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. geno marcello

    if this democrat is confident barack obama can regain the pubic's trust, i am confident he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    November 17, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Lone Ranger

    That’s right…Diamond Jim Clyburn said the Liar-In-Chief can regain trust and it’ll be great
    Now if only Diamond Jim could after STEALING 50 mil in taxpayer money from S. C. State !!!

    November 17, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. G_Edwards

    Sound bites……that's the sum total of Pres Obama's competency.

    Works great at winning elections and creating a fan base. Sucks for governing.


    November 17, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. George Hamilton

    Liar liar pants on fire. And now the leader of the liars Nancy Pelosi, who gave Congress one day to read a 2000 page bill tells Gregory in a Sunday morning interview that it is a good bill and that only 2010 policies could be kept for a year.
    If this Obama mess is so good why are our politicians exempt from being required to sign up. BECAUSE THE ACA ACT IS A PIECE OF GARBAGE. wait until 2015when the rates go thru the ceiling. and that is CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN.

    November 17, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. Chris

    Anyone that buys into Obama's promises are fools just like the ones that voted for this fool

    November 17, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. zevoter

    the msm can no ;onger cover up for the failure called obama

    November 17, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. bob searcy

    i hope this is the prelude to insurance companys being thrown clear out of the healthcare industry.

    November 17, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. gregor1971

    Yep, he'll give another speech, and his blind followers will swoon again.

    November 17, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. Bud

    What a shocker ! A Democrat from South Carolina(Red State) is throwing Obama under the bus. I wish these guys would just run as Republicans. And save us all the suspense.

    November 17, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  10. FredKelly

    Was Obama not clear when, three months after Obamacare was passed, Clyburn and the rest of the Democrats passed a party line vote that said, 'any grandfathered policies that change (at all) will lose their 'grandfathered' status?

    November 17, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. libertyadamson

    Has evryone figured out, finally, that Barry Soetoro has some other agenda in mind for this thing other than actually providing affordable health care?

    November 17, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Jack

    Sound bites were not the problem! Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats enable the big lie! Lets face it the President and his supporters of this law deceived the Nation. The President did it to get reelected and he lied repeatedly during the debates by denying the claims Mitt Romney was making about Obamacare. The President said Mitt was wrong...Period during the campaign! His fellow Democrats were either too busy playing politics before they got around to learning what was in the bill or they are incompetent. The President tried to do a good thing but instead of leveling with the Nation and taking his chances he had to cheat his way to victory with hopes of not getting caught.

    November 17, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Bob

    Nothing to do with sound bites. What he said was concise and explicit – either he understood it or not, or he was suckered by the insurance industry which is the only winner. Attempts to explain it are just not satisfactory.

    November 17, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Inciteful

    Clyburn must think that everyone is as ignorant as himself, Obama and the rest of his colleagues on Capitol Hill..."spelling out that [Obama] was only referring to plans in place before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010 and hadn't changed since!" Whom does Clyburn think he's kidding. Neither members of Congress (both parties) nor Obama have the critical thinking skills to have recognized that ACA made those canceled plans illegal, hence the reason they were canceled. They're all too busy with mean, vindictive politics and not paying attention to things that really matter to those that elected them.

    November 17, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. Zippy

    It to Clyburn 3 years to figure this out?
    Not exactly the brightest bulb on the tree.

    November 17, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. Todd

    It's all about the pre-ex! Obama changed the definition of insurance by banning the pre-ex. You can't burn down your house and then buy homeowners insurance. The only fix is to allow insurance companies to return to what they've been doing for hundreds if years!

    November 17, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Hillary

    Well at least his debacle didn't result in the deaths of 4500 American Soldiers.

    November 17, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. pam

    He lies....the president lies....Yes I said it. How do all like the you hope for MORE change.

    November 17, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. Steve- Illinois

    LOL He just didn't explain it correctly! These clowns look even more pathetic when they try to spin the truth.
    Eat your Wheaties, and get on with life, telling people the sun comes up in the west isn't working.
    You libs have no imtegrity.

    November 17, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Crampon

    Two weeks until Osama's next unaffordable care act deadline, I wonder how that will turn out.

    November 17, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. PharmGrl

    Obama consciously lied because he knew that if he was honest about provisions, Obamacare would never have passed. It barely did anyway, after a bunch of legislative tricks by Pelosi and Reid, taxpayer funded bribes to hold out senators Nelson and Landrieu, and not a single GOP vote. Democrats were fools to think they could implement such a monster bill with a thousand moving parts without GOP cooperation.

    November 17, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  22. Truth Partner 12

    So promises, explicit promises, are really just soundbites if your a progressive/liberal.

    November 17, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  23. Saboth

    I voted for Obama 2x, but even I am having second thoughts about this. Where I work, they are talking about cutting 401k matching because they state healthcare has gone up so much. That was the last real benefit we had (the insurance is a joke, and unaffordable for most people). I can't afford that insurance, so I go off on my own for a cheap plan. Even that went up 15% this year. Were my wife works, they only employ about 10 people, and she stated their rates are almost doubling. As lower middle class people, Obamacare does nothing for us, but raise our rates, and we aren't even participating. I checked out if we were eligible, but in our area, there are only 2 insurance companies that all doctors take, so there is no competition, and the exchanges do nothing for us. I'm sure Obamacare is great for lower income people that get subsidies, but for us, it really hurt our income. Seems like another punch in the gut to the middle class.

    November 17, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  24. Incredulous

    Hey Tony, stop ignoring the lies of the admin and trying to make it all sound better. BTW, your attempt to indicate that the single payer system is better is just plain ridiculous. As such, the reason so many people come to the United States for health care is that we are indeed the best, period. This admin is ensuring that we will now wait for months for standard procedures that would take mere weeks to achieve now. This will not stand and we will not tolerate this moving forward, and you should stop lying more to cover your guy

    November 17, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Dennis

    Tony, seems like you are a ward of the state, so of course you support the aca. Good for you. I hope you realize who your benefactors are. I like giving to charity and I often do, but this is not charity, it is esploitation

    November 17, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
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