November 5th, 2013
03:49 PM ET
1 year ago

WH: Obama 'can't go back' and change Obamacare vow

Washington (CNN) – The repeated vow from President Barack Obama that those who like their health insurance can keep it may be causing the administration grief – but it can't be changed now, Obama's press secretary conceded Tuesday.

"The President, as awesomely powerful as the office is, can't go back in time," Jay Carney said at his daily press briefing when asked by CNN whether Obama would "use those same words again."

"What the President's focus is on is what we are all focused on, which is getting this right for the American people," Carney said.

Obama's repeated promise in the days leading up to the Affordable Care Act's passage has come under intense scrutiny as some have customers have had their individual plans canceled. The White House says those plans don't meet the standards for insurance established under the Affordable Care Act – and that better options will be available on the new health care exchanges.

Obama further alters 'you can keep your plan' pledge

Yet many Americans can't get online to enroll as the federal government continues repair work on healthcare.gov. Carney admitted Tuesday the website problem was exacerbating the struggle to inform those who lose their plans what other options are available, saying Obama was "frustrated" by the hold-up.

"There is no question that the notices are going out and he's troubled by the fact that the website has made it a lot more difficult for those Americans to get the information that they need," he said.

Obama recalled his 2009 and 2010 promise again on Monday during a speech to supporters, adding the key detail that Americans could keep their insurance if the plan remained the same since he signed the measure into law.

"While virtually every insurer is offering new, better plans and competing for these folks' business, I realize that can be scary for people if you just get some notice like that," Obama said at a meeting of Organizing for Action.

Fact Check: If you liked your health plan, you can keep your health plan

He continued, "If you had or have one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was, you could keep it if hasn't changed since the law's passed."

–CNN White House Producer Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We're talking about 5% of the country who have crappy plans and were paying high premiums to begin with. I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like he said there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we must invade.

    November 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Listen whenever, wherever the "new Law" kicks in, the change occur–quite normal. CNN, stop this bs, nagging. ACA IS A LAW. It will reduce the premiums once Google fixes this technical-glitch. Enough.

    November 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes: "We're talking about 5% of the country who have crappy plans and were paying high premiums to begin with. I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like he said there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we must invade."

    Especially when you consider what would have happened to that 5% if they'd ever had to actually USE their insurance – one major illness and POOF! All their assets – GONE!

    You'd think these folks would be grateful to no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions ... no longer worried about losing their insurance is they get sick ... be able to get free preventive care for them and the other members on their policy (ask any parent of young children how valuable this is) ... be able to keep their kids on their policy until they are 26 ... be able to finally have some CHOICE in what plan to buy, instead of just taking the one or two health insurance companies in their area offered (yes, folks, insurance plans had monopolies in many regions).

    Oh, well, I guess the most we can hope for is these folks will at some point take advantage of the mental health coverage Obamacare provides and get some help in learning how to deal with reality.

    November 5, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "We're talking about 5% of the country who have crappy plans and were paying high premiums to begin with."

    3% :-) Check the numbers from MIT and U. Mich. professors. It's quite conveniently in a pie chart floating about the intertubes and CNN is quite conveniently ignoring the heck out of it.

    November 5, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Earlier, there was a report on Tom Coburn. WE all wish him well, but we all know he has two things going for him: government health care and the fact that 'only the good die young.' Thanks Billy Joel. See how easy that was Rand?

    November 5, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. tom l

    Sniffit:
    "And RWNJs think that we don't recognize it as a RWNJ sockpuppet festival? Laughable."

    You keep telling yourself that, big guy. So do you really believe that there is some sort of association that pays people to go on the CNN Ticker? Why? Man oh man, you have lost it. This doesn't appear to be a good day for Sniffit

    November 5, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Wow...CNN...it's BEAT the dead horse, not hump it. You just went from ludicrous speed to plaid.

    And BTW, pretending that Carney just up and said this out of the blue instead of in response to a completely idiotic set-up question from one of the MSM's braindead bobbleheads...totally dishonest. The only reason you don't report the question and who asked it is because that person looks like a complete imbecile dillhole for asking it in the first place.

    November 5, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We're talking about 5% of the country who have crappy plans and were paying high premiums to begin with. I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like he said there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we must invade.
    November 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Any rational person can understand this. Unfortunately for those who have been looking to "catch" Obama since day 1 of his Presidency this is pure gold and they wont pass this up. Its not exactly a lie, its more of a half truth, not saying that it makes a difference at this point (had to add this in for all the Hillary haters) but its hardly something to cause mass panic over. And I definitely agree that its no where near as bad as the "WMD" lie. This certainly isnt costing over 4000 American lives.

