This is the closest the President has come to acknowledging that he intentionally misled the American people on Obamacare:
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.”
I don’t even know what to make of this sentence. What he should have said was, “I’m sorry I told people they could stay on their plans if they liked them. I knew this wasn’t true, and I intentionally misled the American people so they would support this law.”
And these people aren’t “in this situation” based on his assurances. They are there based on the very nature of the law which, as the President knew, forces people off their plans.
The cycle should start on this now.
Update: Sarah Kliff links to the full transcript, and adds these very accurate comments:
What Obama isn’t offering is an apology for the cancellation notices themselves. Eliminating certain health plans from the market — ones that the White House thinks are too skimpy — is a feature, not a bug, of the Affordable Care Act.
This isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. Obamacare was meant to change the plans we have to bring us to plans the government wants us to have. The entire “choice” canard was fraudulent all along.
The “apology” is even worse in context:
Even if you didn’t intentionally do it, but at this point, they feel misled. And you’ve seen the anger that’s out there.
You know– I regret very much that– what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want ’em, as opposed to because they’re forced into it. That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be– in terms of the changes that were taking place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position– a better position than they were before this law happened.
Keep in mind that most of the folks who are going to– who got these c– cancellation letters, they’ll be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces. Because they’ll have more choice. They’ll have more competition. They’re part of a bigger pool. Insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business.
So– the majority of folks will end up being better off, of course, because the website’s not working right. They don’t necessarily know it right. But it– even though it’s a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged, you know, it means a lot to them. And it’s scary to them. And I am sorry that they– you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. We’ve got to work hard to make sure that– they know– we hear ’em and that we’re going to do everything we can– to deal with folks who find themselves– in a tough position as a consequence of this.
Basically, it’s too bad they can’t keep the policies they want. We’ll give them better policies. No discussion of the fact that he knew this would happen, and misled people. It is pathetic.
Had a private insurance executive made these comments that resulted in (only) 5% of the population losing their desired plans, he would be wearing an orange jump suit with his hands cuffed behind his back.