After winning a Pulitzer Prize due to its coverage of the 2008 political election, the website Politifact.com found international credibility and started stepping up its game. The organization became so credible, in fact, that it now decides who the biggest liar of the year is every year. Since 2009, Politifact has been awarding an annual “Lie of the Year” award. This year, the proud-but-yet-not-so-proud recipient of said award was none other than our president himself, Barack Obama.
Obama received the “Lie of the Year” award for his oft-repeated phrase, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” In saying this, Obama was speaking on the grandfather clause in the Affordable Care Act which would allow for those who held qualifying plans before the ACA went into effect to keep their previous insurance plan.
The key word here, though, is qualifying plan. Under the newer, stricter guidelines of the ACA, many previous health insurance plans did not qualify under the law. As such, an estimated 4 million people received cancellation notices when the ACA went into effect. Obama and his administration have tried to downplay that number many times by pointing out that the 4 million comprises less than 2% of the insured population and that many people wound up receiving healthcare plans that were better and more affordable, but the conservative media and pissed-off 2% wouldn’t let Obama live his mistake down.
Thus, in November, Obama mustered enough courage to go onto national television, admitted the mistakes of his administration, and apologized to those who lost their insurance plans under the new law: “We weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place, and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position than they were before this law happened. And I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.”
Since the inception of the “Lie of the Year” award in 2009, 4 of the 5 winners have been lies concerning healthcare. In 2009, Sarah Palin received the award for her claim that the ACA contained “death panels.” In 2010, the lie of the year went to the GOP for claiming that the government was “taking over” healthcare with the ACA. In 2011, the Democrats took the top spot for stating that Paul Ryan’s proposed healthcare plan would “end Medicare.” Not to be outdone, however, the Republicans took the top spot again last year with Mitt Romney’s commercial stating that Obama was forcing Jeep to outsource to China due to his policies.
This year alone, all 4 finalists for the award dealt with the issue of healthcare. The runner-up for Lie of the Year was Ted Cruz’s claim that Congress was exempt from the ACA. The other two finalists were Michele Bachmann for claiming that the IRS would be in charge of keeping healthcare records and Ann Coulter for saying that no American doctors would accept insurance provided by the federal government through the ACA.[Image via YouTube]