How Serious Are Obama’s Untruths?

It is now tolerably clear that the president of the United States knowingly misled the public about the effects of the health care law when he was promoting it.  He repeatedly assured voters that they would be able to keep plans that they liked, and it is now plain that this is not true.

It is depressing that a president would do this.  It is more depressing that the opposition party shows little understanding of the seriousness of this matter.  Here is a video put out by the House Speaker’s office that makes fun of Obama for lying.  But is this an adequate response?  Doesn’t he deserve a serious condemnation instead?

More thoughtful and more sobering responses are provided by conservative scholars and commentators like Angelo Codevilla and Andy McCarthy.

President Obama Addresses The Nation On The Situation In Syria

Codevilla, a political scientist, observes that what was once treated as an impeachable offense–lying to the public–is now defended by a large part of our society.  It’s not just that we have a corrupt president, but we have a corrupt political culture, one in which politics is no longer about persuasion but about manipulation:

The deadly problem is that Barack Obama is not just an individual, nor even the head of the US government’s executive branch. He is the head of the party to which most government officials belong, the party of the media, of the educational establishment, of big corporations – in short of the ruling class. That class, it seems, has so taken ownership of Obama’s lies that it pretends that those who are suffering from the “Affordable Care Act” don’t really know what is good for them, or that they are perversely refusing to suffer for the greater good.

This class, in short, has placed itself as far beyond persuasion as Obama himself. Democracy by persuasion having become impossible, we are left with democracy as war.

McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, contends that a corporate CEO who had misled the public in the manner Obama has done would be facing prosecution by the Department of Justice for fraud:

“If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” How serious was this lie, repeated by Barack Obama with such beguiling regularity? Well, how would the Justice Department be dealing with it if it had been uttered by, say, the president of an insurance company rather than the president of the United States?

Fraud is a serious federal felony, usually punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment — with every repetition of a fraudulent communication chargeable as a separate crime. In computing sentences, federal sentencing guidelines factor in such considerations as the dollar value of the fraud, the number of victims, and the degree to which the offender’s treachery breaches any special fiduciary duties he owes. Cases of multi-million-dollar corporate frauds — to say nothing of multi-billion-dollar, Bernie Madoff–level scams that nevertheless pale beside Obamacare’s dimensions — often result in terms amounting to decades in the slammer.

Justice Department guidelines, set forth in the U.S. Attorneys Manual, recommend prosecution for fraud in situations involving “any scheme which in its nature is directed to defrauding a class of persons, or the general public, with a substantial pattern of conduct.” So, for example, if a schemer were intentionally to deceive all Americans, or a class of Americans (e.g., people who had health insurance purchased on the individual market), by repeating numerous times — over the airwaves, in mailings, and in electronic announcements — an assertion the schemer knew to be false and misleading, that would constitute an actionable fraud — particularly if the statements induced the victims to take action to their detriment, or lulled the victims into a false sense of security.


Categories:Health Care Politics

  • Lindsey

    Are we sure that Obama lied about the Affordable Health Care Act? It is an extremele complicated plan. It is complicated in order to appease lobbying groups like the insurance industry and the AMA which is necessary to get anything passed in congress. No one could have forseen all of the consequences of the bill. Isn’t it the insurance companies who are to blame for cancelling policies? Jesus was all for healing the sick. How can we oppose a plan to help more people get health care? We should work to improve the plan not destroy it.

    • Caro

      Absolutely no one is advocating to throw the old people out of the hospital or to let the sick die because of lack of insurance that is absurd. Please. If you really can’t see where this road is leading (which is socialism), just watch this video: Just to clarify, we do want to help the poor and the sick, but when it is demanded of you, is that even charitable? Or are you doing it because “I have to”?

  • Caro

    If this is ground for impeachment, why are we writing about it instead of doing something about it? Why aren’t the American people rising up? Let me remind you, Hitler didn’t take over the minds of people from one day to the other. He conditioned the people by taking away liberties little by little. Are we going to try to fight when we are being led out of us houses by force??

  • Dom

    Where are the checks and balances of our government. The fraud committed by this administration, and current politicians is off the charts. The money given to Michelle Obamas friend for a website that should have costed no more than five million dollars could have funded a three million dollar medical account for every citizen of this country, and no one is saying this is fraud, or looking into criminal charges

    • Lindsey

      I was unable to determine for sure how much was spent to design the website. However, 3 million dollars for every citizen would be about 900 trillion dollars. I am sure it was not that much. While Toni Townes-Whitney of CGI Federal is a member of the same Alumni Association as Michelle Obama hardly means they are friends. They could be. However, CGI Federal had numerous government contracts prior to ObamaCare and prior to the Obama administration. Also their PAC has made contributions for many years to multiple political candidates both Dem and Rep. So this is hardly an Obama scandal.

  • Chris

    I often watch “American Greed” on CNBC about conmen who defraud gullible folks and do serious damage to their lives. The conmen usually get caught and sentenced to 30 plus years, yet they are no more guilty than Mr Obama and company.

    • Jason Van Buskirk

      Yes, it is very clear Obama lied to the USA – and numerous times about the ACA. Most people voted for this law without knowing what was in it. The Actuary of Medicare – David Foster indicated there were substantial problems, risks associated with the ACA. Rep. Paul Ryan spoke of the financial/fiscal problems related to this. Many of the consequences WERE foreseeable, even just from an economic stand point. For example, how do you cut $500 Billion from Medicare AND put 30 Million more people on Medicare at the same time without increasing cost? This, is an impossible feat. Cost must go up, unless the quality of care (access to doctors etc.) regresses dramatically. We are 17 Trillion in debt; the ACA is going to cost well over another Trillion; basically we can’t afford the programs we had BEFORE the ACA. And, Obama said a thousand times, we could keep our insurance if we liked it. This is on video etc., tens, if not hundreds of times. Yet, major networks CBS’s etc, reported Obama KNEW back in 2010 between 45-67% of citizens would LOSE their coverage because of this.. The so-called “Grandfather” clause was narrowed before the ACA was passed and signed – effectively canceling MILLIONS of plans – mine included. The Democrats knew this, anyone reasonably familiar with this law knew it, and Obama still lied about it. The website is the LEAST of the problems the ACA is dealing with.



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