Patterico's Pontifications


Correcting misinformation about ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:29 am

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama sounded the alarm in his weekly radio address, seeking to correct disnformation and dispel rumors about the Democrats’ healthcare proposals. There is a lot on the web about ObamaCare that seems fishy, but rather than sending bits and pieces to, I am compiling them here in several categories:

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about the cost of ObamaCare.

    Let me repeat: Health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it.


    The bill I sign will also include my commitment and the commitment of Congress to slow the growth of health care costs over the long run.

    Pres. Obama said this one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office told Congress that it does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress. Moreover, the projected $239 billion of additional deficit spending over the next 10 years may be more like $800 billion — and far more thereafter.

    Pres. Obama told the American Medical Association that:

    Making health care affordable for all Americans will cost somewhere on the order of $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s real money, even in Washington. But remember, that’s less than we are projected to have spent on the war in Iraq.

    That is also flat out wrong — even if you add in the cost of the war in Afghanistan. For that matter, the true cost of the Democratic bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate may be $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, respectively—much higher than CBO’s figures.

    Pres. Obama and top Democrats have also claimed that they can bend the healthcare cost curve by promoting preventive care. Wrong. And that giving an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would save big money. Wrong again.


  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama on the doctor-patient relationship.

    I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.

    Not even the New York Times is buying this anymore:

    These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable.

    The legislation does not require insurers or employers to continue offering the health benefits they now provide. The House bill sets detailed standards for “acceptable health care coverage,” which would define “essential benefits” and permissible co-payments. Employers that already offer insurance would have five years to bring their plans into compliance with the new federal standards.

    The Senate health committee bill goes somewhat further by offering an “option to retain current insurance coverage.”

    The legislation could have significant implications for individuals who have bought coverage on their own. Their policies might be exempted from the new standards, but the coverage might not be viable for long because insurers could not add benefits or enroll additional people in noncompliant policies.

    Dallas L. Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private nonpartisan group, said: “The president and Democrats in Congress are saying what they would like. Their promises may not be literally true because your health plan may change, and your doctor may no longer accept your insurance.”

    Indeed, under the House bill, as soon as anything changes in your plan — such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year — you’ll have to move into a qualified plan instead. Moreover, according to the non-partisan Lewin Group, under the House bill, about 83.4 million people would lose their current private insurance — a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.


  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about a government takeover of health care.I
  • In his radio address, he calls this an “outlandish rumor” that is “simply not true.” In reality, Pres. Obama and a raft of his supporters have admitted that ObamaCare anticipate that it will serve as a transition to European-style socialized medicine. Quite apart from the government-run plan that would inherently engage in unfair competition with private insurers, the bills currently pending in Congress would create a Health Choices Czar imposing costly mandates (like the guaranteed issue mandate that nearly doubled insurance premiums in New Jersey), driving people into the aforementioned government-run health exchanges and interfering with our right to choose our own doctors. As Michael Kinsley — no right-winger he — asks:

    If the government requires insurers to accept all customers and charge all the same price, regulates all aspects of their marketing to make sure they aren’t discriminating, and then redistributes the profits to make sure that no company gets penalized unfairly, in what sense is the industry still “private”?

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government funding abortions.
  • The president calls this one “outlandish” also, but the Associated Press begs to differ:

    Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.


    A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums. Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure.

    “It’s a sham,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life. “It’s a bookkeeping scheme. The plan pays for abortion, and the government subsidizes the plan.”

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government-run healthcare and illegal immigration.
  • Pres. Obama further claims that it is “outlandish” to suggest that he favors providing government-run healthcare for the tens of millions of illegal immigrants currently in the US. However, Pres. Obama just said he wants healthcare reform done this year, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants passed in 2010. Does anyone think Obama would support a law that excluded from ObamaCare anyone with illegal status in 2009?

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about cutting Medicaid.
  • Again, Pres. Obama says this is simply not true. But the House bill would be paid for in part by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Indeed, AARP supports ObamaCare because it is trading off Medicare cuts for expanded coverage that is potentially quite lucrative for AARP.

