Obamateurism of the Day

For several months, Barack Obama tried to assure Americans that ObamaCare would not mean that they had to give up their existing health-insurance plans.  As the plan melted down in the August heat, Obama seemed to realize that people knew that a public option and the new “exchanges” would impact the choices their employers make — and since well over half of all Americans have employer-based coverage, that meant Obama’s guarantee simply wasn’t the truth.  Instead of guaranteeing that people could keep their coverage and doctors, Obama changed the message on Wednesday to say that his plan wouldn’t require that they change either one.

Unfortunately, Obama’s message shift had a relapse in Minneapolis on Saturday (via Jennifer Rubin and Mary Katharine Ham):

Now let me be clear.  Let me be clear.  Let me be clear:  It would only be an option.  Nobody would be forced to choose it.  No one with insurance would be affected by it.  But what it would do is, it would provide more choice and more competition.  (Applause.)  It would keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable, to treat their customers better.

Yes, people with insurance would be affected by it if their employers decided to dump them out of their current plan.  It will also be affected by the restrictions in the exchange, as existing plans will not all qualify, but specifically, the public option allows employers to dump health insurance altogether, and the CBO estimates that millions will have that very problem if ObamaCare passes.

Can Obama pick one message and stick with it?  Even for just a week?

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!