The Corner

A Relevant Cliché

For the last 40 years, a constant in American political life has been “the Watergate question” — the one asked by Howard Baker: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” This is one of the great clichés of our time, and often an annoying one. Still, I think it applies to Obamacare. And I have not heard people dredge it up in this context, though they probably have.

What did President Obama know about the health law, and its effect on people who have been insured, and when did he know it? What did he know about the millions who would be thrown off their plans, and when did he know it? How long did he cling to the fiction — the selling point: “If you like your plan, you can keep it” — after he knew it could not be true?

Also, when did the president know that his claim about premiums — a $2,500 reduction for the average family — was bunk?

I started getting sick of “the Watergate question” about ten years after it was first posed, but it is still a good one, now and then.


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