Back in February of 2010, before ObamaCare was even passed into law, the President hosted a Bipartisan Summit on Health Care Reform. Present were Congressional leaders from both parties, along with President Obama. At the meeting, Obama pretended to be interested in getting Republican input and ideas to improve the bill and gain support from Republicans.
One topic of discussion was the fact that the law would cause people to lose coverage that they had and liked. As House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R, VA) put it (emphasis added):
But also, Mr. President, when we were here about a year ago across the street, you started the health care summit by saying one of the promises you want to make is that people ought to be able to keep the health insurance that they have. Because as we also know, most people in this country do have insurance and an overwhelming majority of people do like that coverage; it's just too expensive.
Well, the CBO sent a letter -- I think it was to Leader Reid -- about the Senate bill. And in that letter, it suggested that between 8 million and 9 million people may very well lose the coverage that they have because of this, because of the construct of this bill. That's our concern. And so, as we are in -- as we are in the market -- in the section of this discussion about health insurance reform, I note, Mr. President, that you have suggested strengthening oversight of insurance premium increases. Because we want to make sure that there aren't excessive insurance premium increases that take place.
The problem is when you start to mandate all of the essential benefits, there are going to be some insurance premium increases. None of us really want to see them. But if you stop them, who is going to pay for it? Well, then we get back to the fact that businesses won't be able to pay for it and people are going to lose their coverage.
So I guess my question to you is, in the construct of this bill, if we want to find agreement, we really do need to set this aside. And we really do need to say, okay, the fundamental structure is something we can't agree on, but there are certainly plenty of areas of agreement. And because I don't think that you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want in the kind of bill that you're proposing.Got that? Republicans were not just running campaign commercials, they were addressing the President directly in conversation with their concerns that the bill would, in fact, cause people to lose coverage and to lose the ability to see their preferred doctors. I guess Obama just mis-judged, right? He didn't think their predictions were correct?
Well, let me -- since you asked me a question, let me respond. The 8 to 9 million people that you refer to that might have to change their coverage -- keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we're talking about -- would be folks who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better.Wait, what? He didn't deny it? He knew perfectly well that people would lose coverage? That was part of the plan? Yes, I get it that he is saying the exchange plans will be "a better deal." That is not the same thing as "less expensive," and it is certainly not the same thing as "if you like your plan you can keep it. In fact, it's so far from the same thing that there ought to be a word for it. Oh, right, there is one: it's the "opposite."
Lest you think I am taking things out of context here, please read the entire transcript for yourself at the well-known right-wing site, whitehouse.gov.