Two audio clips have received more air time on my radio show this year than any others. The first is Barbara Boxer demanding Army General Michael Walsh call her "senator," not "ma'am."
The second is President Obama telling America: "Here's a guarantee that I have made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor."
3M announced this week it is getting out of the business of insuring its retirees. Within a couple of years, all of those former employees will be pushed into Medicare or given a payment towards the cost of insurance obtained from the new exchanges established under Obamacare. There is no guarantee that their coverage will be as good as what they have now, and of course no guarantee that they will have the same doctor.
This follows the announcement from The Principal Financial Group that it is exiting the health insurance business, waiving goodbye to its 840,000 covered insureds. Those insureds will not by definition have the same insurance next year, and the impact on their doctor choice is yet to be seen.
Harvard Pilgrim, an uinsurer doing business in New England, told 22,000 seniors last week that they cannot have their old Medicare Advantage plans back as the company is out of that business next year.
And McDonald's is debating whether to continue its "mini-med" policies for its hourly workers.
These are just the first wave of changes --often drastic and expensive-- which will impact Americans' health insurance between now and the end of the year. The changes are coming even though all Americans were "guaranteed" by the president that Obamacare would leave them with exactly the same policy and doctor as they had before the massive law's massive changes kicked in.
So, do you count that a presidential lie? If not a lie, how do you characterize it?
When Team Obama announced that the so-called "stimulus" would keep unemployment below 8% they made a huge, credibility-crushing mistake, but it wasn't accompanied by the "g-word."
And a promise about unemployment is general, not specific. There's always going to be some unemployment as capitalism requires it. The president couldn't guarantee that everyone would keep their job --he'd have been laughed from the podium. So that prediction couldn't be classified as a lie, though it was terrible forecasting and set the tone for two tears of wildly wrong prognostications on the economy, leading up to the wildest of all --"Recovery Summer."