White House on Sebelius hearing: GOP ‘did us a favor up there’
October 30th, 2013
07:38 PM ET
12 months ago

White House on Sebelius hearing: GOP ‘did us a favor up there’

(CNN) – References to “The Wizard of Oz.” A poster of "bros" doing a keg stand. And that shout-out to "Red Solo" cups.

White House officials are all but thanking Republicans for some of the more entertaining moments from Wednesday's House hearing featuring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"They did us a favor up there today," one senior White House official told CNN, arguing Sebelius' performance helped, not hurt, the administration's efforts to steer the troubled Obamacare program back on track.

The secretary's apology for the technical problems plaguing http://www.healthcare.gov, which she described as a "debacle," was all a part of the administration's attempts to take responsibility and turn the corner in what has been one of its worse news cycles, the official said.

Further evidence of the taking ownership mission was President Barack Obama's speech in Boston. It was the President's first attempt, the official noted, to offer a defense of his now infamous health care pitch: "if you like your plan, you can keep it."

The President said Americans who are now receiving cancellations from their insurers because their plans fail to meet Obamacare standards will find coverage under the new law.

"Since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is well you've got to replace them with quality comprehensive coverage," Obama said.

The president did not address criticism from independent fact-checkers who have slammed the "if you like your plan" selling point as misleading.

Republican leaders in Congress are far from satisfied with the President's event in Boston.

“It’s beyond disappointing that, despite the evidence, the President continues to mislead the American people about his health care law," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

"The President promised that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. It wasn’t true when he said it years ago, and, as millions of Americans are finding out, it’s not true now," Boehner added.


Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare • Republican Party • White House
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. John

    Sibelius is a class act and I am an unabashed admirer.......I believe her.....she really wants to improve things for all americans..........she has an enthusiastic supporter.............

    October 30, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. MrManhattan

    So what does Bonehead have to say about Shrub lying us into a war of choice and killing around 4,000 American troops and even more Iraquis? All the whole putting the cost off-budget on the country's credit card?

    October 30, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Tigas

    Absolutely hilarious!
    Those idiot people believed that you actually could keep you insurance policy... Hilarious!

    The Obamacare website not working for over 30 days... Awesome!

    The Obamacare website hundreds of millions over budget and needs millions more to fix... Superb!

    Bullying insurance not to release the stats on the overwhelming number of people that have signed up for Obamacare... Excellent

    The Obamacare launch is indeed the crowning jewel of the Obama Administration and a model of what Democratic projects and initiatives can achieve.

    October 30, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. Radgast

    You can't keep a plan that is no longer available, that's the free market at work.

    October 30, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. Name Bigburnzie2000

    Republicans can not fix it they are the party of no and no pholosophy.Obama will!

    October 30, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Ron L

    The Republicans constantly show just how ignorant they are about technology and how short their memory is. The years BEFORE the AFA one of the loudest complaints from many Americans was how often they were getting KICKED OFF their insurance policies without warning and/or finding out their policy only covered 50% of what they thought it did. Often this resulted in them having to file for bankruptcy. The AFA may succeed or it may fail, but at least the President and the Democrats attempted to fix an extremely unfair system while the Republicans ignored it.

    October 30, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. SteveInMN

    "It’s beyond disappointing that, despite the evidence, the President continues to mislead the American people about his health care law," House Speaker John Boehner said...."

    Has ANY Republic EVER said ANYTHING that wasn't partisan tripe designed to stir up their Cave-man base?

    Nope.

    October 30, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. buongiorno

    these remarks targeted at either side should be made to be held accountable or if your an instigator during meetings before and after you shouldnt be allowed to attend when clearly issues are trying to be resolved so a country can run effectively if those arent the intentions of the floor on either side then excuse yourself so that we can progress

    October 30, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. Mr. M

    Let me get this straight ... this is Obama's signature achievement, one that carries his name, something he fought against all odds to get, suffered 42-challenges, on up to the Supreme Court, winning by 1-vote, and recently shut-down an entire government before he would change one-word of the ACA, and no one thought to quad-triple check to make sure every aspect of this was perfect? Or that Obama didn't know?

    And how could he not know? One of his wife's best friends Toni Townes-Wilkes, is a Sr. Executive at the firm that got the no-bid $676-million dollar contract that caused all this mess, who has visited the White House on many occasions.

    No cronyism there.

    This is beyond incompetence. There has to be a whole new word for this kind of incompetence. "Incompolosus."

