Barney Frank: President Obama Lied About Obamacare

Saturday, 02 Aug 2014 10:39 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank says President Barack Obama lied to Americans about being able to keep their healthcare coverage, and he was "appalled" by the president's inaction during the botched Obamacare rollout.

"Frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current healthcare plan, you can keep it," Frank, a retired Democrat congressman from Massachusetts, told The Huffington Post.  "That wasn't true. And you shouldn't lie to people. And they just lied to people."

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Frank, who retired in 2013, remains a strong Obamacare supporter and has often defended Obama and his agenda. But he told The Huffington Post that he still doesn't understand the president's actions during the rollout.

"The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don't understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis," Frank said.

Instead of Obama making promises that people could keep their healthcare plans, Frank said, the president should have been honest about the fact that they would have had to change because their old plans would not comply with the new government standards.

"He should have said, 'Look, in some cases the health care plans that you've got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we're going to change them,'" Frank said. "But that's not what he said."

Instead, Obama's statements created controversy that overshadowed a program that would help people receive more substantial healthcare coverage, said Frank.

"Any smart political adviser would have said, 'Don't lie to people, because you're gonna get caught up in it and it's gonna have this tsunami that you now have,'" Frank commented. "My political motto, very simple. I have always told the truth, and nothing but the truth. But I don't volunteer the whole truth in every situation."

The Obama administration had changed the healthcare plans' rules by amending them to allow customers to keep their old plans up until 2016, The Hill reports.

The administration responded to the controversy by changing rules to allow consumers to keep old plans up to 2016.

In addition, the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week approved a bill allowing people to keep their insurance plans, even if they do not meet the new federal standards.

The new bill though, is an indicator of how Obamacare is affecting this fall's elections. It was proposed by Louisiana Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu in one of several key Senate races around the country.

Most Americans have an unfavorable view of the healthcare reform plan, reveals The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's poll for July, which shows that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, marking the fifth time since April 2010 that at least half of all Americans disappove of the reform law.

And while Republicans have pushed to repeal and replace the law, just over one-third of the people polled said the law should be scrapped,  as it is beyond repair.

However, Obamacare may be starting starting to become less of a priority among voters than before, with a Tea Party Patriots poll showing most Republican voters believe that making a strong stand on illegal immigrants is more important than repealing Obamacare.

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