Correcting misinformation about ObamaCare

posted at 2:52 pm on August 11, 2009 by Karl

Pres. Obama sounded the alarm in his weekly radio address, seeking to correct disnformation and dispel rumors about the Democrats’ healthcare proposals. There is a lot on the web about ObamaCare that seems fishy, but rather than sending bits and pieces to flag@whitehouse.gov, I am compiling them here in several categories:

1. Misinformation from Pres. Obama about the cost of ObamaCare.

Let me repeat: Health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it.

***

The bill I sign will also include my commitment and the commitment of Congress to slow the growth of health care costs over the long run.

Pres. Obama said this one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office told Congress that it does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress. Moreover, the projected $239 billion of additional deficit spending over the next 10 years may be more like $800 billion — and far more thereafter.

Pres. Obama told the American Medical Association that:

Making health care affordable for all Americans will cost somewhere on the order of $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s real money, even in Washington. But remember, that’s less than we are projected to have spent on the war in Iraq.

That is also flat out wrong — even if you add in the cost of the war in Afghanistan. For that matter, the true cost of the Democratic bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate may be $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, respectively—much higher than CBO’s figures.

Pres. Obama and top Democrats have also claimed that they can bend the healthcare cost curve by promoting preventive care. Wrong. And that giving an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would save big money. Wrong again.

2. Misinformation from Pres. Obama on the doctor-patient relationship.

I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.

Not even the New York Times is buying this anymore:

These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable.

The legislation does not require insurers or employers to continue offering the health benefits they now provide. The House bill sets detailed standards for “acceptable health care coverage,” which would define “essential benefits” and permissible co-payments. Employers that already offer insurance would have five years to bring their plans into compliance with the new federal standards.

The Senate health committee bill goes somewhat further by offering an “option to retain current insurance coverage.”

The legislation could have significant implications for individuals who have bought coverage on their own. Their policies might be exempted from the new standards, but the coverage might not be viable for long because insurers could not add benefits or enroll additional people in noncompliant policies.

Dallas L. Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private nonpartisan group, said: “The president and Democrats in Congress are saying what they would like. Their promises may not be literally true because your health plan may change, and your doctor may no longer accept your insurance.”

Indeed, under the House bill, as soon as anything changes in your plan — such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year — you’ll have to move into a qualified plan instead. Moreover, according to the non-partisan Lewin Group, under the House bill, about 83.4 million people would lose their current private insurance — a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.

3. Misinformation from Pres. Obama about a government takeover of health care.

In his radio address, he calls this an “outlandish rumor” that is “simply not true.” In reality, Pres. Obama and a raft of his supporters have admitted that ObamaCare anticipate that it will serve as a transition to European-style socialized medicine. Quite apart from the government-run plan that would inherently engage in unfair competition with private insurers, the bills currently pending in Congress would create a Health Choices Czar imposing costly mandates (like the guaranteed issue mandate that nearly doubled insurance premiums in New Jersey), driving people into the aforementioned government-run health exchanges and interfering with our right to choose our own doctors. As Michael Kinsley — no right-winger he — asks:

If the government requires insurers to accept all customers and charge all the same price, regulates all aspects of their marketing to make sure they aren’t discriminating, and then redistributes the profits to make sure that no company gets penalized unfairly, in what sense is the industry still “private”?

4. Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government funding abortions.

The president calls this one “outlandish” also, but the Associated Press begs to differ:

Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.

***

A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums. Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure.

“It’s a sham,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life. “It’s a bookkeeping scheme. The plan pays for abortion, and the government subsidizes the plan.”

5. Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government-run healthcare and illegal immigration.

Pres. Obama further claims that it is “outlandish” to suggest that he favors providing government-run healthcare for the tens of millions of illegal immigrants currently in the US. However, Pres. Obama just said he wants healthcare reform done this year, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants passed in 2010. Does anyone think Obama would support a law that excluded from ObamaCare anyone with illegal status in 2009?

