As promised, here we go with politicians saying stupid things. First, the president.
“You can keep your health insurance policy.” He said it over and over again and in millions of cases, it wasn’t true. Did he know that when he said it? I’m willing to entertain the argument that he didn’t know the first time he said it, but there were plenty of people around him who knew it wasn’t true. They should have taken him aside and explained that the Affordable Care Act set minimum standards for health insurance policies, and those policies that didn’t meet those standards would not be available.
I think the president did know. The debate over those minimum standards was, I’m sure, extensive, and while he might not have been directly involved in them, he knew that a central feature of Obamacare would be insurance policies that didn’t exclude pre-existing conditions, mental health services, routine health screenings and more. Making a blanket statement that you could keep your health care coverage was just stupid.
On the other side of the aisle, we have House Speaker John Boehner. He recently said Obamacare was “going to destroy the best health care delivery system in the world.” Just on its face, that’s a stupid statement. How did it pass Congress? Would any politician support legislation that tears down something we have that’s the best in the world?
There also isn’t a shred of evidence to support what Boehner said, so when I heard him make the claim, I put my head in my hands and thought, “I’ve got to blog about this. How much time am I going to have to invest to gather the evidence that he’s wrong?” Luckily for me, not much. Maggie Fox is NBC’s chief science writer, and she heard Boehner say it, too. Kudos to her for her post on the NBC website, “Best Health Care System? Really, John Boehner?”
I understand the speaker has a constituency to please, but to make a statement that is so off the mark and so easily refuted is just stupid.