(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)
The White House is not rushing to claim President Obama's latest award: Lie of the year.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday the administration is focused on putting its health care plan in place; he declined to discuss the declaration by the fact-checking website PolitiFact of its annual "lie of the year:" President Obama's past claim that if "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
Obama has apologized to Americans who lost their policies because of new federal regulations.
Carney did note that PolitiFact has in the past defended Obama's statement about existing insurance policies, before declaring it "lie of the year" over developments in recent months.
"End-of-the-year categorizations like that are always fun even when they don't jibe with past characterizations of the very same statement," Carney said. "But we're focused on implementation of the Affordable Care Act."
He added: "We have owned and acknowledged where that rollout this fall has not been up to the standards that we expected and where there have been problems."
In its analysis of Obama's "catchy" statement -- "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" -- PolitiFact reported that the promise was impossible to keep:
"So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama's breezy assurances were wrong.
"Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology. ...
"(Obama) fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.
"The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president's 'you can keep it' claim has been a real hit to his credibility."