November 17th, 2013
10:20 AM ET
11 months 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 HealthCare.gov 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."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. Miguel

    Obama knew all along he was lying and the Democrats knowingly went right along. They were sure the press would bail them out. They calculated people would be so happy with their new, more expensive plans all would be forgiven quickly.

    Thank goodness maybe people are waking up and realizing this man has been doing this since day one.

    November 17, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. ultimix

    Remember it's the IDIOTS that wanted "change". Obama said on the podium in Chicago with all the IDIOTS there for the famous speech "It'll hurt a little bit." He just didn't tell you that you'll lose health care when it hurts some the most. Now we all get to pay for it. I think Obama should work in the health care industry after his term ends. He's doing a fine job now.

    November 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Frank

    They just dont get it.

    The 20 million private policy holders and next year the other 79+ million employer based policy holders that will be kicked off in 2014 for the 2015 year were the people who the DEMS and OBAMA were trying to FORCE into going to the exchanges and buying more insurance than they need for 2 to 4 times the premium and 3 to 13 thousand dollar deductibles! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. People are not that STU PID.

    So Obama had to back off of it to keep from getting IMPEACHED! So... that was the money to fund Obmacare!

    ---------- GAME OVER! ----------

    November 17, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. JY

    Amazing MW is not allowing any comments that show the spin media is performing

    November 17, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. oldsarg

    Democrats lied to the people to control the people.

    November 17, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Realist – Those southern dems are now the republican tea baggers. Interesting how the Republican Party has devolved.

    November 17, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    In 2000, W was not even elected, he lost the popular vote by 5 million. He was named president by the Supreme Court.

    November 17, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    To a wingnut, having affordable health care is now called, " controlling the people?"

    November 17, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. JY

    GW lied and it has been proven, but the baggers and paid posters still believe in him.

    November 17, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Al

    "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it" Not sure what part of that the educated people need to have explained, if someone tells you that you can keep something it does not require a degree to understand what it really means in human terms. Now that the lies have come out into the open, the pack of Lawyers are running around like they normally do when their lies are expose and trying to tell people that is not what it meant, well what was told is why he was elected, and no other reason. I wonder how the Supreme Court Judges would vote if they were given the case of Obama lied to the people to pass the Democrats ACA? Would they still consider it constitutionally sound to have a lie to gain power by imposing a law under false pretense with is another way of saying a lie.

    November 17, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. tom l

    Oh my goodness, I got a junk haircut. Can Obama help me please?
    I also have a junk credit card. Help me Pres!
    I have a junk sandwich to eat today. Guide me, President O!
    I have junk jeans. Can you help get the right ones?
    I have a junk phone plan. Whatever shall I do, Pres?
    I think I probably also chose junk toothpaste! Lead me, Mr. President!

    I know that I definitely have some other junk stuff. I'm sure they'll be able to tell me what it is in the near future.

    November 17, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Wowsers!

    Morerightwingblather ... You've read 1984 too many times. Do you really believe what you wrote?

    November 17, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. tom l

    @Tampa
    "In 2000, W was not even elected, he lost the popular vote by 5 million. He was named president by the Supreme Court"

    Classic. So you are basically saying that George Bush's presidency was all a sham and he was never elected? Do you realize how disrespectful that is? Think about that next time our current president receives criticism. You have completely invalidated someone's presidency and you don't think that's worse than the valid criticism of our current president? Perspective, Timmy boy! Perspective. I hope you learned something from this lesson.

    November 17, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. HAHA

    @ JY, Lied about what? Are you talking about the WMD's that are now in Syria? Hmmmm! You should really stop drinking the cool aid the Dems are serving you.

    November 17, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. JoeMama

    Thanks regressives. For yet another entitlement that will help to bankrupt this one great country. Thanks for nothing.

    November 17, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Tom D – sound bites: "mission accomplished," "country first," "mushroom cloud," "WMDs," "month long war in Iraq," "trickle down." "Yer either fer us or agin us" "nuk-u-lar."
    I am to the the point that right wingnuts should be allowed to keep their worthless junk policies. Then the remaining 300 million of us can have quality insurance.

    November 17, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. longtooth

    Obviously, its clear that 30% of Americans will hate Obama if he cures cancer and brings world peace. Also, it's a matter of record that the republican party's main mission since his first inauguration was to make him fail as president. Having said that, it's also obvious that Obama is suffering from second term syndrome, which is caused by surrounding yourself as president with a group of wannabes who will say yes to anything you suggest, and will never say, wait, this won't work. As a donor to his first campaign, and two time voter for him, I would tell him, if I had the chance, that I'm disappointed with his withdrawal from reality. Get real, Mr. President. That's your job.

    November 17, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. HAHA

    @ Tampa Tim, Yeah it's real affordable! How dumb are you people?

    November 17, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Kenman

    Good grief, these guys are either in manic denial or is starting a whole new string of lies!

    Obama had, and used, three years to drone on and on about this fiasco and an administration full of minions to do the same, not to mention the drooling media! He said what he intended to say and he KNEW he was lieing! And, likely, the media knew it too, if they did an ounce of journalistic investigation!

    November 17, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. waitnonasunnyday

    Free people are born as free individuals owing nothing to anyone.
    Free people have the Natural Right to do whatever they choose to do for their own benefit.
    Free people have the Right to think and speak, and act in any way they choose that does not prevent another from doing the same.
    Free people have the right to live how they want and be friends or lovers with whoever they choose.
    Free people have the right to their identity, to share their private information with only those they choose.
    Free people have the right to choose who they will care for and all others deserve nothing that they own.
    Free people have the right to choose how they live and how they will die.

    All of these are Natural Rights. No one, and No Government, gives these rights to us. We will never stop resisting with Civil Disobedience to all those that try to take them away.

    November 17, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. DBrenner00

    Without soundbites, the true consequences of most of these liberal programs would not be well understood. We they well under stood, most would not be approved by the voters.

    500 Billion dollars taken from the healthcare of our elderly to pay for Obamacare is an example of something that would not fly if it was well advertised.

    November 17, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Miffy

    Obama lied about being able to keep your insurance. He is a liar.

    November 17, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Mollie

    It wasn't a major lie – he just fibbed a little.

    November 17, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Ron

    Obama has never said anything of substance. Not once in his life. The sad reality is that he is a marketing sound bite generator and unless someone puts words into the puppets mouth he doesn't say anything at all. I wonder who the president of the United States really is.......

    November 17, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Anthony Talbert

    Is "Sound bite ready" the new Democratic Party term for LIE?

    November 17, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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