This is a fascinating exchange between Eric Cantor and Barack Obama at a Healthcare Summit at the White House in February 2010. All of it is worth listening to, although the most critical deception is at the very end of the video.
Cantor raised exactly the questions we have before us now.
1. What would be the consequences if you demand that everyone have these essential benefits[ed. – whether they need them or not]? What about the consequences of all the taxes in the bill? Will that not perforce mean costs will rise for the consumer? He notes at that point the estimates that Obamacare would cost a trillion dollars.
2. What will be the effect on the people who have insurance? The CBO says that 8-9 million may lose their insurance as a consequence of this. We want to make sure that there aren’t more insurance premium increases. We don’t think people will be able to keep their plans, their doctors with the provisions in your bill.
As Cantor is asking the second question, you can see Obama rudely talking, moving and asking questions of others. Terrible body language. He then goes on to say that people would voluntarily change because the deal in the exchange would be better, dodging the question of “would they be forced out of their plans?”.
“The eight to nine million Americans that you refer that might have to change their health insurance, keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we’re talking about, would be folks who the CBO—the Congressional Budget Office—estimates would find the deal in the exchange better, would be a better deal,” Obama said in response. “So yes, they would change coverage because they’ve got more choice and competition.”
Obama then goes on to talk about a pool of people. He says you can have a free market, the healthy pay for the healthy, the sick pay for the sick, but then the sick wouldn’t be able to pay that. Translation: that you need the healthy to be able to pay for the sick.
Cantor questions back saying, but “you have in the bill the Secretary (of Health and Human Services) define what a health benefit package should be”[essentially leaving people without choice, being dictated to by the Secretary, exactly what has happened now].
To which Obama, amazingly, immediately responds, “Only in the exchanges, only as part of the pool of people who don’t have health insurance would buy into” He then quickly changes the subject and tries to move onto other people and subjects.
So knowing the questions, knowing the CBO’s prediction, which at this point looks very conservative, and after telling Cantor such a regulation would only apply to people voluntarily entering the exchanges, not outside of it, what does Obama do next?
He then subsequently enacts the very regulations that apply to all plans, not just the exchanges, that actually cause the plans to be cancelled, the very scenario he was warned of by the CBO and Cantor, the very thing that he told Cantor would not apply.
But he says, “I didn’t know”…