The Wall Street Journal reported that the Presidents, “you can keep your healthcare, period” promise was not an error it was a conscious political decision by the president and his political advisers made in 2009.

According to the report, Obama’s political and policy advisers debated whether it was a promise that could be kept and even considered having the president add some nuance in media interview However, they decided that it would lessen the effect of the President’s pitch and decided the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) would work better. The winning strategy was for the President to  But they decided that the president to make sweeping easy to understand claims the WSJ reported :

Behind the scenes, White House officials discussed whether that was a promise they could keep.

When the question arose, Mr. Obama’s advisers decided that the assertion was fair, interviews with more than a dozen people involved in crafting and explaining the president’s health-care plan show.

But at times, there was second-guessing. At one point, aides discussed whether Mr. Obama might use more in-depth discussions, such as media interviews, to explain the nuances of the succinct line in his stump speeches, a former aide said. Officials worried, though, that delving into details such as the small number of people who might lose insurance could be confusing and would clutter the president’s message.
“You try to talk about health care in broad, intelligible points that cut through, and you inevitably lose some accuracy when you do that,” the former official said.

The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate “if you like your plan, you can probably keep it” isn’t a salable point.

At one point according to Senior Administration officials, the promise was going to be that most or the vast majority of Americans would be able to keep their plans. But the poltical advisers won the day.

Richard Kirsch, the former national campaign manager of Health Care for America Now, which pushed for the 2010 health law, said the words were reassuring—and true—for the vast majority of the people, and so his group never raised concerns about that claim. Adding an asterisk to note that people who had “shoddy insurance” might need to change plans was not practical, he said.

“The actual, accurate statement is if you have good insurance, and you like it, you can keep it,” said Mr. Kirsch, now a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal policy organization.

But that wasn’t what the President said, he went along with the political advisers who wanted him to lie.  The accurate statement that Kirsh suggested above is not much better than the lie because it indicates that it is the government rather than the American people who gets to decide what is “good insurance.”