Bill Maher: 'I Don't Think Obama Should've Lied to People'

By Susan Jones | October 30, 2013 | 5:46 AM EDT

( - Bill Maher, the liberal host of HBO's "Real Time," says President Obama lied when he promised the American people, again and again, that if you like your health insurance plan and your doctor, you can keep them.

"I don't think Obama should've lied to people," Maher told CNN's Piers Morgan Tuesday night.

But Maher also suggested that if Obama hadn't lied, the Affordable Care Act never would have passed.

"First of all, insurance companies are always dropping people from their plans," Maher said. "This went on before Obamacare, went on after Obamacare -- we're losing a lot of perspective here. But yeah, he probably should have not been so blatant about saying,"ironclad guarantee."

"On the other hand, since he got no Republican votes and no Republican help, and since three years after it's a law they're still fighting it -- can you imagine what it would be like if he said, 'Yeah, some people, your rates are going to go up.' I mean he -- the thing passed by this much. If they had said that, they might have lost the whole thing. And politicians are always making compromises like that."

Maher also blasted tea party conservatives for trying to "sabotage" the law that passed without a single Republican vote:

"And also, let's again have a little perspective. Was any program ever, ever sabotaged to the degree this one has been? I mean, it's been three years. It's not a bill. It's a law. I know that tea people think they know the Constitution -- I don't think they've even read it. A bill becomes a law, once it does, you don't argue about it...I don't care what your opinion on the health care law is now, it's the law -- you're supposed to help it along."

Piers Morgan said Obama's promise that people could keep their insurance plans was a "bare-faced lie," and Morgan said he was speaking as someone who supports Obamacare.

In fact, both men agreed that Obama was right to overhaul the nation's health care system:

"We had to do something," Maher said. "What is the Republican alternative? I get that this is not working out perfectly, I don't think anybody ever thought it would. But what is their alternative? Basically the status quo. If you're poor, go to the emergency room, walk it off."

Maher said the reason Obamacare will work is women: "Young men do not want to sign up because they think they're invincible. Women get it because women a little more complicated, you know? They want contraception. They want breast exams. They're a little smarter about that, too. They don't think they're invincible."

Millions of Americans who buy individual health care plans are getting cancellation notices. Although their insurance policies may suit them, those policies don't meet the criteria set by the Obama administration. Because the law says that everyone must buy health insurance or pay a penalty, many people who are losing their plans will be forced into the new health care exchanges.