Obama misleads us on Healthcare

John Campbell
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Posted: Jul 23, 2009 12:20 PM
Last night in President Obama’s news conference he made an attempt to sell his socialized healthcare package to the American people. The truth is that what he is proposing is so unpopular that he must say things that are just plain misleading and in some cases not true.

Here are a few notes that I took last night based on what President Obama said:

The Government won’t be involved in medical decisions – This is wrong. The bill actually contains an organization to do exactly this, called the "Health Choices Administration not to mention Medicare and Medicaid already do this on their own. The reason for this is that everyone cannot have everything in this type of program and therefore the government must ration care. Section 141 & 142 of H.R. 3200

The financial system was on verge of collapse when he took office – This is patently and verifiably wrong. The financial system was in fact on the verge of collapse in October 2008; however by the time he took office on January 20, 2009 the system had already stabilized. This is not to say the economy was fine, it wasn’t, there is and continues to be much work to be done, but President Obama knows better than to take credit for something he didn’t do.

Prior to his taking office the economy wasn’t producing any good paying jobs - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States was experiencing positive monthly job gains for a total of 50 out of 52 months between September 2003 and December 2007. Bureau of Labor Statistics

If you have insurance you will be able to keep it – The House version of the legislation has an explicit clause that says that if you lose your insurance in some way shape or form, those who currently have private coverage will not be able to change it, those who lose their job, leave a company, or work for themselves will not be able to buy individual healthcare plans from private providers. IBD Editorial July 15, 2009

The current system subsidizes insurance companies – It’s actually the other way around. Private insurance subsidizes those on Medicaid and Medicare, any Doctor, hospital, or medical group could not survive if they took only Medicare and Medicaid payments from the federal government. The Congressional Budget Office has testified that Medicare already pays doctors 20 percent less than private health plans; hospital reimbursement rates are “as much as 30 percent lower.”

It will not be paid for by middle class taxpayers – If you don’t buy ‘acceptable’ health insurance individuals will receive a tax increase of 2.5%(Page 167), in addition to taxes on small business that will hit everyone, this doesn’t even account for the fact that there aren’t enough rich to pay for it. According to the Tax Foundation, the top tax rate will raise to more than 50% in 39 states.

Slows the growth of medical costs – The Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Elmendorf recently said that there is no evidence that it will reduce costs and may increase them. MSNBC – CQ – July 16, 2009

In terms of the deficit, we reduced spending by 2.2 trillion - We’ve actually increased spending by trillions of dollars since President Obama took office. The United States has set course under the leadership of President Obama to double the national debt in 5 years and triple it in 10. CBS News – February 26, 2009

Public option will provide some competition – Currently there are over 1,300 medical insurance plans available in the United States, the problem is that you can’t buy them across state lines. In California for instance, it would be wonderful if we could buy medical plans in any of the 50 states. All Republican plans include it, and the plan I am supporting the Patient’s Choice Act.

Healthcare is the biggest contributor to the deficit – Lately the biggest contributor to the deficit is actually President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. It is true that government healthcare plans are a major cost to the government. Yet, if the President believes that current healthcare programs are the biggest factor in the deficit, then how can he think that expanding and creating more of these plans and program will help the deficit?