About 8,800 West Virginians have learned during the past few weeks that President Barack Obama lied to them. But the number is peanuts compared to what's going to happen about a year from now.
Obama tried to wipe the lie from his lips last week, but only after being caught in it dozens of times, courtesy of videotapes of speeches he made in 2009 and afterward. In them, he promised that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would not force anyone to drop the insurance policy they have.
Millions of people have been or will be notified that Obamacare will mean they will lose the coverage they have. Their existing policies are illegal under the law.
Obama has known for years that would happen. Yet he kept promising people it wouldn't. Imagine an arrogance so deep and broad as to believe no one would notice he lied.
Finally, Obama announced changes will be made in the law so that some people will be able to keep the coverage they have. Given his previous lies (I watched and listened to him make the "if you like it you can keep it" pledge on videotape clips from 29 separate events), how can anyone believe he's sincere this time?
That isn't even to mention the fact that sections of Obamacare banning some types of insurance are the law. Congress approved it. Obama himself signed the bill. Now, unilaterally, he claims he's changing it. What part of the Constitution allows that?
But Obama has painted himself into a serious corner.
Among the millions of people already told their insurance is being canceled are about 8,800 West Virginians. That happens to be more Mountain State residents than have signed up for coverage through Obamacare.
It was explained the number would have been higher but for the fact our state has a relatively small percentage of people who buy and pay for their own health insurance. Only about 25,000 West Virginians do that.
About 910,000 Mountain State residents have health insurance paid for, at least in part, through their employers, according to state officials. They are among tens of millions of Americans who benefit from such coverage.
So they're safe, right? Wrong. You may remember another change Obama made. Several months ago he decreed that many businesses will not have to meet the Jan. 1 deadline for complying with Obamacare. They will have another year to make arrangements.
Guess what happens then? Many company-paid health insurance programs do not comply with Obamacare for the same reason individual policies are being canceled right now. They don't provide coverages required by the law - so they're illegal.
Sometime during the next year, companies are going to have to decide whether to upgrade employees' insurance policies to comply with the law - or cancel the coverage. We already know many will stop providing health insurance for employees, because it will cost them less to pay non-compliance penalties than to bring the policies into line with Obamacare mandates.
Many of those losing employer-provided health insurance for that reason will be in West Virginia.
Obama knows all this. Why do you think he granted the one-year delay? So there would be less public outcry now, giving him time to put Obamacare solidly in place and claim, a year from now, that it's too late to kill it.
You think what's going on now is outrageous? Just wait 'til next year.
Former President Bill Clinton kicked off his wife Hillary's campaign for the Oval Office. He commented that Obama really ought to do something about all those people losing insurance coverage. Translation: "If Hillary or I had been in office, this never would have happened."
Moving back to in-state politics: With West Virginia University President James Clements leaving, WVU officials will have to find an interim president, then a new permanent one.
Any bets on whether WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck is on the short list for either job?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Myer is executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com