“If you misrepresent what's in this plan, we will call you out,” President Obama warned in his health care address to Congress earlier this month.
Fair enough. But the President himself has made numerous claims during this debate that don’t meet the straight-face test.
When the President says that health care reform will not require anyone to drop their current coverage, he fails to account for an independent analysis by the Lewin Group showing that as many as 114 million Americans could lose their current coverage and instead end up on a government-run plan under House Democrats’ proposal (H.R. 3200.) Even the most conservative estimates say millions could be shifted to a government-run plan.
When the President pledges that reform will not add to the deficit, not even a little, he neglects to mention that House Democrats’ plan would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
What’s worse, when the President insists that middle-class families won’t see a tax increase – as he did repeatedly during his recent appearance on ABC’s This Week – it’s as if he failed to read the health care bills altogether. On page 167 of H.R. 3200, the title of section 401 reads: “TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.” The Associated Press didn’t mince words when it began a fact check piece, “Memo to President Obama: it’s a tax.”
If the President read these bills, he’d also find that his pledge to protect seniors’ Medicare benefits rings hollow. According to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, House Democrats’ plan cuts Medicare Advantage programs by more than $172 billion.
As a result, six million seniors will be denied access to an affordable Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, including three million who will lose the plan they currently have, according to an analysis completed by Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee. And that’s just the beginning. The House Democrats’ bill includes a total of more than $500 billion in Medicare cuts, meaning reduced benefits and fewer choices for seniors.