At Least Eighty-Eight Democrats Lied to You About Obamacare

President Obama wasn’t the only politician to qualify for Politifact’s “2013 Lie of The Year.” Many members of Congress also assured their constituents that Obamacare would leave health insurance plans intact.

Now we know that “the vast majority” of Americans would lose their 2010 health insurance coverage and that the Cadillac tax will eliminate employer-sponsored insurance for many in coming years. Since another wave of cancellations is occurring, it’s worthwhile to expose the Congress members who caused this harm.

In late-2013, when millions learned their policies were being canceled, Senator Mitch McConnell’s office compiled a list of 27 senators who’d pledged that Americans could keep their coverage.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL): “We believe — and we stand by this — if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it, plain and simple, straightforward.” (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.6401, 6/10/09)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “If you like your insurance, you keep it.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/29/09)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA): “Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it.” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT): “That is why one of the central promises of health care reform has been and is: If you like what you have, you can keep it. That is critically important. If a person has a plan, and he or she likes it, he or she can keep it.” (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): “One of the things we put in the health care bill when we designed it was the protection for consumers to keep the plan they have if they like it; thus, the term ‘grandfathered plans.’ If you have a plan you like — existing policies — you can keep them. … we said, if you like a plan, you get to keep it, and you can grandfather it in.” (Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.7675-6, 9/29/10)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): “Under the bill, if you like the insurance you have now, you may keep it and it will improve.” (Rep. Baldwin, Press Release, 3/18/10)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK): “If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or a health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it. That you can keep who you want.” (Sen. Begich, Townhall Event, 7/27/09)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO.): “We should begin with a basic principle: if you have coverage and you like it, you can keep it. If you have your doctor, and you like him or her, you should be able to keep them as well. We will not take that choice away from you.” (Sen. Bennet, Press Release, 6/11/09)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.): “So we want people to be able to keep the health care they have. And the answer to that is choice of plans. And in the exchange, we’re going to have lots of different plans, and people will be able to keep the health care coverage they need and they want.” (Sen. Boxer, Press Release, 2/8/11)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH): “Our bill says if you have health insurance and you like it, you can keep it…” (Sen. Brown, Congressional Record, S.12612, 12/7/09)

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD): “For the people of Maryland, this bill will provide a rational way in which they can maintain their existing coverage…” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.13798, 12/23/09)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA): “ If you like what you have, you like the plan you have, you can keep it. It is not going to change.” (Sen. Casey, Congressional Record, S.8070, 7/24/09)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC): “People who have insurance they’re happy with can keep it. We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they’re happy with can keep it while also providing a backstop option for people without access to affordable coverage.” (“Republicans Vent As Other Compromise Plans Get Aired,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA): “If you like the insurance that you have, you’ll be able to keep it.” (MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)

Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT): “[I]f you like the insurance you now have, keep the insurance you have.” (CNN’s “Newsroom,” 10/22/09)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “If you like what you have, you get to keep it” “Menendez is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is expected to release a bill later this week. He stressed that consumers who are satisfied with their plans won’t have to change. ‘If you like what you have, you get to keep it,’ he said.” (“Health Care Plan Would Help N.J., Menendez Says,” The Record, 6/19/09)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR): “[E]nsuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it” “The HELP Committee bill sets forward a historic plan that will, for the first time in American history, give every American access to affordable health coverage, reduce costs, and increase choice, while ensuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it.” (Sen. Merkley, Press Release, 7/15/09)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): “It means that if you like the insurance you have now, you can keep it.” (Sen. Mikulski, Press Release, 12/24/09)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): “I want people to know, the President’s promise that if you like the coverage you have today you can keep it is a pledge we intend to keep.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Hearing, 9/23/09)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI): “If you like the insurance you have, you can choose to keep it.” (Sen. Reed, Town Hall Event, 6/25/09)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “‘If you have coverage you like, you can keep it,’ says Sen. Sanders.” (“Sick And Wrong,” Rolling Stone, 4/5/10)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): ‘if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it’ “My understanding … is that … if you have health coverage that you like you can keep it. As I said, you may have missed my remarks at the beginning of the call, but one of the things I that I said as a requirement that I have for supporting a bill is that if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to keep that. …under every scenario that I’ve seen, if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it.” (Sen. Shaheen, “Health Care Questions From Across New Hampshire,” Accessed 11/13/13)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): “As someone who has a large number of large employers in my state, one of the things I appreciate about the chairman’s mark is — is the grandfathering provisions, the fact that the people in my state, 60 percent of whom have insurance, are going to be able to keep it. And Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that. That’s a strong commitment. It’s clear in the bill…if you have your insurance you can keep it. That’s the bottom line for me.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/24/09)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): “‘If you like your coverage, you’ll be able to keep it,’ Tester said, adding that if Medicare changes, it will only become stronger”. (“Tester In Baker To Discuss Health Care,” The Fallon County Times, 11/20/09)

