By Peter Suderman | Reason
On November 7, President Barack Obama made a first tentative stab at an apology for the fact that, despite his often-repeated assurances to the contrary, millions of Americans were losing their health insurance plans as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told Chuck Todd of NBC News.
The president’s reluctant apology was as empty as the promise that he broke. Obama was not sorry for the law or its impact on the health insurance status of millions, which was not only predictable but intended. Nor did he apologize for misleading the public, as he most certainly had. At a press conference the following week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney struggled to explain what exactly the president was contrite about.
Despite its insufficiency as a mea culpa, the president’s interview was a tacit acknowledgement that the disastrous rollout of his signature legislative achievement had produced a crisis of confidence not just in Obama’s competence but in his credibility. This development was underscored five days later when a Quinnipiac poll found that 52 percent of Americans no longer trusted him.