Friday, July 24, 2009

President Obama's Health Care claims disputed.

I would hate to be so disrespectful as to accuse our President of intentionally misleading the public, so I will use the language of political correctness and say he is apparently severely truth-challenged.

The Washington Times ran a story yesterday that reported:

Even as President Obama delivered a prime-time sales pitch for his embattled health care reform plan Wednesday, basic facts about coverage, cost and who foots the bills remain in dispute and many of the president's favorite talking points are challenged not only by Republicans but also by independent fact-checkers. (read more)
The article reports on the work done by the independent non-partisan group Fact Check among others. Fact Check is one of my favorite sites. It is great at examining statements of politicians for truthfulness and rhetorical excess. To see the Fact Check analysis of Mr. Obama's Health Care speech, click here. The New York Times ran a similar story to the Washington Times story and reported a different set of disputed claims (link). Among the health care claims by Mr. Obama that are in dispute are these:

  • People who are happy with their current health insurance can keep it.
  • Mr. Obama's oft-stated promise to provide universal health care coverage.
  • Mr. Obama stated opposition to requiring individuals to buy insurance or pay a fine.
  • Mr. Obama pledge that the overhaul of health care would be "deficit neutral."
  • The president's claim that the cost of treating uninsured people raises the cost of health care for the rest of Americans by $1,000 per family. It is closer to $200 per family per year.
  • Mr. Obama claims that nearly 46 million people in the U.S. are uninsured. That number includes illegal aliens and people who could afford to purchase insurance but choose not to do so.
  • Mr. Obama's claim that the reform will not reduce Medicare benefits.
The truth should matter. To believe President Obama, you have to believe that we will get more for less and no one will have to give up anything except a few rich people who will pay a little bit more in taxes. I accept that we need health care reform. The status quo is not acceptable. The current system is not sustainable. Getting reform right will not be easy but what is before us is taking us in wrong direction and will not solve the problem. It very well may make it worse.

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  1. My favorite is that Congress is exempt from it!

  2. My favorite is that this whole scheme will be "deficit neutral." If anybody believes that load of crap, I have a bridge to sell you.