6. Misinformation from Pres. Obama about cutting Medicaid.

Again, Pres. Obama says this is simply not true. But the House bill would be paid for in part by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Indeed, AARP supports ObamaCare because it is trading off Medicare cuts for expanded coverage that is potentially quite lucrative for AARP.

Interestingly, Obama’s radio address did not claim that claimed Medicare cuts were outlandish. Given his prior comments on elder care, and the disturbing way the House bill conflates end-of-life counseling with cost-containment, the president might have taken the opportunity to “dispel” the notion that seniors might suffer as AARP prospers. But maybe there was only so much disinformation he could get into a single address.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Hammer. It. Home.

Abby “The Anvil” Adams. <– mob name

Abby Adams on August 11, 2009 at 2:53 PM

I have noted something that anyone who has read any of these events must see…

The plan Obama is defending and pushing is not the same as any plan actually on paper in Congress

Think about that… ObamaCare will not have waiting lines, rationing, greater costs and will not add to the deficit yet every single plan written in the House and Senate does…all 5 of them

There is a major disconnect between what TAO sees as the plan and what Congress has actually put together…perhaps Obama needs to talk to his bill writers. It is why so very many can wave actual bills in his face and yell ‘lie’ when he says things that just are not so…

JIMV on August 11, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Obama has gone way beyond misinformation to outright disinformation — in plain language, lying.

jwolf on August 11, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Let me repeat: Health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it.

I promise, no earmarks: 9000 in the stimulus bill
I promise, all bills will be posted on the Internet for 5 days before I sign them into law.: Has not happened yet.

Has Obama kept any promise, I mean other than to destroy the American economy?

The Rock on August 11, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Agree with the Anvil.

Fish, as in, Swim with the Fishes.

Fish on August 11, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Obama’s greatest gift: The ability to lie with conviction!

The Rock on August 11, 2009 at 3:00 PM

This plan is good enough for the serfs and the chillins on the plantation, but not good enough for the masters in the big ‘White House’ or the nobel class in the congress and the senate. When the masters are challenged to have the same plan as the the slaves on the plantation they suddenly get very protective of their ‘choices’ and their plans.

If its not good enough for the masters then its not good enough for the chillens on the plantation. Put me on the enemies list.

Kuffar on August 11, 2009 at 3:01 PM

He’s lying and even he knows it. That town hall meeting was a setup and convinced no one other than his cult.

rplat on August 11, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Our President is full of shit.

Cicero43 on August 11, 2009 at 3:02 PM

I agree w/the MOBFATHER! Everything that comes out of his mouth is contradicting what he has said before and when the little girl asks a question that doesn’t have anything with what is in the bill,he says he’s not going to take away your grandma???!!He is losing it,but I ask again,who is pulling his strings b/cause he definitely does not know what he is doing.

ohiobabe on August 11, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Trillions for defense, not a penny for ObamaCare.

Hening on August 11, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Obama is a liar.

spmat on August 11, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Tick Tock Tick Tock

fourdeucer on August 11, 2009 at 3:08 PM

A demonstrable liar.

It’s breathtakingly easy to catch him spreading falsehoods.

capitalist piglet on August 11, 2009 at 3:08 PM

If anyone is watching Shemp Smith, he just gave the WHITE HOUSE website as a place where people could go to get real information instead of misinformation.

I would pay to see Hannity bitchslap Shemp on air.

Laura in Maryland on August 11, 2009 at 3:08 PM

My comment must have been moderated away.

Shemp Smith just gave the WHITE HOUSE website as a place where Americans can go to get sound information and clear up misinformation about health care.

I would pay to see Hannity wenchslap Smith on air.

Laura in Maryland on August 11, 2009 at 3:10 PM

It cannot be done without adding to the deficit. Even if he taxed everyone, and I mean EVERYONE 100% of their income, this cannot work without putting us more into debt. Just watch the influx of illegals, once this passed. We’ll never get out of debt from this mess.

