ObamaCare Lies

From Your ObamaCare Watchdog

Taranto On Death Panels, Individual Mandate And More

James Taranto wrote an in-depth column today at the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, where he dispels several ObamaCare myths, including those the Mainstream Media and other Obama allies created to demonize opponents’ criticisms of the plan. He also, in ‘Death Panels’ Revisited: How Sarah Palin helped defeat ObamaCare’s deceptive advertising, ever so sweetly uses Barack Obama’s own words to smack down his own monstrosity. Appropriately, he found those words in none other than Judge Roger Vinson’s opinion, issued earlier this week, which ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional.

One distorter of the truth is the St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact.com. It named Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel” phrase “lie of the year.” But Taranto proves that the former governor was using the term loosely and shows how the Mainstream Media quickly jumped on it, distorted it, made it out to be something she never intended, took it out of context and ran with it — and ran hard — to discredit her.

But the most precious part of the piece is Taranto’s recounting of the 2008 Democrat primary campaign, where then-candidate Obama hammered Hillary Clinton over her proposed individual mandate plan. His health care proposal did not include such a plank. In fact, as Judge Vinson cited in his opinion, candidate Obama told a talk show host:

But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it. … So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody.

Then, deliciously:

Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.

That, in fact, has become the pea in the bed for the president, coining an analogy opponents best use to boil down the inanity of the entire scheme. Another ObamaCare lie exposed. With special thanks to . . . Barack Obama.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | Health Care Law | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volume 8: Promises ObamaCare can’t keep

Promise: If you like your current health care coverage, you can keep it.

Fact: Even though President Obama told the American Medical Association that no one would have to change their health care coverage if they liked their current set up (see video), that is not the case. There are so many heavy-handed, as well as subtle, regulations disguised as “consumer protections,” that insurance companies will have to raise premiums. Additionally, the weight of those onerous regulations will change policies substantially, to the point where policyholders no longer will recognize their insurance plans – even “grandfathered” plans – so as to force people out of private insurance and into a government-run plan. (See Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson at HotAir.com.)

Promise: Obamacare will lower premiums.

Fact: You mean, if we’re still allowed to own, or can afford, health insurance? Let’s say we can (but see above before you get too confident). That certainly was one of the Congressional Democrats’ big talking points, anyway, as they rammed the bill through Congress. However, if they were so confident ObamaCare would lower rates, why did Senate Democrats, only four weeks after ObamaCare became law, begin legislation to limit what insurance companies could charge? The New York Times, of all papers, has it documented here. But let’s hear it straight from the horses’ mouths: Here’s a video with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) saying premiums are going up under ObamaCare followed by the POTUS promising the opposite. If they can’t believe each other, why should any American believe them?

Promise: ObamaCare actually will strengthen the private market by opening it up to millions of new consumers who must buy insurance or face a penalty, or join a government-run “pool.”

Fact: First, maybe you haven’t seen the news lately (Washington Times). That aside, forcing insurance companies to lower premiums (i.e., dictating how much profit they can make) is more than regulation. It’s price control – out and out socialism. That, while forcing millions more onto their rolls, is a recipe for rationing and poor care. Either they go out of business or the government mandated low rates force cost cutting through layoffs, lower quality care and other service degradations. Use some common sense: How can the government add patients and mandates to insurance companies, and not expect the companies to raise costs to average Americans, cut services to the bone or, finally, go out of business? (Hotair.com offers more.)

Promise: ObamaCare will make Medicare more financially sound.

Fact: Months after it was signed into law, the Department of Health and Human Services said ObamaCare would extend the life of Medicare 12 years. One problem: It based that on a Congressional Budget Office study. Next problem. There is no such study. In fact, CBO said the opposite: “. . . to describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings.” Reason.com has more.

Promise: ObamaCare won’t cut Medicare benefits.

Fact: The president made the claim himself – he’s made all the promises in this edition, although maybe he doesn’t use the word “ObamaCare” (or maybe he does) – at an AARP panel in 2009. But according to his favorite source, the Congressional Budget Office (see CBSNews.com), there will be $130 billion in cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage – and 25 percent of Medicare recipients use Medicare Advantage. See Reason.com.

