Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fact & Fiction in the Health Care Debate

The following is from AP wire reports and appeared in the Monday, August 3 edition of the Kinston (N.C.) Daily Free Press. The "claims" are excerpted objections to the Obama/Democratic health care proposals as they currently stand, while the "Facts" are excerpts showing that Democratic denials are simply not true.

Let it be said, by way of definition, that as of right now, there is no "Obama" plan for health care. While he has outlined certain goals that he would like to have reached, he has not yet put forth a plan. The plans that are currently wending their way through the Congress are all Democratic plans, however. The Senate has two bills it is considering, while the House is waiting for its plan to make its way out of committee.

But the intent of the plan is discernible from the structure of these currently-known plans, and a close examination of the objections to the various plans and the Obama administration's denials show that Obama and the Democrats are simply lying about key provisions.

"CLAIM: Americans won't have to change doctors or insurance companies.

'If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing,' Obama said on June 23. 'You keep your plan; you keep your doctor.'

THE FACTS: The proposed legislation would not require people to drop their doctor or insurer. But some tax provisions, depending on how they are written, might make it cheaper for some employers to pay a fee to end their health coverage. Their workers presumably would move to a public insurance plan that might not include their current doctors.

CLAIM: The Democrats' plans will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have....

THE FACTS: ... Denying coverage for certain procedures might increase under proposals to have a government-appointed agency identify medicines and procedures best suited for various conditions....

CLAIM: Overhauling health care will not expand the federal deficit over the long term.

THE FACTS: ... the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill lacks mechanisms to bring health care costs under control."

Again, these are direct quotations from an Associated Press wire story - not Sean Hannity or The American Spectator.

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