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AP ‘Fact Checks’ Obama-Care Debate

From those finders of fact at the Associated Press:

An intern for House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) sits with stacks of paperwork in anticipation of a committee meeting to mark-up health care legislation titled "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2009.

FACT CHECK: Distortions rife in health care debate

By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Confusing claims and outright distortions have animated the national debate over changes in the health care system.

Opponents of proposals by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats falsely claim that government agents will force elderly people to discuss end-of-life wishes. Obama has played down the possibility that a health care overhaul would cause large numbers of people to change doctors and insurers.

To complicate matters, there is no clear-cut "Obama plan" or "Democratic plan." Obama has listed several goals, but he has drawn few lines in the sand.

The Senate is considering two bills that differ significantly. The House is waiting for yet another bill approved in committee.

A look at some claims being made about health care proposals:

CLAIM: The House bill "may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia," House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said July 23.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey said in a July 17 article: "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years … about alternatives for end-of-life care."

THE FACTS: The bill would require Medicare to pay for advance directive consultations with health care professionals. But it would not require anyone to use the benefit.

Advance directives lay out a patient’s wishes for life-extending measures under various scenarios involving terminal illness, severe brain damage and situations. Patients and their families would consult with health professionals, not government agents, if they used the proposed benefit.

CLAIM: Health care revisions would lead to government-funded abortions.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says in a video, "Unless Congress states otherwise, under a government takeover of health care, taxpayers will be forced to fund abortions for the first time in over three decades."

THE FACTS: The proposed bills would not undo the Hyde Amendment, which bars paying for abortions through Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. But a health care overhaul could create a government-run insurance program, or insurance "exchanges," that would not involve Medicaid and whose abortion guidelines are not yet clear.

Obama recently told CBS that the nation should continue a tradition of "not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care."

The House Energy and Commerce Committee amended the House bill Thursday to state that health insurance plans have the option of covering abortion, but no public money can be used to fund abortions. The bill says health plans in a new purchasing exchange would not be required to cover abortion but that each region of the country should have at least one plan that does.

Congressional action this fall will determine whether such language is in the final bill.

CLAIM: Americans won’t have to change doctors or insurance companies.

"If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing," Obama said on June 23. "You keep your plan; you keep your doctor."

THE FACTS: The proposed legislation would not require people to drop their doctor or insurer. But some tax provisions, depending on how they are written, might make it cheaper for some employers to pay a fee to end their health coverage. Their workers presumably would move to a public insurance plan that might not include their current doctors.

CLAIM: The Democrats’ plans will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have.

"Expanding government health programs will hasten the day that government rations medical care to seniors," conservative writer Michael Cannon said in the Washington Times.

THE FACTS: Millions of Americans already face rationing, as insurance companies rule on procedures they will cover.

Denying coverage for certain procedures might increase under proposals to have a government-appointed agency identify medicines and procedures best suited for various conditions.

Obama says the goal is to identify the most effective and efficient medical practices, and to steer patients and providers to them. He recently told a forum: "We don’t want to ration by dictating to somebody, ‘OK, you know what? We don’t think that this senior should get a hip replacement.’ What we do want to be able to do is to provide information to that senior and to her doctor about, you know, this is the thing that is going to be most helpful to you in dealing with your condition."

CLAIM: Overhauling health care will not expand the federal deficit over the long term.

Obama has pledged that "health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

THE FACTS: Obama’s pledge does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase Medicare fees for doctors. The White House says the extra payment, designed to prevent a scheduled cut of about 21 percent in doctor fees, already was part of the administration’s policy.

Beyond that, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill lacks mechanisms to bring health care costs under control. In response, the White House and Democratic lawmakers are talking about creating a powerful new board to root out waste in government health programs. But it’s unclear how that would work.

Budget experts also warn of accounting gimmicks that can mask true burdens on the deficit. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says they include back-loading the heaviest costs at the end of the 10-year period and beyond.

So, according to the Associated Press, for the most part everything the critics are saying about the Mr. Obama’s healthcare plan is untrue.

And for the most part everything Mr. Obama says is absolutely true, and will always be so.

The exception being that even the AP has to acknowledge that Mr. Obama may be being a little too optimistic about how the plan will not expand the deficit.

The AP’s enumeration of ‘facts’ are all the more amazing considering that the article itself admits:

[T]here is no clear-cut "Obama plan" or "Democratic plan." And that: Obama has listed several goals, but he has drawn few lines in the sand.