Promise: Much of the cost to fund ObamaCare comes from money already appropriated. It doesn’t add any new spending.

Fact: The president has said that the $100 billion per year cost of ObamaCare would come out of the $2 trillion per year we spend on health care costs. There’s that pesky Congressional Budget Office, again. The president’s favorite source reported that “the two pieces of legislation [that make up the health care law] were estimated to increase mandatory outlays by $401 billion and raise revenues by $525 billion.” See Reason.com.

Promise: ObamaCare penalties do not cover illegal aliens!

Fact: Who can forget the president making this claim during the State of the Union Address, followed by Congressman Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) “You lie!” outburst? (See video, here.) Despite his lack of tact, Congressman Wilson is right. Although he was talking about the then-proposed House version of the bill (the Senate bill is the one that passed), the law exempts illegal aliens from the individual mandate! Citizens and legal aliens, of course, get fined if they don’t purchase a government approved insurance plan. (Of course, the courts are speaking to this matter this week! See National Review Online.) Yet, hospital emergency rooms will not be allowed to turn the illegals away. See the National Center for Policy Analysis for more.

Promise: Federal tax dollars will not pay for abortions under ObamaCare. Obama, himself, signed an executive order prohibiting such use of federal expenditures.

Fact: Better than a spoken statement, we have his written word! But it’s not worth the paper and ink it’s written on and with. Executive orders only deal with the administration of government. It does not trump statutory law. Already, Maryland and Pennsylvania, under the state insurance pools ObamaCare has set up, are offering abortion coverage. See Michael Tennant at The New American.

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Health Care Law | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In case you missed: ObamaCare Lies: The Top 15 list!

As the momentous year that was 2010 draws to a close, we look back, in three parts, at the top 15 ObamaCare lies. The problem is, there are so many, it is nigh impossible to narrow them down. So, we used this criteria, which barely made it easier: It must be a lie refuted by the government itself, since it is in the government that the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Regime want us to place our trust for our health care.

Today (December 28): 15-11

Number 15: ObamaCare will preserve Medicare benefits and will increase options.

Fact: The president made the claim himself – he’s made all the promises in this edition, although maybe he doesn’t use the word “ObamaCare” (or maybe he does) — at an AARP panel in 2009. But according to his favorite source, the Congressional BudgetTrust The Lies, Not The "Truth"Office (see CBSNews.com), there will be $130 billion in cuts to companies that offer Medicare Advantage — and 25 percent of Medicare recipients use Medicare Advantage (see Reason.com). Furthermore, a few months after the bill was signed into law, the Department of Health and Human Services said ObamaCare would extend the life of Medicare 12 years. One problem: It based that on a Congressional Budget Office study. Next problem. There is no such study. In fact, CBO said the opposite: “. . . to describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings.”Reason.com has more.

For senior citizens who think they will have more options under the law, insurers are cutting their Medicare Advantage offerings. Still others are exiting from the Medicare market entirely. Rick Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary wrote that Medicare under ObamaCare, will offer “less generous benefit packages” and “a large increase in the out-of-pocket costs incurred by MA enrollees.” — Source: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2010.

Number 14: ObamaCare is good for the healthcare industry, will create jobs and provide coverage for more Americans than every before.

Fact: The Great Pumpkin has a better chance of appearing than that happening. The Association of American Medical Colleges, a source for government at all levels, reports that a previously projected shortfall of physicians of 39,600 by 2015, now will rise to a shortfall of 63,000 and grow worse by 2025. Although ObamaCare advocates say this is not true, by its own projections, it will cover 32 million newly insured people with another 36 million entering Medicare. To pay for these people, the government-run insurance programs will cut payments to doctors, driving more out of the profession. (Source: Reuters.)

Number 13: Much of the cost to fund ObamaCare comes from money already appropriated. It doesn’t add any new spending.

