Jonah Goldberg
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"Obamacare was sold on a trinity of lies."

That ornate phrase, more suitable for the Book of Revelations or perhaps the next installment of "Game of Thrones," comes from my National Review colleague Rich Lowry. But I like it. Most people know the first deception in the triumvirate of deceit: "If you like your health insurance you can keep it, period." The second leg in the tripod of deception was "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

But the third plank in the triad of disinformation hasn't gotten much attention: Obamacare will save you, me and the country a lot of money. This lie took several forms.

First, Obama promised on numerous occasions that the average family of four will save $2,500 a year in premiums. Where did that number come from? Three Harvard economists wrote a memo in 2007 in which they claimed that then-Sen. Obama's health-care plan would reduce national health-care spending by $200 billion. Then, according to the New York Times, the authors "divided [$200 billion] by the country's population, multiplied for a family of four, and rounded down slightly to a number that was easy to grasp: $2,500."

In September, the Obama administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services used far more rigorous methods to predict that Obamacare would increase national health-care spending by $621 billion. Using Obama's own math, that would mean -- according to Chris Conover, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and Duke University -- each family of four in America will spend an additional $7,450 thanks to Obamacare.

Of course, that methodology is still bogus. But it's probably closer to the truth.

The president and his allies also insisted that all of Obamacare's "free" preventative care would save the country vast amounts of money. As Obama put it in 2012: "As part of the health care reform law that I signed last year, all insurance plans are required to cover preventive care at no cost. That means free check-ups, free mammograms, immunizations and other basic services. We fought for this because it saves lives and it saves money -- for families, for businesses, for government, for everybody."

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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