    Interestingly, Obama’s radio address did not claim that claimed Medicare cuts were outlandish. Given his prior comments on elder care, and the disturbing way the House bill conflates end-of-life counseling with cost-containment, the president might have taken the opportunity to “dispel” the notion that seniors might suffer as AARP prospers. But maybe there was only so much disinformation he could get into a single address.



    1. Here is some more disinformation – when do you call it a lie?

      Obama 2008:

      “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.”

      Obama 2009: STFU and get out of the way

      Comment by rls (e58293) — 8/11/2009 @ 9:48 am

    2. Karl – is well aware of you.

      Comment by JD (b9ca6b) — 8/11/2009 @ 9:50 am

    3. Nice to see that even partisan rags like the NYT and even the AP can’t willfully continue to ignore the blaring sirens of truly objective sources such as the CBO. When (or if) the toadying news anchors at the MSM start to finally question these numbers, then we’ll know it’s game over. I watched the Lehrer report last evening, and even though their two “opposing sides” of the healthcare debate was really akin to having David Brooks and Frank Rich, they still agreed that many factors remain in the bill at present that need to be more fully worked out.

      BTW, my esteemed Senator Dickie Durbin held a “townhall meeting” yesterday that was closed to the public, and only had invited business owners as guests. Durbin just reiterated the stale talking points that have long been discredited – what a coward.

      Comment by Dmac (e6d1c2) — 8/11/2009 @ 10:11 am

    4. Dmac, My condolences for you having Senator Dirtbag.

      Why isn’t Obama implementing his plan on Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd and other elderly sick politicians and ban them from healthcare. Give them their Kevorkian pill and be done with it!

      Oh, What’s this you are saying? Oh, “Healthcare for me, but not for thee!”

      Comment by PCD (02f8c1) — 8/11/2009 @ 10:31 am

    5. Oh, I resurrect the name, the DEATHocrat Party for Obama and his acolytes.

      Comment by PCD (02f8c1) — 8/11/2009 @ 10:42 am

    6. I’m not sure the AARP brand will b as valuable after all this as it has been ’til now. The month is early yet. Obama looks panicky.

      Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:10 am

    7. Obama’s Kevorkian Care Plan to cut costs.

      Keep using it. It works.

      To bad we are not in 2010.

      Comment by HeavenSent (01a566) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:11 am

    8. AARP and the AMA are a disgrace.

      Comment by HeavenSent (01a566) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:13 am

    9. Well done, Karl, once again.

      But, really, we should listen to Arlen Spector who thinks we should just be glad that he showed up to a Townhall on Health Care Reform.

      Freakin’ tool!

      Comment by BJTexs (a2cb5a) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:34 am

    10. This is my AARP card. Hopefully you can see it.

      Comment by PCD (02f8c1) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:36 am

    11. I have a pic of Eastwood from Gran Torino as my AARP card, “Armed And Really Pissed”.

      Comment by PCD (02f8c1) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:37 am

    12. And at the ned of Gran Torino, Clint was his own “Death Panel.”

      Comment by David Ehrenstein (2550d9) — 8/11/2009 @ 11:49 am

    13. And at the ned of Gran Torino, Clint was his own “Death Panel.”

      A man has to know his limitations.

      Comment by rls (e465df) — 8/11/2009 @ 1:01 pm

    14. Dmac, where did Durbin hold his townhall meeting? I’m downstate, and I can’t even get them to answer a question about whether there will be one around here or not. On another note, if our health care system is so bad, how can Obama tell people that if they’re satisfied with their insurance, they can keep it. Doesn’t it have to be scrapped for the new program?

      Comment by rochf (ae9c58) — 8/11/2009 @ 1:36 pm

    15. Durbin held it at a small hotel somewhere downtown, I believe. He sent nothing to the public in advance of the meeting, either. Coward.

      Comment by Dmac (e6d1c2) — 8/11/2009 @ 2:49 pm

    16. Our Kongresskritters must thank their lucky stars each and every night that “tar & feathers” are not a current fashion fad.
      Two-hundred years ago, that’s what they received for $hit like this!
      Does anyone else out there long for the “good old days”?

