Tonight I wrap up my analysis of the President’s recent speech to the Joint Session of Congress. When I started I thought for sure I would find one or two juicy tidbits, in addition to the blatant lies we all noticed right away. How was I to know that I would find 17 places in his speech where he lied to, or misled, the American people?
The President began to wrap up his speech by telling us about those who have suffered silently, he spoke of the many Americans who were counting on us to succeed, the ones who shared their stories at town hall meetings, in emails and in letters. Then the only example he offered was a letter from the recently departed Ted Kennedy.
I received one of those letters a few days ago. It was from our beloved friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy. He had written it back in May, shortly after he was told that his illness was terminal. He asked that it be delivered upon his death.
In it, he spoke about what a happy time his last months were, thanks to the love and support of family and friends, his wife, Vicki, his amazing children, who are all here tonight. And he expressed confidence that this would be the year that health care reform — “that great unfinished business of our society,” he called it — would finally pass. He repeated the truth that health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that “it concerns more than material things.” “What we face,” he wrote, “is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”
I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure Ted Kennedy wasn’t an average American who received substandard health care. He was a sitting U.S. Senator with a unique health care plan that offered coverage which every non-politician in the country wishes they had access to.
It’s sad when anyone loses their battle with cancer, but invoking the name of Ted Kennedy was nothing more than an attempt to get sympathy votes for a health care bill that, in it’s current form, hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of passing. If it could pass in it’s current form, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would not be waiting a single moment. They’ve set a deadline for Thanksgiving. Why not vote on it now? I thought they were trying to pass this bill before the summer recess? What’s the hold up?
That large-heartedness — that concern and regard for the plight of others — is not a partisan feeling. It’s not a Republican or a Democratic feeling. It, too, is part of the American character — our ability to stand in other people’s shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together, and when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand; a belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgment that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.
I agree, we are a compassionate people, but we cannot let compassion blind our sensibility. The current health care plan will place an unsustainable burden on generations to come. There is no reason why we cannot work on incremental change, tweaking our system as we go, to ensure than things are handled better and make sure the 4.6% of Americans who have been unable to obtain coverage get some.
In 1935, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism, but the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it. In 1965, when some argued that Medicare represented a government takeover of health care, members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — did not back down. They joined together so that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.
Many people depend on Social Security and Medicare and many more baby-boomers will be flooding the market in the next few years. Need we remind the President that the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare are currently hovering around the $59 trillion mark, or $192,104 per citizen?
I am not going to deny that many people benefit from receiving their Social Security payments, but touting either of these social programs as a success is hypocritical. What do we hear every election cycle?
“We need to fix Social Security and Medicare”, “Social Security will run out of money in the next decade”, “We cannot continue without an overhaul of Social Security and Medicare”.
Now we’re touting both of these programs as an example of what government can do? What happened to the lock box? I bet no one can answer that question.
So let’s review. What have we learned in this series of posts?
- President Obama distracted the American people from his own $3 trillion deficit by waving the $1 trillion deficit from 2008 under our noses.
The federal deficit is projected to grow by trillions each year of the Obama administration. Trillions. Have you seen what a trillion looks like? $1,000,000,000,000. That’s a one with 12 zeroes after it.
It’s one thing to see the zeroes, but do have any idea what a trillion is? One million seconds pass in 12 days. One billion seconds pass in 32 years. One trillion seconds pass in 31,688 years!
Reports indicate that our deficit will grow in the trillions rather than the billions for many years. It’s time to wake up people!
- President Obama said we have pulled the economy back from the brink.
The brink of what, success? Things still aren’t looking too good you know.
- President Obama invoked the name of Teddy Roosevelt stating that he was the first President to call for health care reform.
While President, Teddy Roosevelt never called for health care reform. His political party called for required health insurance in industry in 1912, several years after he served as the 26th President of the United States. Requiring companies to provide health insurance options isn’t really reform, and it doesn’t matter anyway because the platform failed and the political party faded away into obscurity.
- President Obama claimed that we are the only democracy on Earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such health care hardships for millions of its people.
That was a lie. It’s obvious that President Obama considers short waiting periods, abundant potable water, and the lack of prevalent disease as “hardships”. I wonder if the White House staff ever looks out the window? It’s clear they don’t know how to use the Internet. A couple of searches on Wikipedia totally debunked his “only democracy, only wealthy nation” rhetoric.
- President Obama says there are 30 million people who cannot get health insurance coverage.
That was a lie. The actual number of Americans who “cannot get coverage” is somewhere between 10 and 14 million people, a fact he clearly backs up later in his speech albeit unintentionally.