    November 5, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Where's a good DeLorean, with a Mr. Fusion powered flux capacitor, when you need one? Otherwise, own it, dude.

    November 5, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Tigas

    Where's my $2,500 in annual savings in healthcare costs Obama promised?

    November 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    Did they announce the Head of the Death Panel? Oh that's right – there isn't one – it was a TeaBag Lie.
    How come the lies they themselves intentionally say don't seem to violate their pseudo-religious tenants?

    November 5, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It

    "The repeated vow from President Barack Obama that those who like their health insurance can keep it may be causing the administration grief – but it can't be changed now, Obama's press secretary conceded Tuesday."
    **************************
    Wrong again you little weasel. It can and will be changed.

    November 5, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Tim

    What the President says he said about people being able to keep their plans if they liked them, is not what he said. Does he not realize that there is video of him saying over and over "If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance, period."?? There was no caveat about the plans having to meet any requirements, etc., etc. Liberals apparently are willing to give him a pass on this lie, because they want government run health care so badly. Make no mistake people, the problems with the website are going to be the least of our worries when the law is fully implemented.

    November 5, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Sniffit: More info about the stats and pie chart showing the real number of people (~3%) who will be forced to buy new policies under Obamacare:

    Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist and an architect of both Mitt Romney’s health-care plan in Massachusetts and Obama’s Affordable Care Act summarized his stats: ninety-seven per cent of Americans are either left alone or are clear winners, while three per cent are arguably losers. “We have to as a society be able to accept that,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, that’s a shame, but no law in the history of America makes everyone better off.”

    November 5, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Fish

    Well, the President cannot backtrack his statements yet I am a firm believer that was what he was told probably by the same staffer who said the website was ready to go!!! While we can hindsight his comments he is not a businessman who would know that forcing insurance companies to do anything only invites their wrath. But he needs to stop the talk about his lying because he in not a Republican they can get away with it but he can't probably because he is black they hold him to a higher standard. As it is relatively little harm done as yet he can simply say oops, I goofed because the only people who never make mistakes are those who never do anything!!!

    November 5, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. ED1

    That's why you change the law and that's allowed but then you would have to admit you were wrong and that's not going to happen in our life time.

    November 5, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. love344

    wow.. they are tryiing sooooooooooo hard

    CNN you have fallen

    November 5, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. paul reynolds

    google: Iraq $3 trillion
    google: Iraq $24 billion lost
    google: shutdown cost $26 billion

    And the Republicons are "Outraged" the $150 Million (with an M) Website is not Perfect day one..!??

    November 5, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. jerome

    "If you had or have one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was, you could keep it if hasn't changed since the law's passed."

    No, actually. That's not what you said.

    November 5, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Mark

    You must be part of the 39% that approve of the president. I voted for him in 2008 because I believed what he said, sounded good rain in government and bring us all together and would never make that mistake again. All liberals do is lie and make others a countable for the problems they create. I am not a republican but so see all the liberals now say it is there fault because they blocked this mess come on man!!!

    November 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "You keep telling yourself that, big guy. So do you really believe that there is some sort of association that pays people to go on the CNN Ticker?"

    Sockpuppeting doesn't require a payment. When you see 18 different posts using the same exact phraseology and lack of punctuation, the same talking points regurgitated in the exact same manner, the same hook phrases that people use on a regular basis, but it's magically appearing under different names...it becomes a little obvious what's going on . Now run along and go see a doctor about your priapism over the "you can keep it" issue. Most intelligent people have moved on, recognizing he misspoke, but focusing on the fact that it really makes zero difference in terms of the functionality of the ACA and how it is actually going to affect people (not the sockpuppets' fake anecdotes with easily disproven hyperbole and lies in them). The real issue is how it works and what effect it will have, not whether Obama used seller's talk and an overstatement to push his legislation (all while the GOP/Teatrolls were fabricating myriad lies, overstatements, hyperbole about it themselves).

    November 5, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tigas

    Where's my $2,500 in annual savings in healthcare costs Obama promised?
    ***************
    Where's the apology the GOP owes the families of soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors killed in Iraq as the result of cooked intel? Are they less important than your $2500 handout you're demanding?

    November 5, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "ninety-seven per cent of Americans are either left alone or are clear winners, while three per cent are arguably losers. "

    More like 94% who fit that description. They included 3% who would essentially experience no net effect or consequence even though they changed plans. The last 3%, of course, were the ones who were labeled the "clear losers" because they had to change plans and pay a little more, which was a result of them having been buying a product that was dangerous to themselves and damaging to the economy.

    November 5, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    A lie is a lie nno matter what!

    November 5, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. buongiorno

    just ugly people are the problem

    November 5, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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