Chaffetz on Obama's Pledge: ‘It Was False’

By Penny Starr | November 15, 2013 | 2:48 PM EST

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) (AP)

( - Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Friday that President Barack Obama spoke falsely and misled the American people when he repeatedly pledged that under Obamacare people would be able to keep their health care plans if they liked them. asked Chaffetz, “After President Obama signed the ACA, he made the statement in April 2010 If you like your health plan you can keep it, no one will take it away from you, not now or in the future. Was that true or false?”

“It was false,” Chaffetz said. “He misled the American people, and everybody knows it.”

On April 1, 2010, a week after he signed the Affordable Care Act, Obama repeated the pledge he had frequently made during the national debate over the bill--vowing not only that people could keep their plan if they liked it, but that no one would be able to take it away from them in the future.

“So now that this bill is finally law, and all the folks who've been playing politics will finally have to confront the reality of what this reform is, they're also going to have to confront the reality of what it isn't,” Obama said in his April 1, 2010 speech.

“They'll have to finally acknowledge that this isn't a government takeover of our health care system,” he said. “They'll see that if Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn't happened yet. It won't happen in the future.”

The president was asked about this promise during his news conference on Thursday.

“With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think--you know, and I've said in interviews--that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise.”

Obama said when he made the promise he was thinking about people with employer-based health care, Medicare, and Medicaid--not the five percent of the population in the individual market.

“You have an individual market that accounts for about five percent of the population. And our working assumption was--my working assumption was--that the majority of those folks would find better policies at lower cost or the same cost in the marketplaces and that there--the universe of folks who potentially would not find a better deal in the marketplaces, the grandfather clause would work sufficiently for them, and it didn't. And again, that's on us, which is why we're--that's on me."