November 17th, 2013
10:20 AM ET
12 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. Robin Jones

    Arrogant politicians believe the public is too stupid to understand anything but sound bites. And when a politician has a sound bite so impressive that it has to end with "Period!", he doesn't want to ruin it with a disclaimer explaining how it really isn't true.

    November 17, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. BLE7481

    "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."

    A guy who actually bought "Hope and Change" as some sort of profound political philosophy is now complaining about a "culture of sound bites"? That's rich.

    November 17, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Anthony Talbert

    Bush lost the poplular vote by 5 MILLION?

    Try reality!

    Al Gore (Democrat)
    50,999,897

    48.38

    George W. Bush (Republican)
    50,456,002

    47.87

    That would be about 500 thousand.

    November 17, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. David

    I knew that he will have his rating hit rock bottom fast before you say merry christmas yet

    November 17, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Anthony Talbert

    GW lied and it has been proven?

    President Bush made his decision based on intelligence reports from not only our services but foreign services. After being captured Saddam admitted to CBS news (not a known right wing news media) that he did indeed promulgate the myth that he had nuclear weapons in order to have more stature in the region.

    Revisionist historians never fail to amaze me.

    November 17, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. terryln

    All politicians lie, and Obama is no more, or less, than a liar vs. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, Johnson, the Bush's or any of the hundreds who've served in the Senate or House.

    November 17, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Sarah Johnson

    "President Obama explained the Healthcare plans to Americans in sound bytes".

    So true. My sentiments exactly. He never went into detail...not on the campaign trail, or when it passed into law. He was never specific to Americans on saying something like, "this is how it will work". He was angry anytime anyone raised questions. Well, this is the monster that his administration has made. No one else's fault.

    November 17, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Fedup

    A man dies and goes to heaven. He notices a bunch of clocks on the wall and asked Jesus what they are for. Jesus said the clocks kept track of peoples lies. Jesus pointed out mother Theresa's clock and said it had never moved once. Jesus pointed out President Lincolns clock and said as you can see it has only moved twice. The man asked to see Obama's clock. Jesus replied "I'am using his in my house for a ceiling fan

    November 17, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. JoeMama

    @tampa Jim: where are all the moderate JFK Dems in your party? They have been shoved aside by the regressive neocomms.

    November 17, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. just saying

    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.
    --–
    it is so comforting knowing that now all of our health care is now in the hands of lying democrat politicians and they have found it in their hearts to try and delay the jamming of their law down peoples throats for one year, even though many believe what obama said is neither legal not possible.

    November 17, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Dean

    Hope, change and transparency................working out real good.

    November 17, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. terryln

    They all lie

    November 17, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Dean

    Tampa Tim

    To a wingnut, having affordable health care is now called, " controlling the people?"
    40% premium increase with a 40% copay and a $2000 deductible is not affordable.

    November 17, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. RocketJL

    Please, my sides are hurting from laughing so hard at Obama supporters. I remember all those who stated that they only voted for Obama because he was black. Here is a guy that knew for years that nearly 1/3 of all Americans would lose their health insurance because of obamacare.

    November 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Sammy

    We need to look at the role the Democrats did not play on the AFC. They took no role or promoted the AFC. They left all the work to Obama. The Democrats are becoming worst then the Tea Party. What do they really stand for. Nor are they fights against Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party in the House. The Democrats are becoming more failed than the Republicans. Why are they not fighting for free voting in the state, better health care for women. Why are the Democrats silent. We need to look at replacing them in the coming years. I am having a hard time deciding who is worst Republicans or the SILENT Democrats. Stand up for the rights of the people Democrats.

    November 17, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. just saying

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

    85% of the american people had healthcare insurance they were happy with and wanted to keep. then obama and the democrats decided they all had to get screwed over royally in order to give 15% free or heavily government subsidized healthcare and in the process that 85% would lose what they had and were happy with. only a moron leftist lunatics would think those 85% would be happy about it especiallly after obama and the democrats lied to them.

    November 17, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. HAHA

    @ Chipster, How dumb are you? " we simply cannot continue paying for uninsured patients who fail to get preventive care," with the ACA we are still paying for them. What should have happened is an expansion of Medicare for the 15% that didn't have Med coverage not socialize the countries medical!

    November 17, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. JohnRJohnson

    The vast majority of people - meaning more than 97% - were unaffected by the Affordable Care Act. Only a fraction of people in the individual market lost their policies because they didn't meet ACA standards of coverage. Most of those people qualify for subsidies to help them pay for the greatly improved coverage the law guarantees them. Those people won't be complaining about the ACA in the next 6 months. The few remaining people who had individual junk policies who will now be paying more and not qualify for subsidies will complain loudly. I can't say I blame them. However, no insurance system can guarantee that EVERYONE will get better coverage for less than what they had been paying. We need to think back on what the old system was like - how many people couldn't even get medical coverage and premiums were escalating by 20% a year. A little perspective helps.

    November 17, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Obama is the WORST president in American history and Obamacare is a Disaster.

    November 17, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Tommy

    The Republicans, the Press and even the Democrats pretend that they had no idea that some people would lose their insurances and that somehow this was a secret closely guarded by Obama. Everyone knew or should have known that a small percentage of people would have lost their insurance. So this outcry from everyone makes no sense!

    November 17, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. billy bob

    Lies are now called soundbites?????? Yea right.

    November 17, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. LostInSpace

    ban sound bites

    November 17, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. roberto juan

    GW's lies are irrelevant. BO is responsible for his own lies. No one made BO lie to the people – he chose to lie to us.

    November 17, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. JY

    Obama's administration has been one long lie.

    November 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Bill

    And add to that an adoring media that sold out it's profession for political ideology.

    November 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15