In June 2009, as health-care reform was being debated vigorously across the country, President Obama told the American Medical Association’s convention that, whatever the provisions of the health-care bill he would sign into law ultimately included, “we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
After the Affordable Care Act lurched into effect in 2013, it became clear the president meant to say that if you like your doctor and health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep them . . . footnote. And, as you’d expect from a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, that footnote has turned out to be as long and convoluted as a Russian novel.