      Comment by AD - RtR/OS! (44112e) — 8/11/2009 @ 2:56 pm

    17. David, why am I not surprised that you didn’t understand the ending? Maybe that was humor and, if so, I apologize.

      Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 8/11/2009 @ 3:05 pm

    18. I never saw the Gran torino. I probably need to get the movie, but I also probably should be smart enough to avoid this thread now that the ending is being discussed.

      PCD, all you have to do is email federal judges a picture of your AARP ID and some lunatic will come along to share the pic with us after he hacks the judge’s computer. Or you could post a link to an image host site.

      Comment by Juan (bd4b30) — 8/11/2009 @ 3:16 pm

    19. Comment by rochf — 8/11/2009 @ 1:36 pm

      Where in IL are you from?

      Comment by Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 8/11/2009 @ 3:18 pm

    20. I’m here in Champaign–when Durbin bothers to respond, I generally get some standard talking points letter that doesn’t respond to anything I ask.

      Comment by rochf (ae9c58) — 8/11/2009 @ 3:30 pm

    21. Yeah, I usually get that too. I was told a few days ago by Durbin’s staff that he has no townhall meetings planned for the entire month.

      This, from the guy who said he would continue to talk to people.

      The worthless coward.

      Comment by Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 8/11/2009 @ 4:05 pm

    22. The Pretenders health care plan may not explicitly cover illegal aliens but it does explicitly bar anyone from asking a persons immigration status.

      We might as well just Annex Mexico and have done with. Then at least we could enforce a few drug laws.

      Comment by MaaddMaaxx (a9973b) — 8/11/2009 @ 4:06 pm

    23. rochf – Champaign is the proud home of the original La Bamba ! Go Illini !

      Comment by JD (f0aec3) — 8/11/2009 @ 4:13 pm

    24. #1

      Great comment and post.

      Comment by Thomas Jackson (8ffd46) — 8/11/2009 @ 4:48 pm

    25. Let’s see: bailouts, pork stimulous, quadrupled budget deficit. I just don’t understand why these rowdy senior citizens are so upset by the politicians selling another giant government boondoggle. Don’t they realize that politicians know what is best for Americans. Politicians have the best lobbyists advising them. Don’t these seniors TRUST the politicians? I am shocked and appalled, my goodness!

      Comment by Ed (b43072) — 8/11/2009 @ 5:06 pm

    26. I am doing my duty to ensure that your posts are sent straight to… Bloggers should have a contest to see how many posts they get sent into the misinformation squad er White House.

      Comment by Lisa (75ff64) — 8/11/2009 @ 5:07 pm

    27. “…and I mean it.”

      Oh, okay, now I feel better.

      Unless he had his fingers crossed when he said that. Then we’re in big trouble again.

      Comment by Patricia (32d0f4) — 8/11/2009 @ 8:22 pm

    28. Great post, Mr. Karl!

      The President’s “death panels” denial is peculiar in light of his choice for Health Czar. Czar Emanuel not only endorses the idea, he has studied it and has prepared justifications for it.

      Here is Czar Emanuel’s (and his two buddies’) article and here is a graph from that article.

      Warning: there is some pretty sick stuff in his article (the philosophical reasoning is right out of the Third Reich and gave me a headache).

      Comment by Pons Asinorum (783c54) — 8/12/2009 @ 12:39 am

    29. I am a democrat and I hate you all.

      I live in a very blue district here in Ohio.

      All these rhetorics about costs and federal budget will never ring a bell to us. BECAUSE REPUBLICANS ARE SINNERS TOO.

      But when that so-called “idiot” and “immoral” Palin hit the HR3200 by the so-called “DEATH PANEL” almost half of my bluish neighbor have become agitated, including my family.

      SHE HIT THE HOME ON THIS ONE. She has a point.

      My family has experienced this death panel under MEDICARE. It was painful for us to see how we were forced to accept the Doctor’s advice viz. MEDICARE people’s urges.

