When you’re the president, words matter.

So when you say, “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period” about a million times between 2009 and 2012, people expect that if they like their insurance they can – wait for it — keep it.

Except that they can’t. Or at least some of them can’t.

The country learned that this past week. For many in the individual insurance market, cancellation notices for their current plans have begun to arrive. Most of those people have coverage that has been deemed inadequate; the replacement plans offered are superior but, in many cases, more expensive.

President Barack Obama and his allies went out of their way to defend the pledge. White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the canceled plans “don’t provide minimum services 1/8and3/8 have a lot of fine print that leaves consumers in the lurch” — and he noted that the president couldn’t be held responsible for what insurance companies did once the law took effect.

But there was no escaping this basic fact: What Obama said simply wasn’t true. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave his claim four “Pinocchios” — a “whopper.”

President Obama, for giving a diagnosis before seeing the test results, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Chris Cillizza covers the White House for The Washington Post and writes The Fix, its politics blog.

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