And yet the article still boldly asserts ‘facts’ like these:

THE FACTS: The proposed legislation would not require people to drop their doctor or insurer.

And it is hilarious to see their ‘facts’ buttressed by statements like this:

Obama recently told CBS that the nation should continue a tradition of "not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care."

Then we have nothing to worry about.

We certainly should have learned by now that Mr. Obama will never go back on his word. And neither will future Congresses or Presidents ever expand the healthcare provisions to cover abortion.

It really is to laugh.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “AP ‘Fact Checks’ Obama-Care Debate”

  1. neocon mom says:

    I think we are going to get some skeleton plan that will be the seeds of the destruction of the private health care industry and will usher in taxpayer funded abortion. That is when everything changes. That is when it becomes imperative for right-thinking Christians to stop paying taxes. Bigger than a tea party.

    The lapdog media will never turn their backs on Obama. He could start sentencing them, one by one, to death by guillotine and they would still fawn, maybe even more than before. They are spineless, mindless, gutless; there are no faculties to “wake up”.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

  3. proreason says:

    I’ve never heard a bigger load of horseshit than this laughable article….and I’ve been a committed debunker of the idiot liar for 2 years now.

    When what Obamy says is cited as “the facts are”, you know you are truly in Orwell-land. I guess they are right when they cite something The Liar in Chief states as a “fact”. The “fact” is that he is once againg stating another outrageous lie.

    I could write a 200-page book about this shameless piece of down-your-throat propaganda, but I’ll restrict myself to one additional comment. It turns out that suicide counseling will be voluntary. Isn’t that great news. Gee, I wonder if 85-years old will be studing the fine-print to discover that when the government suicide enabler comes calling.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      And they sent Dr. Jack (the dripper) Kevorkian to jail.
      (go figure)

    • jobeth says:

      “It turns out that suicide counseling will be voluntary”

      Looks like Dr Kavorkian got out of jail just in time to make a Billion or so himself!

      As to the lies…
      “Obama has pledged that “health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it,
      I guess this means we don’t have to worry about a thing…He said “and I mean it”…so that is settled…uh…right!

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”that the nation should continue a tradition of “not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care……..”

      As soon as the government ESTABLISHES such a tradition they can begin continuing it.

      All I can say to those who propose such a diabolical plan and to those who would blindly embrace this health-care-reform hoax is, ‘You first’.

  4. jobeth says:

    neocon mom

    “I think we are going to get some skeleton plan that will be the seeds of the destruction of the private health care industry and will usher in taxpayer funded abortion. “

    You have it pegged neocon mom. Incrementalism is how anything can be eventually jammed down anyone’s throats and most don’t even know what is happening. One step at a time.

    This is exactly how the commies sell their policies and plans. Exactly how they “re-educated” our children for the past 40 years…plant the seed…and nurture and cultivate…Eventually the harvest will follow.

    My friends we are living in their harvest time. And more is yet to come.

    If they get this thing through there WILL be abortion on demand (even late term for convenience) and there WILL be rationing without appeal…;and there WILL be euthanasia of the old, and handicapped and mentally challenged. A bit of re-education and a bit at a time and it will all go down so easily!

    Makes me sick at what is happening. We must stop this. Really hit your reps while they are home! Call, write…go visit in person.

    • JohnMG says:

      Someone sent this to me several days ago, jobeth, and it took me a while to find it. It is a bit lengthy but it speaks of where we are now and where we’re going if this bullsh*t isn’t stopped.

      “Dinner with Obama”

      Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

      I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

      “Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

      “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty.. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

      “And his brother Eric is very thirsty..” said the President.

      I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind. My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

      “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”

      With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood,brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

      “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

      I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

      “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”

      I wanted to shout – that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

      “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”

      My hands were shaking. I felt faint I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine.

      I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

      “By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

      I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine.

      As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us. What had I done wrong?

      As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

      “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Thank you, John. Excellent story.

    • jobeth says:

      John….Great story…Chillingly true. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to copy and forward this to some people I know need to read it!

  5. U NO HOO says:

    “insurance companies rule on procedures they will cover”

    Uhhhh, isn’t that what we contract for?

    We bet that we will have the diseases that are listed in the fine print and the insurance company bets that we won’t. If we do get the diseases the insurance company buys the medicine we need.

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