He’s done all he can to keep jobs from being created. He’s done everything he can to keep the economy bad….and more, and more go unemployed month after month, while his cronies cook the books. Without people working, no taxes come in. Without taxes coming in, how in hell will this be paid for? On the backs of those still working? That will break us, and every job provider left. So in the end, no health care for anyone.

He lied about major points on this bill. 3 bills, and no one’s read them in their entirety, yet he says what will be in, and what will be out? Bull!

And once again I ask. IF these Democrats, and president think it’s so damn great…..why do they not want to be on it themselves?

capejasmine on August 11, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Karl continues his home run streak. This is excellent.
There is no Obamacare plan, but we have to pass it now. What we have is a Pelosi/Waxman speciality, and we know you can’t trust either of those socialists (and I’m biting my tongue on what I really believe about them).
Can we eject California from the Union?

either orr on August 11, 2009 at 3:12 PM

stolen [and cleaned up] from ace:

Billy Mays here for Obamacare! Ah, screw it. Even I couldn’t sell this crap…

- Countrysquire

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Simple question:

President Obama and Democrat Leaders of this great nation—if you support this legislation and believe it to be in the best interest of every American, will you simply set the EXAMPLE by accepting this public option as your primary health care plan?

Rovin on August 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Abby Adams on August 11, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Fish on August 11, 2009 at 2:59 PM

“Alarm Clock”

LibTired on August 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Thank you for sharing that gem! Ace’s morons are great, but they play too rough for an old broad like me.

Laura in Maryland on August 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Obama’s greatest gift: The ability to lie with conviction!

The Rock on August 11, 2009 at 3:00 PM

“He’s a very good liar.”

My bad, that was said about the last Democratic president.

Hmm, I detect a pattern here. And Jimmy Carter swore that he would never lie to us, but did.

MarkTheGreat on August 11, 2009 at 3:17 PM

will you simply set the EXAMPLE by accepting this public option as your primary health care plan?

Rovin on August 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM

This is a trap question for us. If they accept, we get nationalized health care.

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:18 PM

The man should have started with this before all of America saw the mask fell and the lies were in the open.

He was just terrible at that make believe town hall. No wonder the most donks won’t go to any of them.

jukin on August 11, 2009 at 3:19 PM

That wasnt a town hall, that was a porn show.

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:20 PM

oops, me engineer not writer.

jukin on August 11, 2009 at 3:22 PM

“He’s lying.”
“How can you tell?”
“His mouth is moving.”

mojo on August 11, 2009 at 3:23 PM

He must really believe that the unwashed masses are all dumber as rocks. That town hall meeting was a setup and as phony as a $3 bill.

rplat on August 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

One of the dissenter questioners wore a huge peace sign around her neck.

She almost fainted after she said “he winked at me”

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Keep up the good work patriots! Pinnochios’ strings are comin off! The Liar and Thief is being exposed for the puppet that he is and his puppet masters can’t be happy.

Lookin for more head bashers to beat the people into line. Mount up and arm up Patriots we are in a fight for our country with a bunch of Marxists!

Rally in D.C. Sept 12, 2009 and bring the fight to the chickens door steop!
They must fear for their very existance or they will ram this through anyway, it is the fullfillment of their dreams, bringing America and Capitalism, Free Enterprise to her knees and guaranteeing power eternal for themselves!

dhunter on August 11, 2009 at 3:25 PM

This is a trap question for us. If they accept, we get nationalized health care.

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Wrong my friend. If Congress ever accepted their own foolish BS they are trying to push down our throats, then Chicago will win the next world series and pigs would fly. It just isn’t going to happen.

Rovin on August 11, 2009 at 3:25 PM

He must really believe that the unwashed masses are all dumber as rocks.

plat on August 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

After all, they voted for him, didn’t they? I’ll be here all week.

LibTired on August 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM

After all, they voted for him, didn’t they? I’ll be here all week.

