Health-Care “Reform” Deception

As should be expected, FactCheck.org looked into Obama’s recent health-care press conference and found some problems. In sum, they found the following untruths: 

  • Obama promised once again that a health care overhaul “will be paid for.” But congressional budget experts say the bills they’ve seen so far would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.
  • He said the plan “that I put forward” would cover at least 97 percent of all Americans. Actually, the plan he campaigned on would cover far less than that, and only one of the bills now being considered in Congress would do that.
  • He said the “average American family is paying thousands” as part of their premiums to cover uncompensated care for the uninsured, implying that expanded coverage will slash insurance costs. But the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation puts the cost per family figure at $200.
  • Obama claimed his budget “reduced federal spending over the next 10 years by $2.2 trillion” compared with where it was headed before. Not true. Even figures from his own budget experts don’t support that. The Congressional Budget Office projects a $2.7 trillion increase, not a $2.2 trillion cut.
  • The president said that the United States spends $6,000 more on average than other countries on health care. Actually, U.S. per capita spending is about $2,500 more than the next highest-spending country. Obama’s figure was a White House-calculated per-family estimate.

In a related story, the National Taxpayers Union did a word study and found that, despite the rhetoric concerning “choice” and “options” from the proponents of the Democrat-pushed health-care reform efforts, the actual wording of a bill making its way through the House of Representatives places much more emphasis on anything but choice. The study noted the following:

… the words “choice,” “options,” and “freedom” appear just 85 times in the mammoth 1,018-page legislation, while three restrictive words — “require,” “limit,” and “must” (and variations) — were nine times more prevalent.

Here are two tables from the study that demonstrate the frequency of words used in the bill:

Language of a Busy Bureaucracy…
Term(s)
Frequency
Require/Required/Requirement(s) 494
Report(s)/Reporting/Reported 427
Limit/Limits/Limitation 167
Penalty/Penalties 156
Regulations 91
Tax(es) 72
Enforce/Enforcement 48
Must 47
Prohibit/Prohibiting/Prohibition 28
Sanction(s) 21
Obligation/Obligations 18
Restrict/Restrictive/Restriction 12
Fines 3

 

Limiting Freedom, Competition, & the Marketplace
Term(s)
Frequency
Benefit(s) 375
Choice 47
Options 38
Private 35
Rights 21
Privacy 17
Exempt/Exemption 16
Marketplace 3
Competition 3
Consumer-driven 0
Freedom 0
Liberty 0
Patient-driven 0

But one shouldn’t be surprised that politicians would use deception to push through their agenda to control more of our lives. Unfortunately, for most of them it is their natural inclination to seek increased power over others. As humor columnist Dave Barry once put it, “For [politicians], the question is always, ‘What kind of government intervention should we impose on the world?’ They never think that maybe we shouldn’t.”

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