Zeke Emanuel: No, Obama didn't say you could keep your doctor (updated)
Zeke Emanuel, one of the architects of Obamacare, made some pretty fantastical statements about what President Obama meant when he promised Americans, "If you like your doctor, you can keep him."
Our bad. We actually took the president literally. Perhaps we should have taken what he said metaphorically.
The host, Chris Wallace, said: "President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Doesn't that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn't it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?"
"The president never said you were going to have unlimited choice of any doctor in the country you want to go to," said the Obamacare architect.
"No. He asked a question. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Did he not say that, sir?"
"He didn't say you could have unlimited choice."
"It's a simple yes or no question. Did he say if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?"
"Yes. But look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice. We know in all sorts of places you pay more for certain -- for a wider range of choices or wider range of benefits.The issue isn't the selective networks. People keep saying, Oh, the problem is you're going to have a selective network--"
"Well, if you lose your doctor or lose your hospital--"
"Let me just say something," said Emanuel. "People are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network."
"Which will mean your premiums will probably go up."
"They get that choice. That's a choice they always made."
"Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words --
"No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn't increase. Premiums have been going up."
"The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor," said Wallace.
"And if you want to, you can pay for it," said Emanuel.
Everyone in America who isn't brain dead - or lying - knows exactly what the president meant when he said we could keep ouir doctor if we wanted to. And I suspect even those who are brain dead know why he said it; in tandem with the promise we could keep our insurance plans, the promise that we could keep our family doctor was necessary for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Without those two promises, it would have been open season on the bill and even many Democrats would have run for cover.
Crafted with lies. Voted on with lies. Sold with lies. And implemented with lies. Why should Emanuel's lies surprise us?
Thomas Lifson adds: I think Emanuel is doing something much worse than lying. He is insulting those who are experiencing (or worrying about) loss of access to their existing doctors and medical facilities. This is typical of a large faction of "high powered" intellectuals, for whom words trump reality. Clever verbal gymnastics are all that is needed to triumph when adversity is encountered. The real world doesn't operate this way, but contemporary academia does.
Even worse, Emanuel is making the case that Obamacare was sold via fraud. Nobody but Emanuel would believe that ObamaCare would have passed if Obama had said you can keep your doctor if you pay more. I have previously encouraged Emanuel to continue speaking out, because he such a disastrous salesman. The fact that he is so seriously deficient in self-awareness that he continues to make these appearances as a spokesman for Obamacare is a testament to the mammoth dimensions of his ego.