More From The Persistently Prevaricating President

When we last left the President’s speech to the Joint Session of Congress, before the detour back to the 10th paragraph, he was speaking about illegal immigrants and the health care bill. In case you didn’t read that post, yes, he was lying. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) told him so.

President Obama responded by stating,

It’s not true. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

Oh really? “No federal funds will be used to fund abortions”? That’s about as true as his statement that the health care bill will not add to the federal deficit, or that illegal immigrants won’t have access to health care under the current legislation.

While the word “abortion” never appears in the text of the bill, Section 1713 leaves no doubt that abortions are covered under HR 3200.

The term ‘nurse home visitation services’ means home visits by trained nurses to families with a first-time pregnant woman, or a child (under 2 years of age), who is eligible for medical assistance under this title, but only, to the extent determined by the Secretary based upon evidence, that such services are effective in one or more of the following:

(1) Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.

“(2) Reducing the incidence of child abuse, neglect, and injury, improving family stability (including reduction in the incidence of intimate partner violence), or reducing maternal and child involvement in the criminal justice system.

“(3) Increasing economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement, school-readiness, and educational achievement, or reducing dependence on public assistance.”

How exactly does the government plan to “increase birth intervals between pregnancies”? Read that line again people. How do you increase birth intervals (the length of time inbetween births) between pregnancies? If you have three pregnancies, you should have three births, right? If you have five pregnancies you should have five births. You get the idea.

So, with that in mind, how do you increase birth intervals (aka reduce the number of births, say from five to three) while maintaining the same number of pregnancies? You have five pregnancies and only three births. What happened to the other two babies?

If that isn’t enough, Section 1714 covers the state eligibility option for family planning services. We all know what kind of services are offered and what advice is given at family planning clinics.

Is that a light bulb I see flickering above your head? Yes, you are correct. Increasing birth intervals between pregnancies is a fancy “we’re smarter than you” way of slipping abortion into the health care bill.

The President continues,

My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badlyby cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest, by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage, and by jacking up rates.

If you’re going to stand up and quote numbers, single out one state and one insurer, and tell the American people that the company you are shaking your finger at is cherry picking their customers, you should, at the very least, check those numbers and make sure you stop putting your finger where it doesn’t belong.

He claimed that 90% of the market in Alabama is controlled by one company. That one company is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and according to the Birmingham News they only control about 75% of the market. Apparently, the people of Alabama are so impressed with the service they receive and the premiums they pay, that they actually choose BCBS over the other health insurance companies in the state.

Listening to President Obama you’d think there wasn’t any competition in the state and that BCBS was really cleaning up in the state of Alabama. Those poor people. That greedy company. You get the picture. Well, according to BCBS their profit averages just 0.6% of premiums and they spend 7% of premiums on administrative expenses. Do the math people. 92.4% of the premiums paid by the people of Alabama go toward, OH MY GOSH, medical claims!!! OH NO! What can be done to stop the horror that is health care in Alabama?

Surely the people will riot in the streets, right? Maybe not. BCBS of Alabama ranks second in the nation in customer satisfaction. What?!? People are happy with their health care in Alabama? But… But… That’s not what the President just said, is it? Barack Obama really needs to stop cherry-picking individual cases, numbers and statistics because doing so makes it look likes he’s trying to jack the American people. And that’s a fact, Jack.

Let’s move on with the speech,

I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. (Applause.) And the insurance reforms that I’ve already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. (Applause.) Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.

Less that 5% of Americans would sign up for the public option? Really? Didn’t I point out the fact that the number of Americans who could not obtain health insurance was 4.6%? Was this a subtle admission of fact or coincidental slip of the tongue? Now, now, we all know forked tongues can’t slip or they get tangled.

But I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.

Read. The. Bill. H.R. 3200 adds so many layers of bureaucracy into health care, that there won’t be just one government bureaucrat between you and the care you need. There will likely be dozens. If you’ve ever been to the Social Security office you’ll know what I am talking about.

Let’s face a simple fact. The President’s entire speech to this point was nothing but lie after lie after lie. So what does he do next? Why, he lies again…

I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.

May I remind you,

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.

He’s making another promise he has no intention of keeping. In the next several paragraphs he details all of the ways the government is going to cut waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid. When has the government ever succeeded in cutting waste and inefficiency?

At this point it’s all just rambling, oh and another lie.

The plan will not add to our deficit. The middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes. And if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of 1 percent each year — one-tenth of 1 percent — it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term.

