It really should not come as news to anyone who has followed the health care debate closely, but President Barack Obama now officially fighting for the inclusion of the excise tax on employer-provided health care benefits in the final bill. Obama expressly campaigned against taxing health care benefits, and even mocked the idea of taxing only “Cadillac plans” on the campaign trail. Clearly, his promise to not tax health care benefits was just a very big lie that he told the American people.
It is important to remember that there is a big difference between a promise that a president was unable to keep because of the structure of our government and a straight up lie. For example ,even if Obama wanted to sign a specific treaty with another country, it is unlikely he could get the 2/3 majority vote he would need in the Senate. Even with a serious push, I don't think Obama will be able to find the votes for real cap and trade legislation in the Senate, even if he tried to use reconciliation. This excise tax is different. It did not need to be in the final bill, and it was Obama (who campaigned against it) who made sure it was included.
I don't expect a president to make every promise a reality. I don't even expect them to put a lot of effort into pushing for every single promise they made, but I at least expect him to not strongly advocate for things he directly campaigned against only a 15 months ago. The excise tax would never have made its way into the final bill if not for the strong push by the Obama administration for its inclusion. Is Washington politics so cynical and broken that expecting a politician to simply not strongly push for policies they spend months directly campaigning against considered naivety? Why is it so hard for people to state plainly what is going on? We have been directly lied to.