Fact: The president has said that the $100 billion per year cost of ObamaCare would come out of the $2 trillion per year we spend on health care costs. There’s that pesky Congressional Budget Office, again. The president’s favorite source reported that “the two pieces of legislation [that make up the health care law] were estimated to increase mandatory outlays by $401 billion and raise revenues by $525 billion.” See Reason.com.

Number 12: ObamaCare makes the healthcare system more efficient.

Fact: One doesn’t need to look far for an example to disprove that claim. Even one of the jewels in the law proponents love to talk about, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, complicates the system and runs up debt. CLASS a voluntary long-term care insurance program. Enrollees must pay premiums for five years before claiming benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will create a $70 billion surplus over 10 years, helping reduce the deficit. But Medicare’s own chief actuary says the money will be needed immediately to pay claims, wiping out any deficit reduction. In fact, the actuary says, claims will exceed the surplus necessitating “dramatic cuts to benefits” or more taxpayer money to cover the costs. The CLASS Act also disproves the claim that Obamacare is not designed to compete with private sector insurance. — Source:“Obamacare: The Impact On Future Generations,” by James C. Capretta, The Heritage Foundation, June 1, 2010

Number 11ObamaCare will not lead to the taxation of an employer’s health care benefits.

Fact: Remember during the 2008 campaign when candidate Obama criticized John McCain’s plan as one that would tax health care benefits? As it turned out, he must have liked the idea. In his final memo before leaving the administration, former Obama administration Budget Director Peter Orszag wrote, “These changes include a new excise tax on the highest-cost insurance plans. . . .” In fact, the law includes, starting in 2018, a 40 percent tax on so-called Cadillac policies, costing more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. — Source: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2010.

Today (December 29): 10-6

Number 10: ObamaCare increases transparency.

Fact: When the Department of Health and Human Services issued the 111 waivers from ObamaCare to corporations and unions, no press release was issued, the announcement came on a Friday, and it was buried on HHS’s Web site – it takes six clicks to find it. (See video from Fox News Channel’s Cashin’ In.) But it doesn’t stop at the walls of HHS. Early this fall, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned insurance companies not to communicate to customers the relationship between premium increases and Obamacare’s massive regulations and mandates. She wrote in a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s trade group, that “[T]here will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.” Instead . . . “Later this fall, we will issue a regulation that will require state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases filed by health insurers, with the justification for increases posted publicly for consumers and employers.” In other words, no debate, no discussion. We will tell the insurance companies what to say (see Americans For Limited Government, GetLiberty.org, October 22, 2010).

Number 9: ObamaCare will bend the “cost curve down.”

Fact: Don’t you hate liberal, sound-too-cool-and-knowledgable-jargon? Anyway, the government’s own Medicare actuary disagrees! The “cost curve” straightens up and flies high under Obamacare. In the first 10 years alone, medical costs will increase $310 billion and health care will represent a larger portion of GDP than current projections. — Source: HotAir.com, Aug. 5, 2010

Number 8: ObamaCare will provide coverage to all people who do not have it.

Fact: According to the Congressional Budget Office, 10 years from now at least 21 million Americans will remain uninsured. Not only that, but almost one-half of the newly covered won’t get access to true health insurance; instead, they will be added to the Medicaid program, adding to its already overburdened problems of access and quality. — Source: New York Post, July 20, 2010.

Number 7ObamaCare does not allow for taxpayer funding of abortion, violating decades of bipartisan affirmation of the Hyde Amendment.

Fact: Why take our word for it? Here is a quote from the Maryland Health Insurance Plan: “The MHIP Federal Plan offers the same benefit package as other MHIP plan options,” and all five MHIP plans cover abortion. The loophole banning taxpayer funding of abortion is so large, the pretend restrictions were unnecessary. (Source: CNSNews.com)

Number 6: Obamacare will lower health insurance premiums.

Fact: Not even Senate Democrats believe that one! Only four weeks after ObamaCare became law, they brought forth legislation to limit what insurance companies could charge. The New York Times, of all papers, has it documented here. But let’s hear it straight from the horses’ mouths: Here’s a video of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) saying premiums are going up under ObamaCare followed by the POTUS promising the opposite. If the president and his liberal Senate buddies can’t believe each other, why should any American believe them?

