Aban­don­ing Obama with his lies

Democrats flee Oba­macare’s deadly side ef­fects

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion - By Emily Miller

Pres­i­dent Obama is flail­ing as he tries des­per­ately to de­fend and pro­mote Oba­macare while his own party is col­laps­ing around him. With a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans now op­pos­ing the health care plan, Democrats are turn­ing on the pres­i­dent in or­der to avert mas­sive elec­tion losses in 2014.

Stub­born to the core, Mr. Obama has re­fused so far to do any­thing to help Amer­i­cans keep their cur­rent health in­sur­ance plans. For three years, Mr. Obama has said re­peat­edly that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

That has al­ready been proven false for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, and for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton is try­ing to stop the bleed­ing. Mr. Clin­ton told the web­site Ozy this week that, “Even if it takes a change to the law, the pres­i­dent should honor the com­mit­ment the fed­eral govern­ment made to those peo­ple and let them keep what they got.”

Reince Priebus, the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee chair­man, told me Wednes­day in an in­ter­view, “The per­son who is gal­va­niz­ing the Demo­cratic Party — Bill Clin­ton — is telling the pres­i­dent that he needs to be a man of his word. It’s a dev­as­tat­ing com­ment.”

Mr. Priebus said that the pres­i­dent los­ing his own party comes down to self-preser­va­tion. “Democrats in vul­ner­a­ble seats want to do some­thing be­cause they know Oba­macare is go­ing to sink the Democrats in 2014,” he said. “If you’re a Demo­crat, I don’t know how you con­tinue to lie to the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

To that end, the No. 2 Demo­crat in the Se­nate, Richard J. Durbin of Illi­nois, broke ranks this week and said Oba­macare needed “con­struc­tive changes.” Like­wise, Demo­cratic Sens. Dianne Fe­in­stein of Cal­i­for­nia and Mary L. Lan­drieu of Louisiana said they will in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion to al­low for peo­ple to keep their cur­rent plans. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid on Wednes­day would not say whether he would let the bill come to the floor.

Repub­li­cans are try­ing to al­le­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing. The GOP-con­trolled House is ex­pected to vote on Fri­day on a bill that will al­low health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to con­tinue of­fer­ing in­di­vid­ual plans that peo­ple had on Jan. 1, 2013. Cur­rently, Oba­macare forces in­sur­ers to can­cel cov­er­age that doesn’t meet 10 ex­pen­sive re­quire­ments, such as ma­ter­nity care and pre­scrip­tion drugs.

The White House has al­ready de­clared this bill a non­starter. White House press sec­re­tary Jay Car­ney on Tues­day said, “We do not see that as fix­ing the prob­lem. We see that as throw­ing the baby out with the bath­wa­ter.” He backed down some­what on Wednes­day, say­ing the pres­i­dent asked to see some leg­isla­tive op­tions.

There was sup­posed to be a grand­fa­ther clause in Oba­macare, but the slight­est change in a pol­icy, which is nor­mally re­newed on an an­nual ba­sis, forced all those types of poli­cies to be can­celed. Mr. Obama promised House Repub­li­cans per­son­ally in Jan­uary 2010 that the prob­lems with grand­fa­thered plans had been fixed. At a re­treat in Bal­ti­more, he said that there were “some stray cats and dogs” in the health care law that would vi­o­late the pledge, but that the White House was “in the process of scrub­bing this and mak­ing sure that it’s tight.”

That never hap­pened. As a re­sult, mil­lions of Amer­i­cans have re­ceived let­ters say­ing their ex­ist­ing plans are can­celed, and they can choose to buy plans that can cost up to dou­ble their cur­rent pre­mium and even triple the de­ductible, or they can go into the Oba­macare ex­changes to get in­sur­ance.

Mr. Obama’s big­gest prob­lem now is his char­ac­ter. The pres­i­dent’s ap­proval rat­ing is at the low­est it has been since he took of­fice, ac­cord­ing to a new Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity poll. Amer­i­cans vot­ers dis­ap­prove of his job per­for­mance, 54 per­cent to 39 per­cent.

“Now it’s a mat­ter of trust, and that’s very dan­ger­ous ter­ri­tory,” said Mr. Priebus. “Peo­ple can dis­agree with each other, but when they start to be­lieve you’re not be­ing an hon­est per­son — and on top of it, peo­ple are ac­tu­ally suf­fer­ing from los­ing in­sur­ance poli­cies and pay­ing more money — there is noth­ing more toxic than that.”

The pres­i­dent has one chance at get­ting out of this mess. He can come clean with the Amer­i­can peo­ple and ad­mit he did not tell the truth when he said peo­ple could keep their in­sur­ance with the new health care law. Then he should work with Congress to con­struct a bill that al­lows peo­ple to keep their own poli­cies. Do­ing that may cause the whole Oba­macare house of cards to crum­ble, but the al­ter­na­tive is a legacy of lies and de­ceit.

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