Myth vs. Fact from the House GOP

From start to finish, the president’s speech last night was filled with misrepresentations and omissions through which he could sell, to the American public, the wrong kind of health care reform meant more to provide the government with additional control over American lives than to provide everyone with health care.

I tried my best, early this morning, to break down the speech and provide some insight into much of what was said. Still, a few minutes ago, I came across this fact-checking piece from the House Republican Conference, and thought I should include it here:

Quote: “And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone.”

Fact: The major coverage expansions in all the legislation being considered would not begin until January 2013-so according to the President’s own methodology, Democrat bills will allow more than 15 million additional Americans to become uninsured.

Quote: “And it’s why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it-about $1000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care.”

Fact: An even larger tax-of nearly $1,800 per year-is paid by individuals with private coverage who are forced to subsidize lower payments made by government-run health plans like Medicare and Medicaid, according to a study conducted by independent actuaries at the consulting firm Milliman.

Quote: “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.”

Fact: Independent experts all agree that the legislation proposed would result in millions of Americans losing the coverage they have-the Congressional Budget Office believes several million, the Urban Institute 47 million, and the Lewin Group as many as 114 million.

Quote: “Under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.”

Fact: Senior Obama Administration official Sherry Glied has previously written that a mandate “is in many respects analogous to a tax”-and furthermore has the potential to be a “very regressive tax, penalizing uninsured people who genuinely cannot afford to buy coverage.” Thus this policy stance breaks the signal promise of the Obama campaign: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

Quote: “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false-the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

Fact: Nothing in any of the Democrat bills would require individuals to verify their citizenship or identity prior to receiving taxpayer-subsidized benefits-making the President’s promise one that the legislation itself does not keep.

Quote: “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up-under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

Fact: The National Right to Life Committee, among other independent pro-life groups, have confirmed that the legislation will result in federal funds being used to pay for abortions-both through the government-run health plan, and through federal subsidies provided through the Exchange, despite various accounting gimmicks created in an Energy and Commerce Committee “compromise.”

Quote: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits-either now or in the future. Period.”

Fact: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has found that H.R. 3200 would increase deficits by $239 billion over ten years-and “would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits” thereafter. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation released a study today which found that in its second decade, H.R. 3200 would increase federal deficits by more than $1 trillion.

Quote: “Not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.”

Fact: Among more than $500 billion in proposed savings from Medicare, the Democrat bills also propose re-directing $23 billion from the Medicare Improvement Fund to fund new health care entitlements. According to current law, the Medicare Improvement Fund is designated specifically “to make improvements under the original Medicare fee-for-service program.”

Quote: “Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers.”

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office has previously found that the cuts to Medicare Advantage plans included in the Democrat legislation would result in millions of seniors losing their current plan-a direct contradiction of the President’s assertion that “nothing in this plan requires you to change what you have.”

Quote: “This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money – an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long-run.”

Fact: While some Republicans support addressing the current employee exclusion for health insurance in the context of overall tax reform, the President’s proposal would raise “fees” in order to finance new federal spending-a tax increase of hundreds of billions of dollars, and one that many Republicans may not support.

Quote: “Add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years.”

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office, in its score of H.R. 3200 as introduced, found that the legislation would spend approximately $1.6 trillion over ten years-nearly double the President’s estimate.

Quote: “I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.”

Fact: On May 13, House Republican leaders all wrote the President a letter reading in part: “We write to you today to express our sincere desire to work with you and find common ground on the issue of health care reform….We respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss areas for potential common ground on health care reform.” Nearly four months later, that meeting has yet to take place.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is what you get when you go to Joes website….. did Rahm shut him down? I want to donate to him, Joe that is.

    =====================================
    Joe Wilson

    Due to exceptionally high traffic, this site is temporarily unavailable.

    Please come back shortly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Resistnet.com and others are promoting Joe's email form so people can write thank you notes to him. It's possible there is too much traffic and it overwhelmed the server. We've done that to the White House and other servers before, but your theory is certainly possible too. I'd wait til this evening and try again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    Would you (or anyone) please respond to my husband's claim that the US has one of the poorest life expentancy at birth even though the US spends more on healthcare than any other country. He wants to know what criteria you are using when you state that the US has "the best healthcare system in the world." Please help me. I think you are GREAT! He, however, he thinks you are an idiot.

