Administration Officials Worried Obama's Promise that People Could Keep Their Plans Wasn't Right, and Let Him Make It Anyway



We already know that administration policymakers were aware that President Obama's promise that people who like their plans can keep them under Obamacare was not true, because estimates built into early regulations indicated that many plans would lose their grandfathered, protected status.

A report in today's Wall Street Journal indicates that senior White House advisers were also concerned that the promise could not be fulfilled, but decided to let the president make it anyway: 

When the question arose, Mr. Obama's advisers decided that the assertion was fair, interviews with more than a dozen people involved in crafting and explaining the president's health-care plan show.

But at times, there was second-guessing. At one point, aides discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions, such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president's message.

"You try to talk about health care in broad, intelligible points that cut through, and you inevitably lose some accuracy when you do that," the former official said.

The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate "if you like your plan, you can probably keep it" isn't a salable point.

So they apparently decided the president should repeatedly make a promise that wasn't true, and whose impacts would be felt by millions of Americans, simply because they hoped that would make it easier to sell the legislation they wanted to pass.