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM): “Some worried reform would alter their current coverage. It won’t. If you like your current plan, you can keep it.” (“What I Learned: About Health Care Reform This Summer, By Your Lawmakers In Congress,” Albuquerque Journal, 9/8/09)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): “…it honors President Obama’s programs and the promise of all of the Presidential candidates that if you like the plan you have, you get to keep it. You are not forced out of anything.”(Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.8668, 8/3/09)

And the senators weren’t alone. At least 60 House members misled their constituents as well.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC): “For North Carolinians who already have health insurance, the only changes you will see under the Affordable Care Act are new benefits, better protections from insurance company abuses, and more value for every dollar you spend on health care. If you like your plan you can keep it, and you don’t have to change a thing due to the health care law.” (“Health Care Resources,” as seen on 10/24/2013)

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA): “If you have insurance right now, your plan stays the same. This means if you get your health insurance through work, if you have Medicare or if you are a member of California Healthy Families, you keep that coverage.” (“What Valley Residents Need to Know about Health Care Reform”)

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL): “…If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. Keep your current doctor as you see fit.” (“What Does Health Insurance Reform Mean for You?”) “Nothing in this bill will force you to drop your current coverage. Rest assured, if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” (Press Release, 7/31/2009)

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY): “IF YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE…You can keep your doctor and your plan.” (“What Health Care Reform Means for You”)

Rep. William Clay (D-MO): “Under the legislation, individuals and families with employer-based coverage can keep the health insurance coverage they have now, and it will get better.” (Congressman Clay’s Capitol Hill Report, 11/10/09)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): “I am committed to a health care plan that covers every single American, reduces the cost of care, allows people to keep their insurance if they like” (Press Release, 8/20/2009)

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA): “I already have insurance through an employer, a union, Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, the VA, COBRA, or a retirement plan. Do I need to do anything? No. If you have coverage from any of these sources, you can keep it. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act requires you to change plans.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): “Your premiums and other costs will not increase as a result of health care reform and if you like the coverage you have now, you’ll be able to keep it. In fact, you’ll get some additional help paying for premiums and out-of-pocket costs.” (“How Will Obamacare Affect Me?” Questionnaire)

Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA): “I currently have an insurance plan that works. How will the new health care law affect me? Health reform protects existing coverage, and encourages employers to maintain it. It also improves current coverage by strengthening consumer protections.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY): “Our health care plan provides stability and security for those who have health insurance.  If you like what you have, you can keep it.” (Press Release, 11/7/2009)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-T): “Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them.” (Health Care Reform Summary, prepared by House Democratic Leadership, 8/10/2009)

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL): “It protects current coverage allowing individuals to keep the insurance they have if they like it and preserves choice of doctors, hospitals, and health plans. It achieves these reforms through…” (Health Care Reform Summary)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR): “The legislation is not a government takeover of health care. It will not get between anyone and their doctor. If you have insurance, you can keep your current plan.” (Press Release, 3/24/2010)

Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO): Not a quote attributed to her, but part of a news article she posted on her website: “Mr. Obama has said repeatedly, as he told the American Medical Association in June: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable.” (In the News, 8/10/2009)

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): “If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it.” (Health Care FAQ)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX): “If you already have coverage through your employer, Medicare, TRICARE, or some other source, you can keep that insurance and you are not required to buy additional coverage.” (The Affordable Care Act)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn): “If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. Don’t listen to that stuff you heard in the last hour, Mr. Speaker. The truth is, you get to keep your health insurance if that’s what you want.” (Floor Speech)

