In a speech on Nov. 7, President Obama apologized to Americans who are losing their health insurance under his new health care plan, despite his promises that they wouldn’t, prior to his new plan’s implementation.
Instead of committing to find a way to help those who have been forced off the health care they wanted, Obama said they should “shop around in the new market.”
Translation: If you lost your previous health care plan and want it back, tough luck. It should be noted that only five people have signed up for the new health care initiative so far. CBS News reported that “fewer than one in five uninsured Americans have visited the state-based, online Obamacare portals to consider getting insurance,” according to a new Gallup poll.
But don’t worry! Despite the low enrollment numbers and forced participation, “no one’s losing their right to coverage,” the president said in his speech on Thursday. “And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage. … So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are canceling people’s plans without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier with stronger benefits … is being grossly misleading.”
While the fact that no one is being denied health coverage is, technically, a true statement, Obama has – deliberately or accidentally – missed the point: People without plans are not angry about their lack of health care coverage. The cause for concern is rather their being forced to pick a new health care plan, even after being guaranteed their right to keep their original plan by the president himself.
The president is required to communicate his intentions clearly and effectively to the public; suddenly being unable to trust the administration is a problem. The citizens of any country must be able to take their leader at his word – and this is especially necessary in a democratic republic like the United States, where the political system is partially predicated on the ability of the people to hold their government accountable for its actions.
If he is truly sorry about breaking his previous promises to the American people, then he will do more than apologize. As he has demonstrated in the past, Obama is more than capable of moving policy in the direction he desires. If he is genuinely committed to following through on his word and guaranteeing the people the ability to freely choose their healthcare, he’ll take steps to ensure it.
Words are nice. Words help. But it is action that defines character. “Sorry” isn’t enough.