Analysts have already examined the bill (probably more than any member of Congress, and definitely more than anyone in the White House), and according to many of them,

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.

The President says his new plan will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term, but analysts and economists state otherwise. Does the White House need help? When George W. Bush took office, the staff of the Clinton White House took all of the W’s from the computer keyboards. Did the Bush administration take all the calculators when they walked out the door?

As the President begins to wrap up his speech, he adds the traditional “remember, you’re supposed to be scared” line.

Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing. Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it the most. And more will die as a result. We know these things to be true.

If we do nothing, our deficit will grow, of course it will, it’s always growing. It will just grow slower than it will if the health care bill passes.

More families will go bankrupt and businesses will close. This is going to happen with or without the health care bill. We’re in a deep recession. When this time comes, consulting a bankruptcy lawyer would be a good choice so you know all options moving forward. Check out LexisNexis

More Americans will lose coverage when they are sick and need it most. If I remember correctly the last time he brought up a couple cases where this happened he got bit. I would leave that dog on the leash, Mr. President.

And don’t you worry, when the health care bill fails to land on the President’s desk more people will not die. I’ve never heard of people dying when legislation failed, except for lobbyists who really shouldn’t be involved in the process anyway. So relax, you’re safe, for now.

Tomorrow night I will wrap up the President’s speech with his closing comments where he invoked the recently departed Ted Kennedy and gives a short history lesson in the Depression era. Hang in there, we’re almost done.

The Precipitation Of Prevarication Continues

As we continue with the President’s speech to the Joint Session of Congress, I want to pause at the 32nd paragraph and go back to the 10th paragraph for a moment.

It was in that paragraph where the President reflected on two personal accounts. You know, the stories of the “victims of healthcare in America”.

One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn’t reported gallstones that he didn’t even know about. They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it. Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer had more than doubled in size. That is heart-breaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.

When I started this series of posts, I intended to simply point out all the places where the President contradicted the text in H.R. 3200, “America‚Äôs Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009“, but it turns out he couldn’t even be completely upfront with us when it came to “real life” accounts.

Scott Harrington, from the Wall Street Journal, did some fact checking for us.

It turns out that the “man from Illinois” who “lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy” and “died from it”, actually had his insurance policy reinstated, received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the recommended time frame, and lived an additional three and a half years because of it. Whoops.

Although the president has used this example previously, his conclusion is contradicted by the transcript of a June 16 hearing on industry practices before the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigation of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The deceased’s sister testified that the insurer reinstated her brother’s coverage following intervention by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She testified that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week “window of opportunity” from “one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine,” that the procedure “was extremely successful,” and that “it extended his life nearly three and a half years.”

So, what about that woman who had her insurance dropped just before a double mastectomy because she forgot to declare a case of acne? While her surgery was indeed delayed for several months, her medical chart indicated her condition was “precancerous” at the time. So why was her coverage dropped? It wasn’t because of acne, it may have had something to do with the fact that she lied about her weight on her insurance application and she failed to disclose that she had an irregular heartbeat. Whoops.

The woman’s testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist’s chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.

We don’t need a complete overhaul of our health care system nor government intervention to tweak the system so pre-existing conditions like ‘irregular heartbeats’ are covered by default.

Let’s put aside all of the contradictions with the health care bill for a moment. Let’s forget about the President’s lies I’ve already exposed. Let’s focus on the fact that when the President of the United States stood at the podium on the floor of Congress and spoke to the Joint Session and the American people, he misled everyone into believing these sad stories from the “victims of healthcare in America”.

If the current President of the United States can’t even tell us the truth about the people who are adversely affected by our current health care system, what makes you think he has any intention of telling us the truth where the new health care proposals are concerned?

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Our Professional Prevaricating President

As I stated in the third post in this series, an employer who does not provide health care coverage for their employees will be subject to an 8% fine to help cover the cost of their coverage anyway.

President Obama said,

And that’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance — just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise — likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers.

And once again I need to point out that many employers pay far more than 8% of their employees salaries toward health care coverage, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a tax cheating Treasury secretary to figure out that employers will be dropping health care packages before the ink from the President’s signature dries on the paper.

He continues,

…given all the misinformation that’s been spread over the past few months, I realize — (applause) — I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. So tonight I want to address some of the key controversies that are still out there.

You may not believe me, but most of the ‘misinformation’ out there is coming from the White House and the democratic leaders in Congress. Almost everything they have said in public since the end of July has been a lie or an attempt to distract people from the truth.