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY): “This is a great day for all Americans from all walks of life – seniors, youth, the sick and the healthy. If you have health insurance, you can keep your doctor and your health plan. You like it, you keep it. It’s that simple.” (Press Release, 11/9/2009)

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA): “Q. My employer already provides coverage for me and my family and I like my plan. Do I need to do anything differently? A. No. You just keep the coverage you have.” (Press Release, as seen on 10/22/2013)

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA): “If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You’re considered covered. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you prefer.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Chakah Fattah (D-PA): ““This plan means that those who are satisfied with their current coverage and doctor can keep their plan and their physician.  However, if they aren’t happy with their coverage then this plan will help them find and afford quality healthcare.” (Press Release, 7/14/2009)

Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA): “Just six months after our historic health insurance reforms were signed into law, important consumer protections are going into effect.  These protections mean that never again will your insurance run out or be taken away from you when you need it the most.” (Press Release, 10/20/2010)

Rep. Gene Green (D-T): “If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. In fact, with new regulations and standards, the insurance you currently have will include new consumer protections like no lifetime limits, minimum coverage standards, and limits on administrative costs.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ): “No one is forced to do anything. The entire premise of this legislation is to build on what works in today’s system. If you have employer sponsored health care today – as do most insured people – than little to nothing will change, except that your premiums will no longer subsidize coverage for the uninsured. If you are covered in the individual insurance market, you can keep your plan permanently and it will count as acceptable coverage even if it doesn’t meet those terms under the new law.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL): “Individuals who already have health insurance through their employers or are self-insured will keep their insurance. There is absolutely no provision within the ACA that would remove existing coverage from individuals and families. Furthermore, the law will make existing plans more secure and affordable.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA): “Under the bill, if you are covered by a large employer, you are not likely to see many changes to your healthcare coverage.” (Blog Release, 4/5/2010)

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “We need to build upon the current system of employer-sponsored care, with a system that provides patients their choice of insurance coverage and their choice of doctors. In other words, if you like what you have, you should be able to keep it.” (Town Hall Meeting, 4/21/2009)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): “But I’m happy with my health care.  What does this change for me? Nothing. You can keep the plan you have.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA): “It is important to note that nothing will change for those who are happy with the insurance they already have from their employer, seniors on Medicare, TRICARE or people on Medicaid.” (E-Newsletter, 7/24/2013)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX): “If you have health insurance you like, I want you to be able to keep it,” she continued.” (Telephone Townhall, 5/6/2009)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH): “The goal is to try to get you into a plan that you pick, where you feel you have very carefully monitored care, that you participate in, so nobody’s left out, nobody’s rejected and you have choices. That sounds like a much better system than we have today for so many people. If you like what you have, you keep it…” (Press Release) “The whole intention of the law is to relieve some of the worries that seniors face,” Congresswoman Kaptur said.  And, “you keep the insurance that you have if you like it.” (Telephone Townhall)

Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA): “If you have job-based health insurance you like, it is not necessary to change your plan. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you prefer. Any job-based health plan you currently have qualifies as minimum essential coverage.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI): “In order to increase access to affordable coverage we must make sure no one is denied coverage, specifically due to pre-existing conditions.  Reform seeks to build on the existing system so that if you like your employer sponsored health insurance, you can keep it.” (Press Release, 7/22/2009)

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI): “Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them.” (Newsletter, 8/10/2009)

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA): “This bill will give the power back to the American consumer. It preserves choice and creates competition in the insurance market. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” (Press Release, 3/21/2010)

Rep. John Larson (CT) “I am committed to health care reform that allows you to keep your current plan if you like it, reform that puts you and your doctor in charge of your care.” (Press Release, 8/24/2009)

Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI): “If you like your current health plan, you will be able to keep it.  But it is clear that our nation wants us to fix what’s not working by reducing costs, increasing prevention, improving quality, and covering uninsured Americans,” said Rep. Levin.” (Press Release, 6/9/2009)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA): “This bill does not replace employer-sponsored coverage, it actually adds to the choices people have. If people like their insurance, they can keep it.” (E-Newsletter, 10/10/2009)

