The White House is directly addressing viral attacks on the president's health care reform push, trying to defuse spreading rumors suggesting a government takeover of insurance.
The administration on Tuesday targeted a clip featured on the Drudge Report claiming Obama wants to eliminate public health insurance with a video of their own.
Pointing to the right-leaning aggregator on her computer, White House Office of Health Reform Communications Director Linda Douglass "says the people who always try to scare people ... are at it again," manipulating old video to "leave a false impression." She then plays video of the president promising that anyone who likes their health insurance will be able to keep it.
The video Douglass is rebutting appeared on Breitbart with the title "Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will 'Eliminate' Private Insurance."
The clip, reposted on the Drudge Report and elsewhere, shows Obama saying at a 2007 SEIU forum, "But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out." However, the video is cropped disingenuously. Immediately beforehand, Obama said, "I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort." He was talking about turning employer insurance into something more portable, not eliminating all private insurance.