New York Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel denied that President Barack Obama lied when he repeatedly claimed those who liked their health-care plans could keep them under Obamacare, claiming that the ensuing criticism is instead “all about Obama.”
Rangel appeared alongside North Carolina Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers to discuss Obamacare’s political future with Fox News’ Shannon Bream on Sunday. After checking in on a fatal subway derailment in Rangel’s New York district, Bream asked the congressman if he would be open to modifying parts of the healthcare law that need work.
“I don’t know what you mean by modification,” Rangel protested. “This should not be a Republican and Democratic issue. Everyone knew that 40 percent of the American people had no access to health care.”
“Instead of talking about what happened with the rollout, we should be so happy that we do have a plan that Republicans and Democrats can perfect,” he continued. “And if you have to talk politics, let the facts speak for themselves. They ran an election — it’s all about Obama. If he walked on water, they would say the president can’t swim.”
The deflection prompted pushback from Bream and a rambling response from the Democratic lawmaker:
BREAM: “Well, Congressman Rangel — Congressman Rangel, let’s be honest here. He ran and was elected on things like ,’I promise you can keep your health care and your doctor, period.’ No qualifiers. And people are very shaken at this point, feeling like they maybe voted for someone who wasn’t telling them the truth.”
RANGEL: “Well, the truth — If the president had said, ‘Everybody who has a policy if they like it and they like their doctor, they can keep it.’ However, less than one percent have annual policies, low benefits and very high premiums. And these are bum policies, and we would offer you a better policy at a cheaper premium and better coverage.
Should he have said it? Yes! But what percentage are we talking about? If you’re just looking for something that the president has said wrong, you’ve got yourself an issue.”
BREAM: “OK, let’s bring in –”
RANGEL: “But at the end of the day, everybody knows that this is a very, very small percentage of the people and it’s a bum policy that’s being canceled!”
But in mid-November Rangel attacked President Obama for his apology to consumers whose health-care plans have been canceled due to Obamacare.
“If I had the problem, saying you’re sorry doesn’t help me worth a damn at the polls, unless I can staple your remarks to the ballot,” he said at the time.