Topics: Obamacare

In May 2012 campaign ad, Obama aide said, 'If you like your plan and you want to keep it, you can'

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Obamacare,Health Care,2012 Elections,Campaigns,Analysis,Elections

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republicans claimed that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, would cause millions of people to lose their current health insurance plans.

In a May 17, 2012, "truth team" response ad, then-Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter called this claim "flat-out wrong," stating:

Well, here we are again. Karl Rove's group Crossroads is spending $25 million from secret donors to tear down the president in a new ad out today. Time to tear this thing apart ... The ad talks about health care, and you'll like this one because we've heard it before: It says that you won't be able to keep the insurance plan that you have. Now that's just flat-out wrong. If you like your plan and you want to keep it, you can. In fact, the president made that plan stronger.

We know know that the campaign's claim was a lie, and a particularly audacious one, too, since they were claiming it was untrue that under Obamacare millions of Americans would lose insurance coverage they wanted to keep.

The word "lie" is not being used lightly here, either. As the Wall Street Journal first reported, Obama's top aides specifically ruled out a more honest approach on the issue:

"Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president's message ... The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate 'if you like your plan, you can probably keep it' isn't a salable point.' "

We've embedded the clip, editing it down to just the section relating to the claim. The full video can be seen here.

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