“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

No speechwriter to President Obama needs to be reminded of how often the president made this promise. At the height of the debate over health reform, it would have been useful for us to have a shortcut to insert it into our drafts, maybe taking over one of those mysterious function keys above the numbers. (That and a “straw-man macro” would have saved a ton of time.)

So as a former speechwriter to the president and an avid user of the microblogging procrastination machine known as Twitter.com, it’s no surprise that I’ve been asked often (and occasionally politely) about this promise and what keeping it, or failing to keep it, means for the larger enterprise of reforming our nation’s health care system.

Here's my answer, in chart form. (Click here or on the chart for a larger view, or here's a version more suitable for printing and showing to older relatives.)