    Pam

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just found out that the HC bill includes establishing "health care clinics" WITHIN our public schools, and will partially fund them WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS. Groups like PLANNED PARENTHOOD will be able to operate within these schools, and will answer to no one but sec. of HHS. This IS true! And while the rest of the bill would not take effect til 2013, this provision would start as soon as possible.

    Can anyone say ABORTION?

    Lisa in TX

  5. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Pam,

    For starters, ask him where all of the lifesaving drugs come from? Where all of the cutting-edge equipment and procedures are developed?

    Without the ingenuity fostered by the American health care system he doesn't think so much of, health care across the world would be worse. I'm in a rush, so I hope that makes sense for now.

    Also, point him toward this: http://www.americasright.com/2009/08/privacy-concerns-and-true-motivation.html

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    Thank you so much for your reply. It didn't help.
    My husband concedes that the US develops many of the new drugs and procedures. He also agrees that healthcare results around the world would be much worse without the US. However, he still questions why, if our system is the best in the world, why do babies born in Canada, Great Britian and 41 others countries have a longer life expentancy at birth than babies born in the US? Even though every other country spends considerably less on healthcare than the US does.

    Thanks,

    Pam

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think Pam is a plant, maybe Barry on his blackberry.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pam and hubby should move.

  9. Bodenzee says:

    When I was young and impessionable I believed that I could perform "social engineering." I thought that I could fix employees and turn their bad behavior around. I once went so far with one employee as to travel to DC and meet with a Federal magistrate where I successfully pleaded for the restoration of a security cearance of a fellow who had lied. Less than two years later I had egg on my face as he repeated his behavior.

    I now believe that if a man lies to you once he will do it again. Obama has lied many times. Now nothing he says can ever be believed. A liar is to be always seen as a liar.

  10. Randy Wills says:

    What are you people picking on "Pam" for? I thought that she asked a reasonable question that deserved a reasonable answer. I'm sure that Jeff, given a little more time to respond, will provide a data-based response that she can use to refute her husband's conclusions.

    I expect that if one looks closely and objectively at the "data" that Pam's husband is quoting, it will change the complexion of his/Pam's question drastically. There never was a truer statement than the one that said that statistics can be interpreted to support any argument. Usually people who use statistics primarily to justify their ideology don't look too closely, and hence, leave themselves open to "egg on the face".

  11. Bodenzee says:

    Pam,
    Not all nations calaculate lefe epectancy in the same manner.

    Look at how life expectancy is calculated in the US. When deaths due to traffic accidents, executions, street crimes, murders, military casualties, suicides, etc are removed then US life expectancy looks pretty good.

    Read
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf

  12. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    This is an excellent rebuttal. This is what we need from the Republicans – truth & backbone. I wish everyone who listened to thespeech could read this.

    Thanks for all of the light you shine & share with us.

    Susan

  13. TNelson says:

    Pam,

    In my opinion, the reason life expectancy in the U.S. is lower has nothing AT ALL to do with our excellent medical care. In General, (and that is what all these statistics are) Americans want to be able to not excercise, eat at McDonalds every day, have great teeth, silky smooth skin and be able to get all of that out of a pill bottle. If Americans took 1/2 the effort for themselves that Europeans do, we would be by far the healthiest nation on the planet. Our health as a nation is the price we pay for our freedom. I'll live healthy and take my freedom thank you very much. I don't need the govts oversight to make me healthy, its a choice we can all make…..for now. People need to excercise the greatest gift God gave us (free will) with a little more thought.

  14. Starys says:

    I don't think Pam is a plant either. My husband thinks along the same lines. He wouldn't be caught dead reading this blog. I can't even discuss politics with him these days, he just walks away from me. I just laugh. I know I get through to him but he will never admit (to me at least) that he was wrong when he voted last November.
    I think Pam had a legitimate question.
    Thanks for posting that link Bodenzee

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