PolitiFact Gives Obama 'Pants on Fire' for Explanation of What 'You Can Keep Your Plan' Meant

November 6th, 2013 3:13 PM

It appears the folks at PolitiFact are trying to make amends for calling President Obama's "You can keep your plan if you like it" pledge "Half True."

On Wednesday, the fact-checking organization looked at the President's recent explanation of what he said - "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed" - and gave it a Pants on Fire:

We decided to look back from all the public statements we could find about people being allowed to keep their plans. We found at least 37 times where Obama made a variation of the pledge that if you like your plan, you can keep it. (See all 37 mentions.)

Obama used the phrase 26 times between his inauguration and when the law passed. [...]

We found 10 instances after the law was signed when Obama made the pledge again. [...]

According to PF, Obama made similar statements during a speech in Largo, Maryland, on September 26.

As such, the President made his pledge 37 times.

The ruling?

According to Obama, "What we said was you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed."

But we found at least 37 times since Obama’s inauguration where he or a top administration official made a variation of the pledge that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and we never found an instance in which he offered the caveat that it only applies to plans that hadn’t changed after the law’s passage. And seven of those 37 cases came after the release of the HHS regulations that defined the "grandfathering" process, when the impact would be clear.

While Sebelius’ teleconference with reporters did provide that sort of caveat, in other instances, such as her blog post, she focused on the upside, not the downside. Her one mention of the extent to which grandfathered plans might be doomed strikes us as the equivalent of the fine print on a television commercial running in heavy rotation. Obama is ignoring the overwhelming majority of times he addressed the issue, where most people would have heard it. We rate his claim Pants on Fire.

We at NewsBusters of course agree, but wish the folks at PF would now go back and give the President a Pants on Fire for his original pledge.

(HT Weasel Zippers)