I sat here for an hour this evening wondering where to start this post. Do I recap the facts we’ve learned over the previous two posts, or do I jump right in with more of the President’s own words? After careful deliberation I decided to remind you of the key details we’ve covered and then jump right in.
In the first eight paragraphs of his speech to a Joint Session of Congress, President Obama,
- Distracted the American people from his own $3 trillion deficit while waving the 2008 deficit ($1 trillion) in our faces.
- Invoked the name of Theodore Roosevelt trying to justify complete “health care reform” while Roosevelt wasn’t even President any longer and simply called for health insurance in industry.
- Claimed that the United States is the only democracy, the only wealthy nation that allows health related hardship for millions of it’s people, while the people of many other democracies and wealthy nations are suffering far more than we are.
- Attempted to convince us that 47 million people in the United States “cannot get coverage”, while the true number sits closer to 10 million people.
Last night the President said,
If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.
Well, tonight, I am calling him out. As I said before, I’ve read the health care bill. I know what’s in the bill. His speech was a complete misrepresentation of the bill, and I am going to show you how. I will do so by quoting his own words, and using the text of the bill to prove he was lying.
President Obama, like many Presidents before him, was quick to bring fear into the forefront. He spoke about those who have insurance and the fact they have less security and stability now than ever before. Losing coverage happens everyday, he warns.
Of course, no Presidential speech would be complete without invoking the names of victims. This time it was victims of our current health care system. A man whose insurance was dropped in the middle of chemotherapy, resulting in his death. A woman’s canceled mastectomy surgery, resulting in bigger cancer. He never mentioned if she died or not. I guess the fear of living with more cancer in our current health care system is more frightening than dying from it. Then he talks about the “unsustainable burden on taxpayers”.
Finally, our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. When health care costs grow at the rate they have, it puts greater pressure on programs like Medicare and Medicaid. If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close. Nothing else.
Now, these are the facts. Nobody disputes them. We know we must reform this system.
The President says our current health system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. According to the National Coalition on Health Care, national health spending is expected to reach $2.5 trillion this year rising to $4.4 trillion by 2018.
That’s a huge amount of money isn’t it? It is, until you consider H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009“.
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency charged with providing Congress with the estimated costs of legislation reports,
According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill’s insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.
But they also add,
The figures released yesterday do not represent a complete cost estimate for the legislation. In particular, the estimated impact of the provisions related to health insurance coverage is based on specifications provided by the committee staff, rather than on a detailed analysis of the legislative language. (The estimates for other spending provisions reflect the specific legislative language. JCT has separately published its estimates of the effects of revenue provisions contained in H.R. 3200.) In addition, the figures do not include certain costs that the government would incur to administer the proposed changes and the impact of the bill’s provisions on other federal programs, and they do not reflect any modifications or amendments made after the bill was introduced. Nevertheless, this analysis reflects the major net budgetary effects of H.R. 3200.
According to the CATO institute,
The current health care bills will increase the budget deficit by at least $239 billion over the next 10 years, and far more in the years beyond that. If the new health care entitlement were subject to the same 75-year actuarial standards as Social Security or Medicare, its unfunded liabilities would exceed $9.2 trillion.
There’s one more thing to keep in mind too. Under the current health care bill, employers who do not provide health care coverage to their employees will be subject to an 8% fine. That’s 8% of the employees income. Many employers are currently paying 9 – 10% of the employees salary in health care costs. With that in mind, how many employers are going to keep paying up to 10% along with all of the administrative costs, when they can pay 8%, and save 2% plus all of the costs of administering the plan? I can guarantee that employers will drop their company provided plans as quick as they can, and I can guarantee you that the additional cost of adding those people to the national plan are not factored into any estimates by the CBO or the CATO Institute.
The President said, “Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close. Nothing else.”
Has he forgotten the stimulus bill? Has he forgotten the auto bailout? Has he forgotten the fact that he himself is responsible for helping to increase the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion this year alone? Has he forgotten that the deficit will rise another $8.364 trillion before 2014?
These estimates for the federal debt do not include the health care bill being debated or current liabilities for Medicare and Social Security. Sorry Mr. President, put simply, our health care problem is far from being our deficit problem. Sure, it will contribute to that deficit, one way or the other, but it’s not even close to being our biggest problem. Government spending. Too much government spending. That’s our biggest problem.
Let’s move on with the speech. President Obama said,
Instead of honest debate, we’ve seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge. And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned.
I agree with everything he says in this paragraph except the last line. He’s right. There has been no honest debate. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would never allow that to happen, not on their watch. We’ve seen scare tactics. We sure have. If you’ve read the bill, you know it’s beyond scary. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps with no hope of compromise. Pelosi and Reid have proven time and time again that their ideological voice is the only one allowed to be heard in their respective chambers.
I draw the line however with his final statement. No matter what you hear in the “blizzard of charges and counter-charges” there is no confusion if you have read the bill. There is no doubt about the content of the health care bill, if you take the time to read it.
So let’s get on with the points he made about the bill, shall we?
First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.
That is a lie. Plain and simple. While the bill itself does not “require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have”, there is nothing in the bill to prevent the government from over regulating insurance companies and driving them from the marketplace. As I stated above, there is nothing to prevent employers from agreeing to pay an 8% fine in order to drop health care, because it saves them money. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced an amendment on July 28th which stated, “Nothing in this division shall prevent or limit individuals from keeping their current health benefit plan”.
The amendment failed in a vote of 32-26. Apparently there wasn’t enough interest in the committee to guarantee that you could keep your health care. In fact, even President Obama has changed his rhetoric about that topic. He used to say, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period“. Now he says, “nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have“.
Under HR 3200, the new Health Choices Commissioner sets the regulations and procedures that independent health care insurance companies must follow to be considered a “qualified health benefits plan”.
When the President said “Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” He was deceiving you. If you still don’t believe me, READ THE BILL.
I currently have no health insurance. No dental insurance. Nothing. When I lost my job, I lost my insurance. I can’t afford insurance at this point in time. A universal health care plan would benefit me greatly at this point in time and you may think I would support that, but I don’t.
I cannot support any plan that gives the government so much control over my life or the lives of my family members. I cannot support any plan that will pass unsustainable debt onto my children, my grandchildren, and my children’s grandchildren. I cannot support any plan that allows the government to make the regulations, define the services, set the prices, and control the way in which those services are provided.
HR 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009“, does all of this.
President Obama stood at that podium last night and blatantly lied to the American people. He knowingly contradicted the text of HR 3200, and he showed the utmost contempt for the citizens of our great nation.
Tomorrow is September 11th, and I have a long tradition of remaining silent in honor of those who were lost on that horrific day in 2001. I’ll be back on Saturday to continue my breakdown of the President’s speech and show you all of the remaining places in that speech, where he lied to you.