November 17th, 2013
10:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Clyburn: Obama failed to explain health care promise

Washington (CNN) – The No. 3 House Democrat on Sunday blamed a culture of sound bites for President Barack Obama's reneged promise that Americans would be able to keep their existing health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.

"And this is a sound bite that the President probably needed to take some more time to explain to the American people," Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley."

After millions of people received cancellation notices for their health plans, Obama faced considerable pushback over his promise to Americans that the new health care reform would not affect those who are already happy with their insurance policies.

"If you like your health insurance, you can keep it," Obama repeatedly told Americans when selling his signature piece of legislation.

After that turned out not to be the case, Obama on Thursday announced his administration would allow insurance companies to extend those canceled policies for a year.

Clyburn, the House assistant Democratic leader, said Obama relied too heavily on a sound bite-friendly selling point, rather than spelling out that he was only referring to plans in place before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010 and hadn't changed since.

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

"One of the things in Washington that I dislike more than anything else is when people say to me, 'If you're explaining it, you're losing it.' I don't like that at all. I really believe the American people are deserving of explanations," he said, also blaming the media for not fully explaining the new legislation.

With recent polls showing the President is considered less trustworthy than in the past, Obama on Thursday said he expects he'll need to regain Americans' faith after the rocky rollout of and his broken promise about existing plans.

Clyburn said he was confident Obama can do so.

"Paradise lost, paradise regained. When you lose something you can find it again," he said. "The President admitted that he expects to be held responsible for regaining the Americans' trust, and I think he will."

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soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. Mono machos

    The congressman sound read the news. It has already been reorted that Obama's political advisers did not want him to explain the facts as it might have cost him the election.

    November 17, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  2. jeff

    I am sick of his lies!!

    November 17, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. jeff

    I am sick of him!

    November 17, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. newshound

    He wants to give the bottom feeders free insurance, and he wants the hard workers to pay for it. Pure and simple. This is his idea of "justice".

    November 17, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. John

    Obama in 2003 –

    “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

    November 17, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Eagle08432

    Obama sold this fiasco with lies. Period!

    November 17, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. waynebob

    " ...also blaming the media for not fully explaining the new legislation...." Well, he should blame them...they work for him!

    November 17, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. harleydavidson

    I often wondered why the GOP fought obama very hard on this issue. There is a saying, do not interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself. If the GOP believe the obamacare is as bad as they say it is, they should have just let it roll out and let the people decide. Instead, the government shutdown took the focus off how bad obamacare is. If this is the brains in the GOP, how can they run this country? We need a 3rd party.

    November 17, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. GilbertG

    I hope this will finally make people realize that this president is both incompetent and a liar. Remember when Pelosi said, " We need to pass this law so we can find out what's in it." I bet this president didn't even bother to read this law himself. Those who voted for this president and every politician that voted for this law, you all reap what you sow.

    November 17, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. liberal disease

    the sick thing is is that they get caught in a lie, but it doesn't phase them and they keep on lying , incredible pathological liars
    with o conscience ..

    November 17, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. JC

    That is how all good sales people sell. You give the prospect what they want to know, not everything that they need to know. Sales 101. End of the day have to deliver what the customer believes they are getting or they will feel a little was the delivery not the sale that messed this up....if the website had worked.....there would be no conversation.....the GOP got a gift from heaven.

    November 17, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. massms

    Long before this mess, the public should have realized Obama's a self-important, bloated windbag.

    November 17, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. LD_Rider


    "Faced?" As in past tense? Are you kidding, CNN? You think this is done? Blame it on a sound bite culture, announce the issue is past, move along, nothing to see here? The human cost in this is *going* to be considerable. That's future tense. Whether we need a single-payer, the free market, tighter regulation, or -gasp- greater personal responsibility is not a tissue here. What IS at issue is this piece of dreck, and the damage is just beginning.

    November 17, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. IndependentVoter

    Really? Congress and the .senate is just as culpable for this debacle. You idiots passed this bill without even reading it. Then you celebrated your Supreme Court victory on aa technicality. None one would have approved it if they thought it was a tax. Now you are up for reelection so you want to distance yourself from the problems.

    November 17, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. Future

    I live in SC and Jim Clyburn is an embarrassment... an Obama yes man..

    November 17, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. TSB8C

    More blame game. Obama can't take responsibility for openly and knowingly lying. So he has two problems: (1) Credibility. He has been caught in his lies and is still trying to blame "sound bite communications", not enough insight into problems, evil insurance companies selling sub-par policies, etc; and (2) Competence. As he continues to say he wasn't "appraised of the full scope of the issues", he is really saying "I didn't pay enough attention to the main prize accomplishment of my presidency that bears my name and I have worked on more than any other issue since being elected". I call B.S. This guy has no idea what's going on or what to do and lies and shifts blame at every turn. Complete failure.

    November 17, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. bear

    Um Tony, You are forgetting that the government finances Medicare with payroll taxes and additionally out of the general fund. In addition to the payments you listed the government spends an average of $12,000 per person enrolled in Medicare. It is not a cheap plan.

    November 17, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. donx

    His whole plan was like having a car and going around borrowing money from a bunch of different people and telling them they get the car if the debt is not paid back.....sounds like a good deal

    November 17, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. bill

    It was a calculated lie. Get the legislation passed and we will work out the details later. The problem is that my insurance has gone from $280 / month to $636/ month, for features that I will never use or want. I do not like how insurance is done in this nation. We need to decide if health insurance is a right or a priveledge. Currently, only large group insurance plans were good ones. We should not lose insurance when we lose our job. But the real problem of health care is cost, something the ACA does nothing about. Tort reform, wellness requirements like mandatory visits to your doctor, Loss of coverage for lifestyle related illness if not under remeddiation with doctor. These would lower costs for all services and ultimately the cost of insurance. Currently hospitals of 10-20% of costs unreimbursed. WOW

    November 17, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. FastFrankie

    He didn't fail to explain anything, Obamacare is simply well-packaged fraud. Now, let's hope that other Democrats (and certain senior Republicans) will start retreating from Obama's planned "amnesty" fraud that would allow illegal invaders to stay in America. Those who have already lost their health care and need to get in line behind illegals for it, don't need to also have to get in line behind illegals when looking for jobs.

    November 17, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. mkat2

    "Parasitic middlemen" ?? Wouldn't that be the Government draining every last dime out of us?! Paradise lost,
    paradise gained..... what gall! Mr. & Mrs. Sucker, U.S.A.!

    November 17, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Dan Molden

    What I believe to be true is this, the government keeps selling us "we the people" out for their own personal agenda. The fix here would be if we the people just simply refuse to participate, and start standing up for the good of we the people and not what hurts us. And we want our money back you gave away, and take over the federal reserve and make good use of your time and treat all American citizens as good as you have been taking care of big banks and corporate America please

    November 17, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. MarcTheDuck

    I'm shocked that there is gambling at this establishment!

    November 17, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. TeaParty4Life

    A lie is a lie. All of the demoncats who are trying to jump ship are not going to be allowed to. They and the rest of the ignorant voters who wanted the unaffordable care act will now have to own it. Sleep well at night knowing you helped to lie and deceive everyone in America!! I say put all demoncats on the paths to citizenship until they earn their right to be called Americans again. Anyone who supports this administration should not be allowed to claim citizenship in this country...

    November 17, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. Tom

    This is the USA, everything will work out fine.........or there is always single payer ........that would definitely work....... but that will be Hillary's job.

    November 17, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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