Today (December 30): 5-1

Number 5: Under ObamaCare, you can keep the coverage you have if you prefer it to other options in the law.

Fact: An internal memo leaked from the Department of Health and Human Services says that more than two-thirds of businesses could be forced to change their current coverage; possibly 80 percent for small businesses. Other reports document that seniors with Medicare Advantage and people with health savings accounts also are likely to be forced out of their plans. Even Americans whose plans are “grandfathered” under the law may still be forced to change coverage to a plan that meets government requirements if they make any material changes to their coverage. – Source: New York Post, July 20, 2010.

The federal government’s own draft guidelines indicate that between one-half and two-thirds of all Americans’ current private plans will lose their protected, or grandfathered, status by 2013. “‘[F]or plans that do not fall under the grandfathered status, employers would have to find a plan that complies with the health care bill.’ More than one million part-time and lower-wage workers are already feeling the squeeze, as popular ‘mini-med’ affordable limited-benefit plans will be banned by the feds starting this fall.” – Source: HotAir.com, Aug. 5, 2010.

Number 4: ObamaCare is not government control on the health insurance industry.

Fact: The health care bill has thousands of powers granted to the secretary of Health and Human Services, currently Kathleen Sebelius. The powers literally give her autocratic power to impose government directives, regulations and sanctions on private businesses. The waivers exempting 111 organizations a pass (for the time being) on implementing some of the new regulations, while an admission to what is all wrong with the law, also shows hwo much power the law vests in the secretary. It’s a receipe for unelected government bureaucrats and political appointees to play favorites with or bully certain  members of the private sector who do or don’t shut and up and do as told. This power, alone, leads to cronyism and political paybacks and “gangster government.” The best way to provide flexibility in health care is to free up the market from government regulation, not more government. With increased competition, consumers will have more choices to fit their needs – not government’s needs. (See Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner.)

Number 3: ObamaCare will not lead to rationing.

Fact: It may be here sooner than we think. For example, the Food and Drug Administration now is considering cost as a factor in its approval process. The late-stage cancer drug Avastin is a test case. If cost becomes a point for consideration in drug approval, only those who can afford to pay for Avastin, or any drug, will have access to it, because Medicare and private insurance companies will be able, in the case of Avastin, to deny breast cancer patients coverage for this life-extending drug (see The Daily Caller, Sept. 16, 2010). In addition, the Association of American Medical Colleges, which provides information state and federal governments cite, projected a shortage of 33,100 physicians in specialties such as cardiology, oncology and emergency medicine in 2015. In addition, the respected Rand Corporation and Institute of Medicine also project doctor shortages. (SourceReuters.)

Number 2“Death Panels” in ObamaCare are the imagination of right-wing extremists.

Fact: The nation’s leading liberal economist, Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, Ivy League professor and a Nobel Prize winner, who advises liberal policy makers and legislaors, repeatedly has said that there are death panels! He said so last fall and in the spring he said, “death panels” “will make binding judgments and  . . . will save (the government) quite a lot of money.” See the video here! In fact, he wants the government debt commission to “embrace” death panels! On ABC News’ This Week, he said, “Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for . . . it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words . . . the panel that was part of the health care reform. … Some years down the pike we’re going to get the real solution . . . a combination of death panels and sales taxes. …”

Number 1: ObamaCare is constitutional!

Fact: WRONG! Federal Judge Henry Hudson wrote, in a well researched and reasoned 43-page opinion, in declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional in Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sebelius, in the only case between a state with a law prohibiting the individual mandate and the federal government:

Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter a stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I. …

The absence of a constitutionally viable exercise of this enumerated power is fatal to the accompanying sanction for noncompliance. …

A thorough survey of pertinent constitutional case law has yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme. The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimal Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution confers upon Congress only discrete enumerated governmental powers. The powers not delegated to the United States by Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.

On careful review, this Court must conclude that section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.


 

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Health Care Law | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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