Here's why Obama said people could keep their insurance

Eventually, Democrats learned that whenever proposing changes to the health care system, they had to emphasize that the changes wouldn’t affect those who already had coverage they liked.

In 2007, when Obama was still considered a long shot to win the Democratic presidential nomination, then-frontrunner Hillary Clinton was barnstorming early primary states telling audiences that under her universal coverage proposal, “If you have health insurance, and you like it, you keep it, no questions asked.”

When Obama took office and made health care his top priority, he understood that one of his main tasks was to convince Americans that he had a plan that could improve the health care system for those who it wasn’t currently working well for (such as those with pre-existing conditions) while leaving it untouched for those who were satisfied.

“I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor,” he told the American Medical Association in June 2009.