- President Obama told us that our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close. Nothing else.
That was a lie. Has he conveniently forgotten the stimulus bill? What about the auto bailouts? Has he forgotten (or would he rather you not remember) the fact that his administration alone will be responsible for increasing the size of the federal deficit to more than $11 trillion in the next few years? These figures do not include the new health care bill or the current liabilities for Social Security and Medicare.
- According to President Obama “confusion has reigned” when it comes to discussing the health care bill.
That was a lie. It’s not confusing to those of us who have read the bill.
- President Obama has promised time and time again that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep your current health care plan. During his speech, he changed his tune and said “nothing in this bill will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have”.
That was a complete, blatant, lie. There is nothing in the bill that will guarantee anything the President said, and a whole lot of sections that will over-regulate private companies right out of competition in the marketplace.
- President Obama called Americans cynical and irresponsible for claiming there were sections of the bill that discussed some serious end-of-life “alternatives” and said they were bogus claims.
That was a lie. The text is in the bill. Prominent politicians denied it was in the bill. Americans across the country showed them the bill. They now promise that those sections have been removed from the bill. The President, however, still says the claims were bogus.
- President Obama told us that the bill does not provide coverage for illegal immigrants.
That was a lie. The bill prevents illegal immigrants from obtaining “affordability credits” to help pay for health care. The bill does not restrict coverage or their ability to seek treatment. In fact, every amendment introduced to specifically address illegal immigrants has been voted down by the Democratic majority.
- President Obama told us some sad stories about Americans who lost their coverage.
Lies, lies, and more lies. Their stories are part of the Congressional Record and cannot be disputed. The President’s honesty, on the other hand, can be.
- President Obama states adamantly that the health care bill will not fund abortions.
The biggest lie, so far. The bill specifically states that services offered will be aimed at “Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.”
You cannot increase birth intervals between pregnancies without that key word, pregnancies. If you’re pregnant,there is no other way to increase birth intervals than by preventing births. Once you’re pregnant, preventing a birth is usually called abortion.
The debate is not about abortion, and the question is not whether the word abortion appears in the bill, the question is why are they leaving the door wide open by allowing federal funds to be used to obtain them? Why would they word it specifically to include the word “pregnancy” if they didn’t intend for abortions to become a covered option under the public health plan? It’s clear they were trying to circumvent current U.S. Code without having to introduce a specific bill to do just that. It’s much easier to hide it in a 1,000 page bill.
U.S. Code, Title 42, Chapter 6A, SubChapter VIII, § 300a–6 states, “Prohibition against funding programs using abortion as family planning method”.
- President Obama used the people of Alabama as an example of poor health care in America.
Those were more lies. He cherry-picked some specific examples that were immediately proven false by the Birmingham news, and the people of Alabama.
- President Obama said he will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.
That was a lie. He knows the current plan will add a minimum of $239 billion to our deficit in the short term and possibly $9 trillion in the long term.
- President Obama claimed more people will die if we “do nothing”.
That was a lie. He has no way of knowing, in fact, if this health care bill is allowed to pass, the quality of health care in America will suffer, services will be rationed to save money, and up to 45% of all doctors will quit, rather than work under this plan.
- President Obama invoked the name of Ted Kennedy as an average American who suffered silently with substandard health care.
That was a lie. Check out all the options under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and then tell me how bad Ted Kennedy’s insurance was. The President was invoking his name solely for the sympathy vote.
- President Obama claimed we are better because of Social Security and Medicare.
That was a lie, and I can list $59,000,000,000, 000 (yes, that’s trillion) reasons why, but I don’t have 1,869,592 years to do so.
The bottom line is, even if you discount half of these examples, the President told an overwhelming number of lies to the American people when he stood before the Joint Session of Congress and delivered that health care speech.
Americans have grown cynical in the fact that they continue to support politicians who lie to them continuously. We’ve grown apathetic toward the entire political system, and that has to change.
During the course of these posts, I have been called out, I’ve been called names, and today, a family member “de-friended” me on Facebook simply because I stood my ground and debated the true aspects of the health care bill. It’s a shame he chose to walk away rather than simply agree to disagree and move on, but I don’t regret my coverage of HR 3200, I don’t regret pointing out the President’s obvious (and not so obvious) lies, and most of all I don’t regret making my voice heard.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” If we remain quiet now, we will surely pay for it for generations to come. Thank you for taking the time to read this series of posts. Hopefully it will make a difference, for your sake, for my sake, for our children’s sake.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.