Patterico's Pontifications


PolitiFact Lie of the Year for 2013: Obama’s 2009 Statement “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Nice job, fellas. You’re only about four years late.

But wait a second: PolitiFact? Aren’t they the people who previously told us that this exact same statement was “half true”? Why, yes they were!

Let’s go to the historical record, shall we? Here’s PolitiFact in August 2009, telling us that this precise statement was “half true”:

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.05.09 PM

And here they are in June 2012 claiming an even more definitive and completely false statement was “half true”:

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.05.30 PM

And now? LIE OF THE YEAR!!!

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 7.26.13 AM

So, yes, PolitiFact, you got this one right, now — and if you had chosen any other statement it would have been outrageous. BUT . . . you completely blew this before. And so the question is: why on God’s green Earth should anybody ever listen to you again or care what you have to say, when you totally blew the call multiple times on a lie this huge?

50 Responses to “PolitiFact Lie of the Year for 2013: Obama’s 2009 Statement “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It””

  1. Hacks.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. I think Dog can live with our focus remaining on the lie that continues to give, give, give:

    Baby Assad be pissed but he just a plastic turkey.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  3. Incorrect promise

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  4. I’m surprised that Politifact didn’t declare that lie ineligible for the “Lie of the Year” award since he said it 3 years ago.

    THIS year Obama said “If you like you plan, you can keep your plan if it meets the standards of the Affordable Care Act. I never said you can keep you junk insurance.”

    To which Politifact would would declare to be the Whole Truth.

    So really, if you just look at it the right way Patterico, Obama deserves a “Whole Truth of the Year” award.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  5. My track record of predicting NCAA basketball wins is 100% correct if you define “predicting” as waiting until the season is over and then reading about it.

    Pious Agnostic (c45233)

  6. Hacks.

    It doesn’t rise to hackery. The choice is “fellow traveler” or “useful idiot.”

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  7. My track record of predicting NCAA basketball

    I wish I could predict the stock market half as well as I can predict this administration.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  8. Barack Obama even lies to his staff:

    Sometimes the most important or intriguing things in a newspaper article are to be found at the very end.

    Here are the last three paragraphs:

    Soon after Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Rouse said, he told the president that he would help with second-term staffing issues and then depart. “Four months?” Mr. Obama asked him. Sure, Mr. Rouse replied, he would stay four months.

    Weeks later, Mr. Obama told advisers in a January meeting that Mr. Rouse had committed to stay the year. As surprised colleagues looked at Mr. Rouse, he objected, “Excuse me, but I thought we said four months.”

    “Whatever,” Mr. Obama replied.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  9. Well, Obama certainly did lie about ObamaCare, over and over, but let’s get real here, more worthy candidates for Lie of the Year abound, dozens and dozens of Administration lies surround Benghazi, IRS, NSA, ObamaCare’s web-site roll-out, and the recent dirty deal with Iran, which are just a few of the areas pregnant with serial in-your-face mendacity.

    There’ve been so many Administration lies it’s almost impossible to settle on a single prize winner, better to name the Liar of the Year:

    ropelight (099375)

  10. Pete Rouse had been Senator Tom Daschle’s chief of staff for ten years and had worked for him for 19 years , since before he was elected Senator.

    When Senator Daschle’s lost his re-election in 2004, Barack Obama persided him to help him set up his office, and he had been extending his term ever since. Pete Rouse did not want to be chief of staff in the White House.

    This year, Mr. Rouse internally announced his exit every season, but then always found reasons to stay — to vet second-term personnel, smooth summertime conflicts with senators over Syria policy and a new Federal Reserve chairman, and help with strategy during the fall budget showdowns with Republicans.

    “I can’t just walk out of here now,” he told a reporter in late summer, explaining another postponement.

    Officials say Mr. Rouse was not heavily involved in the response to the health insurance debacle this fall. Lately, he has been brokering an arcane but politically contentious policy dispute over ethanol and renewable fuels regulations that pits environmental, agriculture and oil industry interests against one another.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  11. People who get their information from the HY Times or WaPo actually think the works now, and that people can sign up with ease.

    None of them actually needs to do this, you understand, so their position isn’t impacted by experience.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  12. Who is their audience? Why would anyone listen to or read folks who are this slow on the uptake and dishonest, to boot?

    Colonel Haiku (8be552)

  13. If that’s the lie of the year, doesn’t that make Politifact the Liar of the Year? To be fair,they were right that a Touchdown had been scored, they just got the end zone wrong. Because of the right wingers.

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  14. lying liars lie…

    unexpectedly, of course.

    ima invite Mr feets over for a bacchanal, so we can both jut forget all this guavno.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  15. 11. Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/13/2013 @ 10:07 am

    People who get their information from the HY Times or WaPo actually think the works now, and that people can sign up with ease.

