Oh, what a difference a year and a sustained Republican attack makes. That is, if you're Politifact. They've declared "You can keep your health insurance" their
"lie of the year."
Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.
For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice.
But what's that, over there on the right side of that PolitiFact page? Under "related rulings"? Why, it's a PolitiFact ruling from June, 2012 that calls this very same statement "half true."
Obama has a reasonable point: His health care law does take pains to allow Americans to keep their health plan if they want to remain on it. But Obama suggests that keeping the insurance you like is guaranteed.
In reality, Americans are not simply able to keep their insurance through thick and thin. Even before the law has taken effect, the rate of forced plan-switching among policyholders every year is substantial, and the CBO figures suggest that the law could increase that rate, at least modestly, even if Americans on balance benefit from the law’s provisions. We rate Obama’s claim Half True.
So what was half-true in 2012 is a lie in 2013? How exactly does that work, PolitiFact? What exactly has changed in the past year, other than a Republican-fed media frenzy? Nothing. And nothing has changed with PolitiFact either, which is still picking and choosing its own "facts."
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