By SHERMAN FREDERICK
Abraham Lincoln: “Honesty is the best policy.”
Barack Obama: “Honesty: What, me worry?”
That’s the legacy this president has carved out for himself as he struggles to put lipstick on the pig called Obamacare.
Wouldn’t it have been refreshing to hear the president come clean and admit he lied about how he sold the American people on the Affordable Care Act?
He may even have found a pocket of understanding had he shaved the truth and said that he now realizes his earlier simplistic language may have “misled” the public.
Or, hey, why not just spike the football and say that in the heat of the public debate over health care reform, he overstated his case. So what? Get over it.
Any of those would have been better than doing what he’s doing now, which is to flat-out lie about the lies. Even when he tries to apologize, as he did Thursday, he misses the mark. He says he’s sorry that people were hurt by the implementation of the law, but not for lying about it. That’s vintage Obama: All words, no consequences.
The president said Obamacare would allow all Americans to keep their health care plans and their doctors “if they liked them.” But this month, as Obamacare rolled out the new rules, millions of Americans saw their health care policies, and their doctors, taken away from them.
And former White House insiders confirmed the president knew this would happen, despite his multiple assurances to the contrary.
So, what does the president do once caught? He arrogantly doubles down on the lie.
In a speech Monday, President Obama said: “What we said was you could keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.”
He asked the audience to tell Americans who are having their insurance policies canceled that they can get better and less expensive plans through Obamacare.
“I realize that it can be scary for people if they just get some [cancellation] notice like that. … We’ve got to make sure that we’re getting them the right information.”
The right information? Man, shouldn’t the “right” information by definition also be the “correct” information?
Let’s start with the obvious. At no time did the president ever include the phrase “if it hasn’t changed” in his rhetoric. There are no less than 29 videos out there to prove it. So for him to say now that he always conveyed that nuance is just a lie. Period.
Also, it is wrong to say everyone will find the new Obamacare plans “better.” They won’t. Why fudge the truth on that?
These revelations are exactly why President Obama’s job approval rating has dropped to 39 percent and is headed lower. As Obamacare reality takes hold and the president sticks to these stupid lies, the president’s credibility diminishes when he needs it the most.
Look, this president’s legacy is on a trajectory to land him somewhere between Richard Nixon and Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman. Do you laugh or cry?
In the short term, stand by for much pain. Obamacare isn’t what Obama promised, and his implementation of it is a classic example of government overreach and inefficiency.
Obama’s $600 million website didn’t work from Day One. The president called it a minor “glitch.” It wasn’t. Now the president tells us the website will be fixed by Dec. 1, and in the meanwhile, we can sign up by phone.
That’s not true either. Turns out the only way to sign up is through the website, which doesn’t work.
And there’s more. Congressional testimony reveals that the Obama administration did not fully test the website for security before going live. That’s reckless. Coupled with the initial bonehead design, which requires people to divulge personal information — Social Security numbers, etc. — before shopping for insurance policies, many are wondering whether their personal health and financial information have been compromised.
If HealthCare.gov is up and running on Dec. 1 — a big “if” given the Obama track record — who’s going to want to be the government’s guinea pig this time?
And what happens when more shoes fall as health costs shoot up under government regulation and employer-based health care crumbles under the weight of Obamacare?
Normally, you’d rely on the good character of the president for guidance.
But who trusts this president after all this?
Sherman Frederick is former editor of the Tribune-Herald and former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.