He tried to spin away the Big Lie with another Big Lie, but when that didn’t work, he was left at a crossroads. Triple down with a Big Lie about the Big Lie about the Big Lie, or bite his lip and apologize? The quote: “I am sorry that [people who’ve lost their insurance] are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” I’m actually not sure what that means. It’s not his assurances that have put them in this situation, it’s the law he signed and the regulations he approved that sandbagged them. Or is he suggesting — not incorrectly, mind you — that maybe he and his pet boondoggle wouldn’t have gotten quite as many votes if he’d been honest?
Conn Carroll asks an excellent question:
I dont get it. Why is Obama apologizing for people losing their insurance? Last week he said they were all junk policies. Was he lying then?
— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) November 7, 2013
Exactly. Until about an hour ago, the official Democratic line on the Big Lie was that O had, perhaps, “exaggerated” the extent to which people would be able to keep their plans, but that was A-OK because only crappy plans by scam artists are being denied grandfather status. That’s actually the biggest lie of all. Even some liberals are acknowledging the underlying reality. So what’s the new White House position? Are the old plans being properly and deservedly euthanized or is O sorry for their loss?
i'd rather have an apology for all the promises he kept.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) November 7, 2013
Update: Here’s the transcript of the full exchange. Is this really an apology?
Thanks to you. I’ll start with health care. It’s probably the most quoted thing or requoted thing you have said in your presidency, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” You said it a lot during the run up. At this point, though, it’s obviously something– a promise that has not been able to be kept. Just today, the Denver Post — 250,000 people in Colorado are seeing health insurance policies cancelled. Some of those people liked those policies. And they can’t keep them. What happened?
Well– first of all, I meant what I said. And we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn’t do enough– a good enough job– and I regret that. We’re talking about 5% of the population– who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buying health insurance on their own.
A lot of these plans are subpar plans. And we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was subpar– when the law was passed, you could keep it. But there’s enough churn in the market that folks since then have bought subpar plans. And now that may be all they can afford. So even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get– this letter cancelled.
Follow the link. He goes on and on and on from there about how much “better” the new plans on the exchanges are. And you know what he means by that: “Better” = more comprehensive, period. Cost and access to a sizable provider network are almost entirely irrelevant to the calculus. No one seriously believes that, including him, but he needs to pretend in order to justify pushing healthy people into more expensive coverage. Comprehensiveness is mainly just the excuse to gouge them for higher premiums. He’s not sorry at all that people’s plans are being canceled.