Yesterday, Barack Obama told the Washington Post that he never campaigned explicitly on the public option for health care reform:
Those elements are in the House and Senate versions of the legislation; their competing proposals will have to be reconciled in conference committee next year. The House bill includes a government-run insurance plan favored by progressive Democrats; the Senate version does not. “I didn’t campaign on the public option,” Obama said in the interview.
Maybe Obama would have been better off by saying, “That’s not the public option I thought I knew.” As Jake Tapper documents in his fact-check today, Obama not only campaigned on a public option, those pledges for a government-run insurance plan still exist on his campaign website:
It depends on what the meaning of “campaign” is.
Was it a major emphasis of his campaign? Not after he won the Democratic presidential nomination.
But did he mention it? Was it part of his “campaign”? Yes.
It certainly was, as Jake finds rather easily on a search of the Obama campaign website, his campaign literature
, and even a Washington Post questionnaire that the Post themselves neglected to check when publishing his denial without comment. One might think that such a categorical denial would prompt a reporter to check his paper’s own archives, but apparently the Post is more comfortable having Jake do that for them.
Of course, you can hear Obama advocating the public option himself in this appearance at Planned Parenthood:
All of Obama’s statements come with expiration dates — all of them.