“No matter what.” These three words have caused the President a tremendous political headache over the past couple weeks, and as such his credibility is ostensibly on the chopping block. We needn’t recall the campaign details from 2008 and 2012 to remember the slogan, “if you like your insurance plan you can keep it, no matter what.” The remarkable ability of Mr. Obama to condense something as complex and fluid as the insurance market to a memorable one-liner was indeed an assurance to the many Americans who supported the Affordable Care Act when it became law. As with many slogans, however, this one turned out to good to be true.

It is now understood that somewhere around five percent of Americans will be dropped from their health insurance policies and forced into the health insurance exchanges. For five percent of the country, then, ‘no matter what’ did not take effect. Millions of people will have their lives sharply interrupted, like it or not. This is a large number and should not be ducked as a detail in the grand scheme of things.

But, on the other hand, the story does not end with this sorrowful state of affairs. While many on the Right would have media coverage of the five percent halt at their loss of insurance, the reality is plain. The reason why these individuals are losing their insurance to begin with is because the plans are sub-par and do not meet minimal standards. As a result, the five percent will now by and large be faced with insurance plans in the exchanges that are both more expansive and cheaper.

This reality, though unpopular amongst conservatives, still does not relieve the President of some blame. At the day’s end politicians must be accountable for their talking points, and the fact of the matter is that millions of people were misled on this occasion. We will inevitably hear many personal, heart-twisting stories from families who receive cancelation letters in the mail from their insurance companies over the next several weeks. President Obama cannot escape responsibility for these scenarios and now stares at an uphill climb in communicating to the five percent why his credibility should remain intact.

In the meantime, as the President draws increased scrutiny and as cancelation letters proliferate in the mail, who can speak for the five percent? As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the Tea Party has already rushed to claim the role. Decrying the failings of Obamacare and insisting on solidarity with the millions of Americans who are now without health insurance, the Right has not yet detected the contradictions engulfed in this position. In any case, it can be emphatically stated that those who have never before come up with a workable solution for the uninsured can be dismissed from the island of ideas at once.

It is undoubtedly the case, for example, that Americans were being dumped from insurance policies long before the Affordable Care Act came to be. Where was the outcry amongst the Right then? Could it be possible that conservative politicians are using the five percent only to fit their current political needs? One does not have to be a skeptic to raise at least one eyebrow when we hear the Right is up in arms about people losing health insurance.

Further, is it not the case that true conservatives should have the opposite reaction to this news? If a health insurance company decides to relieve an individual from a particular policy because it cannot compete with other companies, then the free market is in full effect. This is capitalism at its finest. Operating against a for-profit model, the individual in a health insurance market has everything to lose. Whereas this should be the dream of any true conservative, the Right seems to have changed its tune over the past couple weeks.

For its part, the Democratic Party has not been much help either. The problem all along with the Affordable Care Act, of course, was its reliance on the market and its rejection of anything resembling a modern national healthcare system. It is for this reason that many Americans will remain uninsured even if the Affordable Care Act goes according to plan. So while the five percent is struggling to come to grips with its new choices ahead, it will do so within a quite imperfect, corporatist-driven system.

Who should speak for the five percent? While the President scrambles to regain credibility and the Right continues to construct a rod for its own back, perhaps we should begin asking questions about the hundred percent. Until we acknowledge that healthcare is a right and by definition a single payer system marks the way forward, stories like ‘the five percent’ will only continue to mount.