President Barack Obama should listen to former President Bill Clinton, a supporter of the president’s health care law and perhaps the country’s most astute politician.
Clinton says Obama should consider changing the Affordable Care Act to honor the commitment the president repeatedly made when selling the health law: his promise that people who like their insurance policies would be able to keep those policies.
Now that millions of insured Americans are getting cancellation notices, that promise resembles a bait-and-switch tactic commonly associated with shady businesses.
Clinton sees the moral responsibility to change the law more clearly than Obama, who continues to stick to a line of defense that marginalizes the people affected.
He claims only a small percentage of Americans are being tossed from the plans they like and that most of them will find better plans in the health care exchanges.
But even if that proves to be true, the government still sold them a bill of goods. To make up for that, they should be given the chance to decide for themselves whether to change plans.
With his comments this week, Clinton joins a number of fellow Democrats who are pressing Obama to make concessions. They include Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who has proposed legislation requiring insurance companies to reinstate canceled policies, and 10 other Democratic senators calling for an extension of the sign-up period.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the House are planning legislation to allow policyholders to keep their coverage, as the president promised.
This mess is wholly the president’s making, which might explain the defensive posture. He appears to be grieving Obamacare’s disastrous rollout and all of the unintended consequences now being revealed.
The country will be better served once the president moves beyond the denial and anger stages and accepts the growing chorus from within his own party to fix the law.