    The New York times is better than that, but I don’t think Obama readss the New York Times.

    Or maybe he does read it, but the PR campaign is still in denial

    ….The White House originally required people to sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage beginning in January, when major provisions of the new law take effect. On Nov. 22, the administration gave consumers eight more days, until Dec. 23.

    Ms. Sebelius went further on Thursday, urging insurers to provide “retroactive coverage for people who sign up after Jan. 1.”

    Paul Krugnman’s take: (i.e., Republicans don’t really want to help the unfortunate – they just want to do nothing – so they don’t care whether their proposals would work or not – their proposals are just diversionary tactics.)

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  16. The New York Times ran an article by someone saying it’s OK her insurance was cancelled:

    It doesn’t say the website is OK, though.

    On the advice of my broker, I tried to apply at But I had the same problems a lot of other people had, and I got nowhere fast. At the end of the process, I couldn’t even tell if my application had been accepted.

    I reached out to a health care advocate, Valerie Arkoosh, who is a senior policy adviser with the National Physicians Alliance, after hearing her speak at an event. When I asked if I should give up on the government’s troubled website, she said I should keep trying, partly because the pricing could be better on the site than going through a broker or an individual insurer.

    After waiting for the site to be upgraded in November, I decided to go back into the system at the beginning of December. My account had been updated and my application was submitted. As I expected, the site confirmed that I was not eligible for a subsidy. And yet, despite the progress, I still could not see any pricing information or details about the health plans available through the site.

    And then I became ill with a sinus infection, which meant I needed to use my existing coverage one final time last week. My co-pay with my primary care physician was $30 (the plan charges $50 for specialists), and I paid $10 for a generic prescription at the local pharmacy. That was in addition to the $613.48, I have been paying each month for my current plan, which was canceled because it does not comply with the Affordable Care Act.

    With the Dec. 15 deadline to secure health insurance looming — it has since been extended to Dec. 23 — I had no choice but to move forward.

    Even though I knew that the plans offered through the government exchange might be cheaper, I decided to check out what my current carrier, Independence Blue Cross, was offering.

    Oddly enough, I had trouble with its website, too. So I called the help number, and a customer service representative transferred me to an insurance agent. After a couple of minutes, a pleasant women named Octavia got on the line. What happened next amazed me.

    She asked if I qualified for a subsidy and warned that we could not move forward if I did — we would have to wait until the website was working.

    When I assured her that I did not qualify, she asked me what kind of coverage I wanted. I said Platinum P.P.O., which was the rough equivalent of the policy I had. She said that I would have $10 co-pays and $40 specialist co-pays. Then she asked my age, birth date, gender, address and whether I ever used tobacco. She asked if I was a current customer and for my policy number.

    Two minutes later, she said my new policy amount would be — drum roll, please — $443.59 a month. I was shocked and thrilled. It was a savings of $174.84 a month, which is substantial. Octavia said that a paper bill would be generated Dec. 8 and mailed to my house and that it would have to be paid before Jan 1. She gave me her phone number and encouraged me to call her if I had any problems.

    While the introduction of the Affordable Care Act and its website was poorly executed, I am delighted that the law has eliminated pre-existing conditions and lowered rates — at least for me. My big question now is whether the law will keep my insurance company from raising my rates arbitrarily in the future. I’ll keep you all posted.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  17. What’s the catch? I know one thing is she is not poor enough to get a subsidy, but what else?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  18. There are indirect ways of cherry picking..

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  19. If you’re the President, and you like your Lie which you told to the American people, you can keep it. Or you can tell us another one thousand lies. Or you can just go play golf. Or take another selfie. Or resign.*

    (my preferred choice.)

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  20. Well if Politifact and the morons there would stop sucking up to the Lightworker, they might wake up and smell the goldanged coffee just a bit quicker than this.

    Comanche Voter (bd140e)

  21. As the Obozo Affordable Care plane goes down in flames, the media is bailing; desperate trying to salvage whatever shreds of their credibility that remains before they touch down.

    Mike Giles (760480)

  22. What’s the catch? I know one thing is she is not poor enough to get a subsidy, but what else?

    The navigator lied (or screwed up) on the form.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  23. The default position of the media is the press knows what is right or wrong.

    Since it is mostly composed of leftists, it puts more weight to the arguments of those who agree.

    A truly objective press would have read the Obamacare bill at some point. It chose not to do so.

    PolitiFact is as guilty of laziness as the rest by choosing to accept what its government of choice says as the truth as opposed to bothering to do its job.

    PolitiFact wrote and wrote and wrote about parsing the language of the law to prove opponents were wrong.

    Doing so, PolitiFact lost the ability to tell the truth.

    Now, it is useless no matter which side you are on.

    Its owners, editors and journalists decided at some point that the narrative was more important than telling the truth to the American people.