LibTired on August 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM

touché

rplat on August 11, 2009 at 3:29 PM

The staged event in Portsmouth should generate some headlines. They had to bus people in from Taxachusettes to fill the place – by invitation only, so that Bozo would not be confronted by anyone with a real question or real dissent.

People actually protesting out front observed many members of the AFL-CIO and the SEIU

dogsoldier on August 11, 2009 at 3:34 PM

He must really believe that the unwashed masses are all as dumb dumber as rocksas his own supporters. That town hall meeting was a setup and as phony as a $3 bill.

rplat on August 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Fixed it.

larvcom on August 11, 2009 at 3:40 PM

There is a lot on the web about ObamaCare that seems fishy,

According to Sarah Palin, the only thing that goes with the flow is a dead fish. So, if the American people go with the flow on this fishy ObamaCare plan, government rationing will turn them into dead fish.

Steve Z on August 11, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Pres. Obama said this one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office told Congress that it does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress. Moreover, the projected $239 billion of additional deficit spending over the next 10 years may be more like $800 billion — and far more thereafter.

Everyone should notice that Karl made this the tiop of the list. This is the question that needs to be hammered at every public forum and debate: Based upon the government’s abysmal record at predicting (re:underestimating) health care related program costs (Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription Drugs) how are we assured that you guys have a funding clue this time?

Arlen Spector’s answer would be “Well you know I’m not required to tell you how programs will be paid for.”

BJTex on August 11, 2009 at 3:43 PM

From the article linked by Karl as “lucrative for AARP”:

AARP already uses profits from lending its name to insurance plans to support its advocacy efforts. But some on Capitol Hill are questioning how long the group can continue to wear both hats.
AARP’s insurance partners have to meet targets for criteria such as using plain language or reaching out to populations that have had trouble obtaining health care services. If they don’t, the companies would have to pay penalties.
AARP officials expect to double enrollment in AARP-branded insurance over the next seven years. And the group expects to receive an additional $1.5 billion in royalties.

I wonder how many AARP members know that THIS is what AARP does with their dues, while AARP endorses a plan that would cut Medicare benefits.

AARP: Throwing Grandma under the bus, just like Obama.

Steve Z on August 11, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Abby “The Anvil” Adams. <– mob name

Abby Adams on August 11, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Cool mob name!

massrighty on August 11, 2009 at 3:57 PM

This is a trap question for us. If they accept, we get nationalized health care.

faraway on August 11, 2009 at 3:18 PM

You’re right, using only logic; if they call our bluff, and accept, then we get whatever health care bill they craft.

But! they will never, ever, call our bluff, and give up their gold-plated, no co-pay, no employee contribution health care, in favor of whatever they craft for us.

It is, however, only a “gotcha” question, because, unless we prevent it, we’ll get whatever crap sandwich version of health care they serve us up anyway, and they’ll keep their gold-plated, no co-pay, no employee contribution health care.

massrighty on August 11, 2009 at 4:02 PM

This may be a small point, but I’ve been thinking about the people born in 1945 and the five or so years following, like my mother who was born in 1945. She turned 20 in 1965, the year that Medicare was founded:

“Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. Medicare operates as a single-payer health care system.[1] The Social Security Act of 1965 was passed by Congress in late-spring of 1965 and signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation. At the bill-signing ceremony President Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card.[2]”

She has been working all of her adult life and paying into the Medicare system for almost all of her life (since she was 20 and the Medicare system was created). She paid into it with the promise that she was paying for other old people and that, in her time of old age, would have her needs taken care of in the exact same fashion.

Now, just as she is about to turn 65 next year, Congress is trying to revamp the system in such a way that it looks as if _nobody_ will have the best health care. Not only that, but, once the government system makes health care scarce, the allocation of procedures and upper end medicine will be sent to mostly the young (as per the chart on page 6 of ”
Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/18280675/Principles-for-Allocation-of-Scarce-Medical-Interventions?classic_ui=1

If you look at the chart, the allocation of medical resources for those above 60 drops precipitously. Thus, the people born from 1945-1950 will have paid all or virtually all of their working lives into a medicare system that gives to the old, only to have the system switched to one that gives to the young just as they hit old age.