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM): “If you are already receiving coverage through eligible employer-sponsored insurance, eligible individual insurance, grandfathered health plans, and federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA Health Care, CHIP and others, you do not need to purchase new health insurance.” (Blog Post, 11/6/2013)

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA): “If you are insured and already have a ‘qualified’ health insurance plan through your employer, nothing changes.  You can keep your plan.  You can keep your doctor.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA): “Reforming health care is a fiscally responsible course of action that will build on the best of the American system by making sure people can keep their current insurance if they like it and choose what doctors they want see.” (Press Release, 3/22/2010)

Rep. Miller, George (D-CA): “If you get insurance through your job or have Medicare, you don’t need to do anything — you can keep your insurance.” (Blog Post, 9/30/2013)

Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MINN): “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.” (ACA Resources)

Rep. Frank Palone  (D-NJ): “Our health plan fulfills commitments made by this Congress and President Obama to reform health care. The plan…Keeping your doctor and your plan if you like them.” (Press Release, 7/19/2009)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI): I have health insurance from my employer, and I like the plan that I have. Do I get to keep it? “You can keep the plan you have.” (ACA FAQ)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO): “If you are currently insured and like the plan you have, you’ll likely be able to stick with your current plan.” (“Obamacare Enrollment Begins Today,” 10/1/2013)

Rep. David Price (NC): “Just as in the past, if you like your doctor, you can choose to stay with your doctor.” (Constituent Mailing, 7/14/2013)

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL): “Allows you to keep your coverage and doctor if you like them.” (Press Release, 8/20/2009)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): “This plan tells every American – if you have coverage and a doctor you like, keep it…If you like your doctor and current plan you can keep them” (Press Release, 7/15/2009)

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD): “Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them…If you like your doctor and your current plan, you can absolutely keep them” (Health Care Reform E-Newsletter, 8/12/2009)

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA): “If you already have health coverage you like, you can keep it.” (ACA: Update)

Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ): “If people like their current plans, they will be able to keep them.” (Mailing)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA): “If you have employer-provided health insurance, public program insurance such as Medicare, or are a veteran receiving VA health care, you are considered covered and can keep your current plan.” (ACA FAQ)

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA): “The legislation takes significant steps towards covering all Americans, while enabling anyone happy with their current plan to keep it.” (Press Release, 3/21/2010)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): “If you like your doctor and your plan, you can keep them.” (Press Release, 7/14/2009)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): “Let me be clear: if you like your current plan, you’ll be able to keep it. Rather, we will build on our current system, so we can give you the freedom to choose what works best for you and your family. If you like your doctor, keep your doctor. If you like your current plan, keep your current plan.” (Press Release, 7/1/2009)

Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC): “Under the ACA, those who already have health insurance coverage under the following plans will continue to enjoy their coverage without interruption and without taking any action: Employer-sponsored plans.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA): “If you like your doctor and your current plan, you keep them.” (Press Release, 3/21/2010)

Rep. Peter Welch (VT): “Under the legislation, individuals with insurance can keep the coverage they have now, and it will get better.” (Obamacare FAQ)

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY): “Keep your doctor, and your current plan, if you like them.” (Obamacare FAQ)

If Americans had been told the truth about Obamacare’s impact on their health insurance, would President Obama have been re-elected?

UPDATE, 3.18.15: 

Seven additional lying liars have been located. That brings us to at least 95 Congress members who deceived Americans about Obamacare.

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA): “If you’re covered and you like your insurance, you can keep it.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI): ObamaCare would “allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance.”

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK): ObamaCare would “protect and expand an individual’s choice of doctors and insurance plans.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE):  “If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI): “If you like your health care coverage, you can keep it.”

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): “Under our proposal, if you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “I’m not going to support a healthcare reform plan that’s going to take away the healthcare you’ve got right now or a healthcare plan that you like.”

Ninety-five members of Congress. Wow. At this point, it may be easier to catalogue those who didn’t lie to you than those who did.

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2 thoughts on “At Least Eighty-Eight Democrats Lied to You About Obamacare

  1. Pingback: Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers: Politico Stumbles In Its Super-Sleuthing | Exposing Obamacare

  2. Pingback: Obamacare’s “Wage Growth” Hoax | Exposing Obamacare

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