    So, here we are with the media as nothing more than Jay Carney’s bitches.

    Yet, they rule.

    I think I may go read for a while.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  24. Okay, just a little health update. Got out of hospital a few hours ago. Everything went well, but instead of two stents, the Doc had to put in three. That makes a total of 5 for the past two weeks. I’m glad that I still have employer health insurance and not Ibamacare, would probably have been given a pain pill and sent home to wait for the Grim Reaper!

    peedoffamerican (c1890a)

  25. peedoffamerican:

    I am so glad you are better. Thank goodness for stents and your doctors. Be well and do not worry about this day. Celebrate the next.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  26. poa- Hope your health keeps improving.

    mg (31009b)

  27. 25. God bless and keep you.

    I see stents in my future, not imminently, just family history.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  28. #24 is on to something. There should be no celebration of the #1 lie. The next three lies of the year are all from conservatives. USA Today tried to explain as follows, and I am having a hard time seeing the lies here:

    2 – Ted Cruz: Congress gets exception to Obamacare

    Runner-up is Texas conservative and tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz.

    In a speech in August, Cruz said President Barack Obama “granted all of Congress an exception” to Obamacare.

    Politifact rated this claim “false.”

    “Congress has to have insurance just like all other Americans the law actually forced them out of the federal employees plan and on to the online market places so they could experience what it’s like to shop with everyone else – so, not exempt.”

    Cruz’s press office e-mailed CNN saying the Senator’s statement is “100% correct.”

    “The Obama administration granted Congress the ability to keep federal health subsidies to purchase Obamacare exchange plans. That’s an exemption from the law that private sector firms don’t get.”

    3 – Michele Bachmann: IRS health care database

    Former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said in May appearing on Fox News that the IRS will be “in charge” of “a huge national database” on health care.

    “The IRS is not keeping people’s health care records,” Drobnic said.

    “The only role they play is if someone gets a subsidy to help them buy insurance, the IRS will verify their income and the IRS already has that information and they know how much money you’re making.”

    Bachmann made similar claims about the IRS and its ties to the health care law in 2011 after Obama’s State of the Union address.

    The tea party darling asserted that “Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which may put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s health care bill.”

    At the time, CNN rated her claim misleading at best as the health care bill specifically says that taxpayers who do not buy insurance won’t be prosecuted because of their failure to buy insurance through the law.

    4 – Ann Coulter: Docs won’t accept Obamacare

    Politifact rated conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s claim that “No U.S.-trained doctor will accept Obamacare” a whooping “pants on fire.”

    Coulter made the comments in a column titled “Democrats to America: We Own the Government!” posted to her website in October.

    “Experts told us this was ridiculous and nothing we could find in the law connected where doctors were trained with what kind of insurance you had,” Drobnic said.

    Experts, Politifact says, called the notion that there is a provision in the Affordable Care Act that bars doctors from accepting patients who bought insurance under the federal marketplace “ridiculous” and “outrageous.”

    CNN reached out to the people mentioned above for comment. Cruz’s office was the only one to reply by the time the Lead aired at 4 p.m. ET.

    AZ Bob (ade845)

  29. Nice job, fellas. You’re only about four years late.

    I’m guessing politifact will grudgingly admit “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” and “bending the cost curve down” to be the lies of the year in 2019 and 2020.

    Steve57 (8cef00)

  30. Point taken, AZ Bob.
    I tried to find a silver lining, but in the end it was only painted plastic.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  31. Politifact’s job is to label inconvenient truths lies for as long as it can get away with it. (Inconvenient to Democrats, of course.) It will keep doubling down until it finds something else to lie about to distract from the lie that has become unsupportable. Any trial lawyer, with any measurable experience with lowlife witnesses, is perfectly familiar with this tactic. As is any victim of New York car repair shop fraud.

    Politifact = Liar.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Indeed, Politifact is like most (if not all) of the other “independent, non-partisan fact-checkers”, give some mild knocks on the Dems, much lighter than deserved, for the appearance of objectivity, while going full tilt on attacking repubs the rest of the time.
    For a moment I was willing to give them credit for doing something right.
    I wasn’t thinking hard enough.

    Comment by Icy (2cc9fb) — 12/14/2013 @ 8:53 am
    Basically it should be clear that these people are quite incompetent, and think everything they mess up can be corrected by a do-over.
    Life isn’t always correctable by do-over, especially when talking about life and death decisions. Giving these people the power to make decisions about who gets what treatment, without being subject to malpractice claims as some incentive and remedy for mistakes, is truly asinine and foolish.
    But unfortunately foolishness is in great supply; you can get it in bulk for virtually nothing.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  33. Retroactive insurance. This brings up a lot of questions:

    Do car companies offer that?
    Who should I tell the hospital to bill if I haven’t yet decided which company to go with?
    How long is the early-grace period?
    What happens if the federal website still isn’t working in March?
    What happens if the patient dies before he signs up for the plan?
    Is insurance fraud fraud-fraud if the policy documents haven’t been signed?
    What is Sibelius smoking?

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  34. She be smokin’ that Kansas ditch weed, Kevin.

    Colonel Haiku (f1d630)

  35. Typical CYA from the National Socialist Media to salvage their shredded credibility

    U dont say (3ba670)

  36. PolitiFact is based at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

    Those of us who glance at the Times’ editorial page on a semi-regular basis have always known that the newspaper leans WAY to the left.

    Thus, anyone who believes that the St. Petersburg Times can be trusted to objectively separate “fact” from “fiction” is a fool.

    Whitey Nisson (89cf06)

  37. Hey its my anniversary! What no guts for a newtown post where I thank the nice NRA for all the stuff they gave me!

    adam lanza (d619e3)

  38. Uh oh!

    Uninsured Americans have soured on the Affordable Care Act in the past three months – and that bodes ill for the law’s popularity and financial underpinnings.

    Less than a quarter—24%—of uninsured Americans think the health care law is a good idea, and half think it’s a bad idea, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Wednesday. That’s an 11-point dive in support from three months ago, when a September poll — before the troubled rollout of the marketplace –found that 35% of the uninsured thought it was a good idea, and 32% thought it was a bad idea.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  39. Buh-bye, serial vile troll

    JD (5c1832)

  40. You don’t give away more insurance that covers more stuff to more sick people and expect anything but what has happened.

    The only people believing this are mentally diseased or ignorant peasants. Many however just used this as a power grab knowing full well the consequences.

    Anyway, American People deserve everything bad that comes from this. Every damn inch and 2 more if possible.

    Los palos enseñan.

    My only hope is the disproportionate impact on those who voted for him but even those “who got along to get along” deserve some pain.

    Rodney King's Spirit (11dcd5)

  41. Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/14/2013 @ 9:27 am

    How long is the early-grace period?

    From 11:59:59 Tuesday, December 31, 2013 through 11:59:59 Sunday January 5, 2014. This date is for people who signed up but didn’t pay, or who made partial payments, perhaps expecting government subsidies.

    They’d like insurance companies to go later into January for people who didn’t sign up at all by Jan. 1. This will vary by insurance company.

    The whole thing is in fact voluntary, but federal officials said they might not allow a company that didn’t do it to participate in the federal exchange in 2015. It sounds like an empty threat.

    What happens if the federal website still isn’t working in March?

    Obama will cross that bridge when he comes to it.

    What happens if the patient dies before he signs up for the plan?

    He’s uninsured.

    Is insurance fraud fraud-fraud if the policy documents haven’t been signed?

    I think electronic signatures count.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  42. Kevin – I think you missed this in the Friday New York Times artivlre by Robert Pear:

    The administration strongly encouraged insurance companies to let new subscribers go outside their networks of doctors and hospitals and refill prescriptions for drugs not on their lists of approved medications….

    ….Republicans in Congress expressed surprise. They said the administration was essentially telling companies like Humana and WellPoint to insure people before payment and change the very nature of their networks and coverage on a case-by-case basis.

    “It’s clear that the administration knows Obamacare’s problems are only going to get worse, and patients will be the ones who suffer,” said Rory Cooper, a spokesman for the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia. “What’s not clear is whether they understand the confusion and chaos they continue to cause.”

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  43. 29. 4 – Ann Coulter: Docs won’t accept Obamacare

    Politifact rated conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s claim that “No U.S.-trained doctor will accept Obamacare” a whooping “pants on fire.”

    This almost could not be meant at face value, but was a prediction, and even so hyperbole.

    She must have been basing that on the idea that U.S. trained doctors have high student loan balances and could not afford to see patients at the rates these policies paid.

    This would not be entirely true – some people go into various progams to get their debts forgiven, and some may come from well off families or had scholarships.

    Anyway this is what is going on now:

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  44. I am not sure if the adam drive-by or the sammylanches is/are more irritating …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  45. ‘If you like your….” is the lead in to a number of jokes having nothing whatsoever to do with healthcare.
    When the travelers went to the city of David to be enrolled per Caesar’s decree, a sign on the census-taker’s tent reads, “If you like your shekels, you can keep your shekels.”

    Richard Aubrey (c411da)

  46. Politifact’s “impartiality” is illustrated by their inclusion of a comment made by a conservative pundit (Ann Coulter) … as if all liberal commentators are fonts of truth.

    Whitey Nisson (aa99c0)

  47. But wait a second: PolitiFact? Aren’t they the people who previously told us that this exact same statement was “half true”? Why, yes they were!

    Welcome To The Party, PAL!!

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d)

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