The Widdershins

Activist Monday: Tell The Truth and Nothing But the Truth?

Posted on: August 4, 2014

Did the Obama Administration lie about ObamaCare? Barney Frank thinks so.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama made a major political mistake by lying about the details of his health care plan, according to former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

“The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank told HuffPost during a July interview. “But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.”

Now just so you know, he is a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. He just said that the way the President and his team talked about the plan was dishonest.

“He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them,'” Frank said. “But that’s not what he said.”

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that Obamacare continues to be widely misunderstood, with a majority of Americans unaware that the law allows consumers to choose between different private sector health plans. Lying about how the consumer protection standards would function, Frank said, created an unnecessary circus around a program that would help people get better coverage.

I have to say I agree. The way Obama hammered on that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it” line, it became one of the reasons that people either supported, or didn’t support the bill. When it turned out that it wasn’t even true, it put defenders of the legislation in a very bad position. A key component of the way ObamaCare would affect people’s health care coverage was misrepresented, and it’s still causing the administration political problems.

There are, of course, other sides to this story. One big side is outlets like Fox News, which make a living out of lying to the people who attempt to use it as a reliable source of information, rather than recognizing it as a dumping ground for AEI rejects and propaganda parrots like Hannity and Palin. If you watched Fox, you would actually think that Obama shut down the government rather than Burnt Orange Boehner. (Per Prolix’s Friday post, I would love to see how Fox pretzels itself to justify the cray-cray in the House of “Representatives” these days.)

Another side is that this was one h*ll of a big piece of legislation, and it was very difficult to condense it all into a couple of sound bytes/ bullet points. Nonetheless, the one that Obama chose was not only misleading, it gave the Republicans a stick to beat him with. You all know how I feel about Obama, so I can’t help wondering if he was perfectly aware of what he was doing, but was just tired of his corporate-friendly, Heritage-Institute-inspired health care plan being called socialism. Had he been honest about what he intended to do, Fox News would have just screamed “OBAMA WANTS TO TAKE YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN AWAY!!!” and maybe ACA wouldn’t have gotten off the ground at all. But really, was lying the only alternative? I don’t think so. Fearing the Right-Wing Noise Machine only assures its victory. Like any bully, it backs down when you fight back. (Just ask Hillary and Bill.)

All sides aside, in these days of instant access to everything and everyone at all times, it is a big mistake for the President to put a lie on the record, especially if he is a Democrat.

I hope our next President will follow the advice of Mr. Frank:

“My political motto, very simple. I have always told the truth, and nothing but the truth. But I don’t volunteer the whole truth in every situation.”

This is an open thread.

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9 Responses to "Activist Monday: Tell The Truth and Nothing But the Truth?"

Hey all, sorry about that. Forgot to hit “Publish.” Happy Monday!

Broward County judge strikes FL’s gay marriage ban.

@2: Interesting! And with the Congressional maps having to be redrawn sounds like it will be a busy time in FL!!

Barney is absolutely right about Barry. Obama opted to open himself and the entire ACA to criticism because his communication folks could not be creative enough in crafting a message. Another example of failed leadership, but there are so many…

Saw that about redrawing FL’s congressional districts. Talk about a battle royale — the courthouse doors will wear out.

Prolix said: Talk about a battle royale — the courthouse doors will wear out.

Oh for sure! Oh and Prolix…read a couple of articles about Fancy Farm this weekend. Speaking of battles royale. 😉

Well, well, well…a Federal judge rules Alabama’s abortion clinic restriction laws laws are unconstitutional.

Just like Mississippi.

The strategy of the pro-death group is to get these crazy laws on the books, then have them challenged, then have those challenges taken to the Supreme Court. Maybe at that point we’ll see that million woman march!!! Because we all know that the SC won’t hesitate to overturn legalized abortion.

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