On Monday, PolitiFact editor Angie Drobnic Holan defended PolitiFact’s characterization of President Obama’s promise that if Americans liked their health insurance plans, they would be able to keep them, as half-true. The original PolitiFact “factcheck” took place in June 2012. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” Obama promised in August 2009. PolitiFact told TruthRevolt that the statement was half-true, despite the fact that the promise was utterly false, a fact demonstrated by insurance companies cancelling hundreds of thousands of insurance policies across the nation in order to get people to enroll in Obamacare exchange plans. Nonetheless, at the time, PolitiFact said:
Obama has a reasonable point: His health care law does take pains to allow Americans to keep their health plan if they want to remain on it. But Obama suggests that keeping the insurance you like is guaranteed.
In reality, Americans are not simply able to keep their insurance through thick and thin. Even before the law has taken effect, the rate of forced plan-switching among policyholders every year is substantial, and the CBO figures suggest that the law could increase that rate, at least modestly, even if Americans on balance benefit from the law’s provisions. We rate Obama’s claim Half True.
This was a stretch at the time. Now, given the White House’s explicit admission that Americans may lose their health insurance plans, it is obviously false.
Nonetheless, PolitiFact’s Holan defended the “half-true” rating, stating:
Our fact-checks and reporting show that the health care law leaves in place the current health insurance system while putting more regulations on health insurance companies, and that means some people may have to change plans. People also had to change plans before the health care law. Overall, Obama's statement was partially accurate but left out important details or took things out of context. That's our definition of Half True.
Which part was accurate? Holan didn’t say. But that’s PolitiFact’s story, and they’re sticking to it.