    October 30, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Steve Hamilton

    One more GOP tempest in a tea pot. The president gave them a rational explanation of what "you can keep it" meant. If insurers cancel policies because they do not want to meet the new, more consumer friendly health insurance standards, I don't see how the president should be blamed for that. Of course the GOP blames him for everything, so what else is new? It would be nice if they followed the advice of Carl Rove and Newt Gingrich and worked actually reviewing the Senate immigration bill and then drafting an alternate approach to fix the immigration system that George W Bush admitted is broken, and also drafting what they would propose as an alternative to the ACA. Instead they waste their time with witch hunts masquerading as "hearings". I think the problem is that it's been so long since these right wing radicals have drafted any meaningful legislation that they've forgotten how. All the proposed legislation they have actually written was how to shut down the government and threaten to cause a US default. In a word – bupkis.

    October 30, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. sonkarlay

    Who cares what those republicans clowns say, Obama is not running again so your work for the people that elected your, the hatred from the south is spreadin all over the nation since Obama toke office, is time for your to create the jobs your campaign on in 2010 and got elected for, we are tired about your abortions bills

    October 30, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Jesse

    The Romney state by state approach was the best. Means us in VT could have gone single payer since we are such a small state.

    October 30, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. Wes

    "Since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is well you've got to replace them with quality comprehensive coverage," Obama said.
    ---------------------------------------
    You said I could keep my coverage and my doctor. You lied. Period.

    October 30, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. randall blankenship

    obama has told more lies than any president that ever held office. he's no leader, he;s a fraud.

    October 31, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  15. Marcus Wel

    "The President promised that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
    Lie!

    October 31, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  16. CASSIUS BOND

    You get the impression the GOP are forced by their zealous hatred for Obama to make Obamacare a highly successful legacy. ...lol!

    October 31, 2013 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  17. GeorgeMC

    Thank God for President Obama! ...

    October 31, 2013 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  18. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    White House on Sebelius hearing:
    GOP ‘did us a favor up there’

    TRUST US

    WE
    Are graduates of Baghdad Bob's College of Public Relations

    WE
    Are SMART

    YOU MUST SUBMIT !!!

    October 31, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  19. A True Conservative

    Evidence of the taking ownership mission? Are you kidding me? Once you have run the ship aground – it's a bit late to suddenly take ownership! Who is running this administration? Is anyone? Yet the usual apologists will be here and on TV calling conservatives names and trying to spin this mess as just another problem caused by Republicans or Bush. How about the truth this time? Why not admit that this was caused by a lack of leadership, incompetence and pure stupidity?

    October 31, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  20. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what the head of the GOP house teaparty morons says or does. They could shut the house down and lock the doors and make more progress. It's funny, the GOP thinks their going to get realected??????

    October 31, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  21. DC Observer

    Obama: " If you like your current plan and you want to keep it, you can" LIE

    Obama: " If you like your current doctor and want to keep hi, you can" LIE

    Obama: ACA will save us trillions LIE

    Obama The middle class will not be paying higher premiums or taxes LIE

    Fact Millions of Americans have been kicked off their plans. They have lost their doctors. The policies under Obamacare have high co pays and very high deductibles, making them more expensive than their other plans

    The US has a shortage of doctors, especially primary care doctors. More than 50% of US doctors are over he age of 50. New doctors graduating would like to become primary care, but when they graduate, they have hundreds of thousands in debt and cannot afford to do anything but go into specialties. This further adversely affects the shortage of primary care. Nothing is being done to address this under ACA, therefore everyone will suffer longer delays in getting appointments. Why not do something bold – like government subsidized medical schools and nursing schools? Instead of putting all our money into military defense, put it into investing in medicine with grants for medical students who agree to provide medical services in government hospitals in exchange for a free medical education ..l let's gets creative Mr Obama. Let's solve problems, not make it worse with a badly designed ACA

    And as for Obamacare – delay the individual mandate for a year -- just like you did for all your friends.

    My last suggestion for ending gridlock in DC - TERM LIMITS for Congress –and short ones. Come on folks, let;s take to twitter and start a term limits revolution so we can have a Constitutional vote on term limits

    October 31, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  22. tahtye

    Go away trolls. Deficit is down in spite of the obstructionist GOP. Glitch in a website? Please! How about a congress that doesn't work! Vote NO to GOP anywhere!

    October 31, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |