Wonkblog has published it’s third annual “Wonky” awards, which “outstanding achievements — and spectacular disasters — in policy wonkery.” Some of the awards may surprise, but the “Wonky” for “policy lie of the year” was somewhat predictable: “Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep it” line. Here’s the explanation:
President Obama promised repeatedly that if Americans like their health insurance plans, under Obamacare, they could keep them. In 2013, millions of Americans found out that wasn’t quite right, and that the health-care law would eliminate their plans, which didn’t cover a minimum set of required benefits. This wasn’t a glitch in the health-care law; it was a key feature. Obamacare’s drafters wanted insurance to cover more benefits than the plans on the individual market right now. And that meant, for those who liked their skimpier benefit packages, they would not have the opportunity to keep those old policies. (emphasis added)
The key point here was that the provisions in the PPACA which have prevented some people from keeping the health insurance plans they like were not an accident, but a deliberate design feature — a point that some (e.g. the folks at Politifact) seem not to understand.