Lie of the Year: Obama Quote on Keeping Your Healthcare

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” wins dubious honor from political fact-checking site

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

LARRY DOWNING / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while he talks about the Affordable Care Act in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, November 14, 2013

A statement by President Barack Obama has been given the dubious honor of “Lie of the Year” with a rating of “Pants on Fire” by the Tampa Bay TimesPolitifact. 

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the president said, over and over again, while trying to sell Americans on the Affordable Care Act before it was enacted. It was a comforting promise to those concerned that the government would force unwanted changes on their health insurance plans.

“But the promise was impossible to keep,” Politifact said in its announcement.

Cancellation letters sent to four million Americans notifying them that under Obamacare they could not in fact, keep their health insurance prompted the president to issue a rare apology.

In 2012, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Politifact gave Lie of the Year to a Mitt Romney campaign claim that Obama was responsible for Chrysler moving a Jeep manufacturing operation to China. In 2011, Democrats’ claim that Republicans in Congress voted to end Medicare was given the title.

A reader’s poll signaled broad agreement on the Lie of the Year, Obama’s quote receiving 59% compared to 8%, in second place, for Senator Ted Cruz false statement that Congress was exempt from the Affordable Care Act.

Critics have pointed out that when Politifact looked at the same quote in June, the site gave the comment a rating of “Half True,” a far cry from the “Pants on Fire” rating it received in Thursday’s announcement.

[Politifact]

44 comments
SarahGoodwich
SarahGoodwich

First it was "Cash for Clunkers," now it's a used-car promise.

Is this insanity, or just Deja Vu?


I'm beginning to fear that the first step in Obamacare will be mandatory de-lousing.

firestar1075
firestar1075

When I first heard him say you can keep your insurance if you like it caused me to ask, "then why do we need a law requiring it?"


the worst words in the human voclabulary is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"

SusanJohnson
SusanJohnson

The fact of the matter is long before the ACA became law millions of people lost their health insurance because health insurers terminated their coverage just because the policy wasn't profitable. So far none of the data reported indicates the reasons for the cancellations. The reportage seems to be insurance company propaganda. The wholesale cancellations of health policies was one reason for the ACA in the first place.

kcpasternak
kcpasternak

Congress may not be exempt from the ACA but they are exempt from the effects of it.  Someone ought to decide what Politifact's biggest lie of the year was.

trahanaquasimodo
trahanaquasimodo

also Lying about the Evil NSA lies,CIA Money launarying ,US Military TOP BRASS who Protect RAPIST who Sexual Assault US Military Women and Civilian Women.

AaronBrown1
AaronBrown1

Alas, Politifact has to save face and actually say something bad about Obama for the very first time ever.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> "Critics have pointed out that when Politifact looked at the same quote in June, the site gave the comment a rating of “Half True,” a far cry from the “Pants on Fire” rating it received in Thursday’s announcement."

Who is fact-checking Politifact?

BlueDuck
BlueDuck

So when Politifact said what Obama said was only "a "half true," a while back,  that was a lie.

BlueDuck
BlueDuck

So I guess when Politico said what Obama said  was only "half true, " that was a lie. 

destor23
destor23

"...wins dubious honor from dubious 'fact checking' website."

There. Fixed it for you.

Mr.Stark
Mr.Stark

Don't forget that Obama's mid-November "fix" to the ACA was completely unconstitutional, as he has no constitutional power to change statutes.

jmac
jmac

We had a President and Vice President who lied us into an invasion of a weak country ruled by a pathetic tyrant just to kick butt because Osama was being a little too hard to find.  


The fact that people can't keep their insurance because it doesn't meet minimum standards is being turned into a Fox News drum beat of Obama lied and the Main Stream Media is all to eager to pick it up.


Where in the h#ll was the outrage over Bush/Cheney?   When will Fox News and Rush Limbaugh stop being in control of America?  Cheney and Bush walked away with impunity.  Neither has admitted any smidgen of regret over their actions, including the horrid concept that America tortures.   It's disgusting.    We deserve the ridicule of the world.  We earned it.      

