the ACA

The truth of my statement can be seen in the legislation that is being considered in Congress that would force the health insurance companies to stop doing this.  Whether it passes or not is not the point.  The point is that Congress actually knows where the problem lies (the health insurance companies, not the ACA), in spite of the political rhetoric being thrown about.

I agree with others that he could have been more clear that he was speaking only about the ACA, and more emphatic that he did not have any control over how the health insurance companies and doctors would respond to that legislation.  But I think a reasonable man would assume that he was only speaking about that which he could control - the ACA.  It does not contain language that requires people to change insurances or doctors.

ncdirtdigger's picture

Wipe that Obamajizz off your chin, you fucking apologist.

RichardP's picture

This is not about Obama.  And I personally think the ACA is a horrid piece of legislation on many levels but this is not about that either.  It is about two questions:

- Does the ACA require the insurance companies to cancel policies and doctors to drop patients?

- Why is the Congress preparing to consider legslation to stop the health insurance companies from cancelling policies if the problem does not lie with the insurance companies?

Note this completed sentence from my previous post.  Could not fix it there because the comment underneath it locked me out: President Obama was not / is not speaking for them (health insurance companies), because he could not in any way know how they would respond, nor does he have any control over how they respond.

sgorem's picture

WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE CIVIL UNREST BEGIN? I missed out on Woodstock 'cause I woke up drunk & hungover with some rinsed out, "chew my arm off ugly", one-night-stand bar butterfly. Missed my ride into infamy.  I DON'T want to be left behind on this RESET!

unrulian's picture

Both my arms are stumps...and be damned if i regret a single one of them :)