We know that the Medicare will be cut heinously because President Obama has called for such major cuts in Medicare to specifically fund his new health care plan:

“The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president’s budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn’t be accountable to the public.”

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07242009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/deadly_doctors_180941.htm?page=0

The authors of the article on “Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions” justify their bias against the old, ageism, on the fact that the persons were once young, and, thus, took advantage of the system themselves at that age:

“He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years” (Lancet, Jan. 31).”

(The same article as above, referencing the paper referenced above.)

However, anybody who is 60 or older when this is passed will not have had the opportunity to go through the system and be the beneficiaries of the health care when they were in the prime care ages. Thus, the people who had to pay all those years into the system for the old and will never receive the benefits of it and will now be forced to pay for the remainder of their lives for a new system of which they will never have received any of the real benefits thereof will be the people aged 60-65 at the point that this bill is passed, such as my mother who is 64 now.

I call this the 1945 Factor (for the first year in which these people were born although the year span is 1945-1950) and I wonder exactly how many more people will be protesting this “reform” should this logical conclusion in thinking reach the public.

Theophile on August 11, 2009 at 4:29 PM

his lies aren’t lipstick on a pig; they’re ketchup on a crap sandwich!

reliapundit on August 11, 2009 at 5:28 PM

The staged event in Portsmouth should generate some headlines. They had to bus people in from Taxachusettes to fill the place – by invitation only, so that Bozo would not be confronted by anyone with a real question or real dissent.

People actually protesting out front observed many members of the AFL-CIO and the SEIU

dogsoldier on August 11, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Portsmouth is probably the most liberal city in NH-it’s near UNH, and has a large “artist” population. He knew what he was doing, and knew that this was probably the only place in the state he got get a “sympathetic” crowd.

Del Dolemonte on August 11, 2009 at 5:29 PM

if you support this legislation and believe it to be in the best interest of every American, will you simply set the EXAMPLE by accepting this public option as your primary health care plan?

Rovin on August 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM

And then come back to us in 10 years with a progress report and at time we’ll consider it.

PackerBronco on August 11, 2009 at 5:32 PM

OMG! You’d think the Chosen One was LYING TO US!

GarandFan on August 11, 2009 at 5:38 PM

We are being deceived. Zoinks!

kirkill on August 11, 2009 at 6:22 PM

and I mean it.

Ooooohhhh… he only says that when he *really* means it!

jana on August 11, 2009 at 6:35 PM

These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable.

I believe the technical term for such a statement is, lying.

I suppose the NYT is not up on such technicalities.

tom on August 11, 2009 at 6:38 PM

And there are loads of morons out there who will sop up every ounce of Obama’s swill and never see any of this contradictory evidence, because they are willfully blind and ignorant morons. Sadly, they are allowed to vote.

pannw on August 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Ahhh, a nice, meaty post into which I can sink my teeth. A great job, Karl, as usual; I’ve been missing your posts since you left Protein Wisdom.

I still think your best post ever was “Does Barack Obama’s Religion Matter?“, where you dug deep into Black Liberation Theology and opened a lot of eyes to BHO’s foundations. Sadly, that post is deteriorating, as multiple server problems have caused it to look like a park statue covered with pigeon crappings. Hopefully you’ve kept a clean copy somewhere.

That information is still valid; teh ONE!’s formative theology (and his core beliefs) might be kept well-hidden, but I’ll bet he still believes in it’s tenets, and is finding subtle, nuanced ways to bring ‘em to fruition. Hence the lies and deceits you’ve so handily exposed.

Serr8d on August 11, 2009 at 9:19 PM

If you think medicare is provided by the govt. think again and check your county budget and you’ll see that it’s the tax payer who foots the cost of medicare. You pay into SS each payday and you’re taxed for the balance of payment. The govt. takes the credit for taking care of you.

mixplix on August 12, 2009 at 8:04 AM