Boxer: Obama’s Keep-Your-Plan Pledge ‘Absolutely a Fact’

By Penny Starr | November 15, 2013 | 5:34am EST

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)

( – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that President Barack Obama's oft-repeated pledge that under Obamacare people would be allowed to keep their health care plans if they liked them was “absolutely a fact”--so long as the plans “met the standards” set by Obamacare, that is. asked Boxer: “After President Obama signed the ACA he said that if you like your health care plan you will keep it. No one can take that away from you.”

“I think everyone knows he said that,” Boxer said, speaking shortly before Obama announced that he would let insurance companies renew policies for existing customers in the individual market through 2014, even if those policies don’t meet the law’s requirements.

“But is it true or false?” asked.

“Oh, it’s absolutely a fact that if you had a plan that you wanted to keep, that met the standards, you could keep it,” Boxer said “If it was a junk plan and didn’t meet the standards, you couldn’t. But he’s about to fix it now.”

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 ye. 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 5 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.

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