In a stump speech at the nation’s capitol Monday night, President Obama had a message for the audience: If you like your current insurance plan, you can most likely keep it. This is certainly not as bold as Obama’s earlier claims that everyone would be able to keep their insurance plans no matter what, but as reports of policy cancellations trickle in amidst the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, it’s an asterisk the White House has deemed it necessary to add.
For the last month, Republicans have pounced on every report they could find of somebody receiving a health care policy cancellation, proclaiming with gleeful outrage that a) Obamacare is a failure and b) Obama himself lied when he promised people they could keep their policies after the law’s rollout.
Now, a lot of these cancellations affected people who had horribly over-priced, unfair policies that will now be replaced with cheaper ones, a fact that even the GOP’s Department of Propaganda admitted this morning. In addition, repealing the Affordable Care Act would result in some 137 million people receiving policy cancellations, so it’s difficult to argue that cancellations are grounds to repeal the law (unless you oppose anything with Obama’s name on it, regardless of the policy implications or your own internal belief structure, because you value the president’s defeat over all else, of course).
Nevertheless, Obama and the White House recognize a political problem when they see it, and have tweaked Obama’s stump speech as such. Now, he’s pledging that “if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed.” It’s a small change, but you can bet that Ted Cruz and company won't let it escaped unnoticed. Particularly in fundraising emails to their base.