      We were forced to deal emotional pain because of costs at the very most painful moment of our lives … whether to end the life of our very precious beloved family member.

      In this respect, I salute Sarah Palin.

      Even if Obamacare is passed, I think Sarah Palin has already gotten a new Democrat supporter (a Hillary fan) in me and in my family.

      Credit is where the credit is due.

      Comment by Geneva (c23db1) — 8/12/2009 @ 4:15 am

    30. I do not hate you, Geneva, but you did prove a point for us. We have long known that though we thin the Left is wrong, the Left simply hates us. Good on you for admitting that. Do you speak English?

      Comment by JD (204bee) — 8/12/2009 @ 4:44 am

    31. Juan,

      I got the pic in an email from a friend. If anyone wants a copy, I’ll be happy to forward it on. Send requests to

      Oh, Patterico, DRJ, Karl and anyone else who moderates here. Don’t worry about this email address. It is the one I give out because the Democrats have already spamed it repeated times for over the 10 years I had it.

      Comment by PCD (02f8c1) — 8/12/2009 @ 5:35 am

    32. #29 — Comment by Geneva — 8/12/2009 @ 4:15 am

      I am a democrat and I hate you all.

      I often wondered about that. How can Americans hate fellow Americans for supporting and voting for a political party, just as they are doing?

      Mrs. Palin did speak the truth; she was vilified, insulted, and attacked, as were her children. There was a time when such behavior was considered horrid, but hatred allows one the ability to ignore such depravity (even justify it).

      Hate is a powerful emotion that has its place and can fill an important need. In American politics however, perhaps such a base emotion should have no place and instead substitute logic and reason.

      I live in a very blue district here in Ohio.

      All these rhetorics about costs and federal budget will never ring a bell to us. BECAUSE REPUBLICANS ARE SINNERS TOO.

      I believe your statement and agree that “Republicans are sinners too”.

      I am curious though, if you would be so kind as to supply the rationalization, why would this preclude a person for supporting a politician (regardless of party) who is trying to solve such a problem? Conversely, why support a politician who is adding to the problem?

      But when that so-called “idiot” and “immoral” Palin hit the HR3200 by the so-called “DEATH PANEL” almost half of my bluish neighbor have become agitated, including my family.

      SHE HIT THE HOME ON THIS ONE. She has a point.

      My family has experienced this death panel under MEDICARE. It was painful for us to see how we were forced to accept the Doctor’s advice viz. MEDICARE people’s urges.

      We were forced to deal emotional pain because of costs at the very most painful moment of our lives … whether to end the life of our very precious beloved family member.

      I am sorry for your loss.

      In this respect, I salute Sarah Palin.

      Welcome from the dark side ;-)

      Even if Obamacare is passed, I think Sarah Palin has already gotten a new Democrat supporter (a Hillary fan) in me and in my family.

      Credit is where the credit is due.

      Health care is in need of reform; credit the President and the Congress for bringing this issue from the back-burner to the front-burner (this national discussion almost certainly would not have happened to this degree under Mr. McCain).

      If we could elect politicians who are willing to work together without regard to hidden agendas (like single-payer system), use facts backed by undisputed evidence, draw logical conclusions based on those facts, and use quality management principles (like pilot programs FIRST before committing such a large portion of our wealth and future), then perhaps we could start reducing the problems and increasing care in terms of quality and quantity, in a practical and responsible manner (just my two-cents, but don’t tell the President, he might try to tax it).

      I wish you well, Geneva.

      Comment by Pons Asinorum (783c54) — 8/12/2009 @ 11:01 am

    33. Just got an email from Durbin’s office–the senator does not plan on holding any town hall meetings, but I’m free to monitor his website and contact them about any issues that concern me!

      Comment by rochf (ae9c58) — 8/12/2009 @ 11:12 am

    34. [...] Or misrepresenting just about everything. [...]

      Pingback by Netsol Blogs » Blog Archive » It’s OK to Lie … (e174ed) — 8/13/2009 @ 10:39 am

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