Move over, "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it." President Obama and his allies have a new message for millions of Americans who are losing their coverage as a result of his health care law: If you like your health care plan, you shouldn't.
Obama said on Oct. 28 that "there are a number of Americans -- fewer than 5 percent of Americans -- who've got cut-rate plans that don't offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident." He went on to blast "bad-apple insurers" for issuing such plans.
On Sunday, Obama strategist Dan Pfeiffer echoed the president on ABC's "This Week," disparaging "cut-rate plans."
This is a fundamentally flawed political messaging strategy.
Remember, the people who are upset about losing their insurance plans aren't Americans who couldn't afford insurance in the existing individual market who will now qualify for generous subsidies under Obamacare.
They aren't people who were denied coverage by insurance plans because of their pre-existing conditions. By definition, people who like their insurance coverage are people who have insurance and like it.
The problem with telling this group of people that only crappy health care plans are being cancelled is that the people who are most angered by the wave of cancellations are people who liked their health care plans the most. Thus, they presumably didn't think they were lousy policies.
All Obama and his allies are doing by making this argument is insulting individuals who took time and effort to research their health insurance plans.
Imagine you're a mother who chose an insurance policy that you felt best met your families needs, and then you're told by Obama that the plan that you picked out for your family is garbage.
It's just a really tone-deaf argument that lacks empathy.