MelC
MelC

Unlike the other recent "Lies of the Year," this was actually something intended to happen. Little did he know how bad insurance coverage would still actually be, and how greedy insurance companies would be with their private plan holders, when plans finally had to conform to ACA.


And it's actually TRUE for all who get their insurance through work.


Far, far from the calculated fright of "death panels." But the Big Lies were so far over in the GOP column that no doubt Politifact felt the need for (false) equivalency.


AlEng
AlEng

Congress is exempt. They have there own special Top of the Line Golden Healthcare that so far no one has given up on.

straighttalk
straighttalk

So many Obama lies to chose from, so few liar awards.

firmsoil
firmsoil

What about the bigger lie where he says that the individual mandate is not a tax but had his lawyer say the opposite in the supreme court? Without this lie obamacre would never have been declared constitutional.

therealdude
therealdude

Technically, wouldn't that be the lie of 2010?

jmac
jmac

If your doctor died, Obama lied.   

reallife
reallife

you libtards must be so proud



LOL



barneydidit
barneydidit

I imagine the same people that vigorously derided Politifact after they named Mitt Romney's claim that Jeep was moving to China as the 2012 Lie of The Year, will now be defending the group as an unbiased source of factual information. 

SamBallance
SamBallance

@SusanJohnson The Fact is Susan, despite your illogical liberal logic, that can't see the truth for the trees.

The estimate of those Americans who will lose their health insurance has moved up from 4 million to 7 million. The actual number may prove to be even worse than either estimate.

Obamacare is a disaster even before the final countdown. It’s a giant rock in an avalanche of regulations headed directly for the American health care system, intent on destroying everything in its path.

reallife
reallife

@jmac nah Bob, YOU libtards deserve the ridicule and scorn of a whole nation. Just wait, you've seen or heard nothing yet. Drum beat? It's America talking back. Do you think this is loud? wait till November


LOL

aztecian
aztecian

@firmsoilit is the law of the land...get used to it!  denying what is the law will get you nowhere.  and it is for the people by the MAJORITY of the people, not for the obstructionist. 

aztecian
aztecian

@JohnNagelyou knucklehead, no one reads your lies.  go pound sand, then bury your head in it!

da_kine808
da_kine808

@barneydidit and the same ones who defended it last year are deriding it this year, what's your point?  both parties are the same only the marketing is different

barneydidit
barneydidit

@SamBallance @SusanJohnson Sorry Sam, I missed the part of your post where you point to evidence that the ACA is the reason for 7 million Americans losing their health insurance...which was the point behind Susan's post.  Not to mention your failure to consider the 40 million Americans who did not have insurance in 2012, having that opportunity in 2013 thanks to the ACA. 

jmac
jmac

@reallife @jmac Apparently America is talking back, realie, because Boehner just got real and hit the Tea Party over the head as he passed a budget.   You might want to be careful about bragging about November. 


firmsoil
firmsoil

@aztecian

In your/obama's way of life lying to get ahead is law. We will never "get used to it".

JohnNagel
JohnNagel

@aztecian @JohnNagel every word is true and there are more than 400,000 people who have read the truth, so take your own advice.

reallife
reallife

@jmac @reallife Boehner? Lol - he needs a spine transplant - hey! Is that covered by obamacare by chance? 

You can try to spin it as much as you want. There is no way back now. The emperor has no clothes. We'll turn him into a lame duck in November and in a couple of years we'll get our country back.

And your hero will be just another irrelevant footnote in the history of this country.


7nationarmy
7nationarmy

@jmac How do you breathe with your head so far up Barack Insane Obama's rear end? NSA spying on American citizens and hacking Press emails, Eric Holder selling arms to Mexican drug lords, Democrats turning the IRS into a de facto Nazi Secret Police force that targets free speech and First Amendment freedoms. Obama's Politifact Lie Of The Year award is just the tip of the kool-aid iceberg.

MelC
MelC

Ladies and gentlemen, the new low in political discourse. "The dirt bag should be impeached." (Slow clap)