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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fact Checking Obama's Socialized Health Care Claims

Again, here is something that you will not see on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS. It is also highly unlikely that you will read anything like this in the Washington Post or the New York Times.

According to the Associated Press:

OBAMA: "We already have rough agreement" on some aspects of what a health care overhaul should involve, and one is: "It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you're happy with it."

THE FACTS: In House legislation, a commission appointed by the government would determine what is and isn't covered by insurance plans offered in a new purchasing pool, including a plan sponsored by the government. The bill also holds out the possibility that, over time, those standards could be imposed on all private insurance plans, not just the ones in the pool.

Indeed, Obama went on to lay out other principles of reform that plainly show the government making key decisions in health care.


He addressed some of the nuances under questioning. "Can I guarantee that there are going to be no changes in the health care delivery system?" he said. "No. The whole point of this is to try to encourage changes that work for the American people and make them healthier."

He acknowledged then that the "government already is making some of these decisions."

Whoa! If there were to be no government intervention on health care decisions, then why do we need a government appointed commission to determine what is and is not covered? And what decisions are being made by the government right now? If there is to be no government intervention, why are those decisions being made?

How much worse does this get? Pretty bad. Read on:

OBAMA: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

THE FACTS: The president has said repeatedly that he wants "deficit-neutral" health care legislation, meaning that every dollar increase in cost is met with a dollar of new revenue or a dollar of savings. But some things are more neutral than others. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told reporters this week that the promise does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase fees for doctors serving Medicare patients. Democrats and the Obama administration argue that the extra payment, designed to prevent a scheduled cut of about 21 percent in doctor fees, already was part of the administration's policy, with or without a health care overhaul.

Beyond that, budget experts have warned about various accounting gimmicks that can mask true burdens on the deficit. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget lists a variety of them, including back-loading the heaviest costs at the end of the 10-year period and beyond.

Even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the program costs would run into the trillions and make health care more expensive, not less.

OBAMA: "You haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans."

THE FACTS: Obama did so in his opening statement, saying, "I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me."

Of course, Obama wants this to be about Obama and not about the best policies for the American people. He probably figures that the more he deflects from the real issues (like the fact that even Democrats don't know what is in these health care proposals) the less likely the American people are going to educate themselves about the whole mess before a Congressional vote.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

FACT CHECK: Obama's Health Care Claims Adrift?
Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn with Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Associated Press via TownHall.com
July 23, 2009

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