There is much hubbub these days over President Obama’s endlessly repeated, and quite false, claim that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it.” We now know pretty certainly that this was a knowing falsehood when uttered, over and over and over. And the effort to wriggle out of admitting it was false has lately reached comic proportions.

The president said many times, “if you like your health plan, you can keep it, period”—and “period” can only mean “with no equivocations, conditions, or qualifications.” Now he says that what he meant all along was “if you like your health plan, you can keep it, if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” So when he said “period” he had his fingers crossed behind his back, and all along he meant the opposite of “period”? For the “if” clause he now adds introduces . . . equivocations, conditions, and qualifications!

But really, was no one paying attention? For over two years scores of litigants have been challenging the HHS mandate, which forces nearly all non-grandfathered employee health plans to change their terms, if they do not already cover sterilization, contraception, and abortifacient pharmaceuticals as “free preventive care” for female employees and dependents. In short, if Notre Dame, or Belmont Abbey College, or Tyndale House Publishing, or Hobby Lobby, or any other employers “liked their plans” without such coverage, they could not keep them that way. The whole point of Obamacare is to make everyone conform to the government’s idea of what is fitting and proper in health care. Your own calculation of your self-interest, and your own moral and religious beliefs about ethical health care coverage, matter not at all under Obamacare.

“You can keep your plan” is a falsehood both old and obvious, and folks are just now figuring it out.

Articles by Matthew J. Franck

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