We were just asking for it. This is, essentially, what Century Foundation fellow Michael Cohen took to the pages of the New York Daily News on Monday to say. In a profound scolding, Cohen diagnoses America’s “immaturity” as demonstrated by the backlash against President Barack Obama over to his oft-repeated and false claim that every American who was happy with their health insurance would be able to keep their health insurance.
This was never true. The president and his staff were aware this was not true as early as February, 2010. Some media outlets reported that, for millions of Americans, they would not be able to keep their insurance plans. But, for Cohen, it was a noble lie – one that Americans should accept. He contends that a “schizophrenic” public welcomes the radical reforms contained within the Affordable Care Act but selfishly balks at the prospect of breaking a few eggs to achieve this virtuous end.
“[B]efore we fully castigate the President for his rhetorical flights of fancy, it’s important to keep in mind that Obama was — to a large degree — telling Americans what they wanted to hear,” Cohen writes, as though noting that lying to the public over telling them unwelcome truths was simply easier and therefore exonerating.