A good example of this comes in the very next paragraph from the President.

Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

When people started reading the bill back in late July / early August, they noticed some suspicious wording in the bill which included end-of-life care. For those who keep denying this was even part of the bill, here is the text.

“(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.

“(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.

“(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.

“(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal service organizations (including those funded through the Older Americans Act of 1965).

“(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

“(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders, which shall include—

“(I) the reasons why the development of such an order is beneficial to the individual and the individual’s family and the reasons why such an order should be updated periodically as the health of the individual changes;

“(II) the information needed for an individual or legal surrogate to make informed decisions regarding the completion of such an order; and

“(III) the identification of resources that an individual may use to determine the requirements of the State in which such individual resides so that the treatment wishes of that individual will be carried out if the individual is unable to communicate those wishes, including requirements regarding the designation of a surrogate decisionmaker (also known as a health care proxy).

“(ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement for explanations under clause (i) to consultations furnished in a State—

“(I) in which all legal barriers have been addressed for enabling orders for life sustaining treatment to constitute a set of medical orders respected across all care settings; and

“(II) that has in effect a program for orders for life sustaining treatment described in clause (iii).

“(iii) A program for orders for life sustaining treatment for a States described in this clause is a program that—

“(I) ensures such orders are standardized and uniquely identifiable throughout the State;

“(II) distributes or makes accessible such orders to physicians and other health professionals that (acting within the scope of the professional’s authority under State law) may sign orders for life sustaining treatment;

“(III) provides training for health care professionals across the continuum of care about the goals and use of orders for life sustaining treatment; and

“(IV) is guided by a coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from emergency medical services, emergency department physicians or nurses, state long-term care association, state medical association, state surveyors, agency responsible for senior services, state department of health, state hospital association, home health association, state bar association, and state hospice association.

And for those who may be losing something in translation, “end-of-life” equals death. There is no other option at the end of life.

Honestly, I don’t know why the President even brought this up in his speech. Politicians on the Hill denied the text was in the bill, but when confronted with that very text, they moved to remove it from the bill. How do you remove something from a bill that was never there? Why would you talk about something in a speech to a Joint Session of Congress if it never existed? Yeah, that’s a gotcha, isn’t it?

Of course, the President does not stop there. He proceeds to put his foot in his mouth one more time.

There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.

The reforms which have been introduced on the Hill send a mixed message but in no way prevent someone who is here illegally from obtaining health care.

Section 152 states,

Except as otherwise explicitly permitted by this Act and by subsequent regulations consistent with this Act, all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.

Health care will be delivered regardless of “personal characteristics extraneous to the provision”. If it doesn’t pertain to the care you will be receiving, it will not be considered relevant in the decisions made pertaining to that treatment.

The bill does prevent “affordability credits” for illegal immigrants. Section 246 states,

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

So, basically, illegal immigrants will be able to obtain health care just like the rest of us, but the government won’t be giving them a credit toward the cost of that care. The terms “illegal immigrant”, “illegal alien” cannot be found in the bill. The only reference to citizens or citizenship is in reference to those living abroad, and disregarding citizenship of parties involved in whistleblower protection.

H.R. 3200 does not contain any text that would prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining health care in the United States.

Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) offered an amendment in the Energy and Commerce Committee, which stated,

This Amendment requires that the millions of new people who will be “automatically enrolled” in Medicaid under this legislation demonstrate that they are American citizens.

That amendment failed in a vote of 29-28, so the amendment died in committee.

Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) offered an amendment in the Ways & Means Committee, which stated,

Increasing safeguards to ensure benefits do not go to individuals not lawfully present in the United States.

That amendment failed in a vote of 26-15, and it too died in committee.

If the bill contained text which prevented illegal immigrants from obtaining health care, these Representatives would not be introducing amendments which would implement such a rule.

When President Obama made that statement, and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) called him a liar, he knew he was lying. Joe Wilson said so, the Congressional Research Service said so, and Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Max Baucus (D-MT) said so.

We really thought we’d resolved this question of people who are here illegally, but as we reflected on the President’s speech last night we wanted to go back and drill down again

In other words, the text was not in the bill, but they are going to make sure there is something providing for “proof of citizenship” added to the bill.

That seemed a bit too easy, didn’t it? I can’t help but wonder what’s next. Amnesty for all, so every illegal immigrant will suddenly have no need to provide proof of citizenship?