Re "Did president lie about Obamacare or omit key detail?," Column, Nov. 12
David Lazarus is really trying to absolve the president by stating he just misspoke about people being able to keep their health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. He made this promise several times after the law's enactment in 2010, which means he misspoke time and again.
Does anybody buy that?
In 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had to dodge bullets when she arrived in Sarajevo; later, it was revealed there was no shooting. She explained it by saying she misspoke.
Politicians always find a way out.
Lazarus writes: "This wouldn't even be an issue if Obama had qualified his remarks simply by adding that you'd be able to keep your insurance as long as it meets minimum standards for coverage."
But Obama did not make that clarification. The criticism he's received for not doing so is justified.
This does not excuse health insurers for not offering policies that meet those standards. You can imagine my surprise when I found out my Anthem Blue Cross plan did not cover routine physicals.
People who are happy with similar policies had better hope that they never get sick. Otherwise, they will be in for a very rude awakening. Having a plan and having coverage are two different things.
These people would be better off looking into what the insurance exchanges have to offer.
The assumption by shapers of the Affordable Care Act that people would leap from their lousy coverage to better coverage at a better price shows a basic disconnect with the very people Obamacare is aimed at.
The reasonable assumption is that given all the information, people will make the reasonable, common-sense choice. Problem is, common sense is relative. Your version may differ from mine.
I am surprised that the Obama administration is not better at managing its message. The sophistication and effective communication seen in Obama's presidential campaigns is sadly lacking in the rollout of this important program.
The administration didn't do its homework, didn't know its audience and wasn't prepared. It's not lying, but it's not leadership either.
Lazarus wants to cut Obama some slack because the law's regulations and implementation have been a moving target (but who is closer to the decision-makers than Obama?). Regarding the president's remarks, Lazarus says, "The sin here is one of omission."
But since 2010, Obama has said repeatedly that people could keep their plans and doctors, right up to and including in September. He used exclamations like "period" and "end of story." Those words imply there was no omission. He did not say "subject to certain terms and conditions."
I think the American people know a lie or a series of lies when they hear it. Sorry Mr. President and Mr. Lazarus, those are the facts.