Published October 31, 2013
For nearly four years, President Obama has frequently offered some variation of this promise about the Affordable Care Act: "If you like your health-care plan," as he said in a speech to the American Medical Association in June 2009, "you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."
NBC News caused a kerfuffle on Monday when it reported the Obama administration knew for years that millions would be forced off their preferred insurance plan. This hardly amounts to a revelation: the president and his people, along with Democratic Party leaders, had to know that this would happen.
For example, in a Dec. 19, 2009 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Congressional Budget Office noted that the Affordable Care Act would cause between eight and nine million Americans to lose their employer-provided coverage either by "the dropping of existing coverage or a lack of new offers of coverage."
Three days before Mr. Obama signed the law, CBO and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reaffirmed these numbers in a March 20, 2010 letter to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A month later, the chief actuary at the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that 14 million would lose their employer-provided insurance.
There were also warnings that higher premiums, mandated benefits and other regulations would cause many of the roughly 15 million Americans who individually purchase health insurance to lose their policies.
It is inconceivable that the president, his top aides and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, didn't know about all this. Which raises these questions: Why did Mr. Obama keep saying something that was simply not true? And how did his administration allow him to do so?
To continue reading Karl Rove's column in the Wall Street Journal, click here.