On Obamacare, Biden Repeats Obama’s 2013 Lie of the Year
In December 2013, Politifact, which bills itself as a nonpartisan political fact-checking operation, awarded its lowest honor to President Barack Obama, for “Lie of the Year.” On more than 30 occasions, Obama had promised that under the Affordable Care Act, the health law often referred to as Obamacare, no one would lose their health care plan involuntarily. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” Obama said.
This was simply not true. Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, the government-run online portals for purchasing individual market health insurance, launched in October 2013. In the weeks and months that followed, millions of people received notices that their existing insurance plans would be canceled as a direct result of the law. The exact number of cancellations is difficult to pin down, but Politifact, in making its award, cited a figure of around 4 million. Other contemporaneous estimates suggested the number could be higher.
“Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous,” Politifact noted years later in a review of “Lie of the Year” award winners. “Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting the claim had been misunderstood all along.”
Obama had made the promise in order to ease fears about coverage loss and health care disruption that had helped to doom a health policy overhaul under President Bill Clinton nearly two decades earlier. And he had done so knowing it wasn’t true. As the Wall Street Journal reported in November 2013, White House aides questioned th
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