Thursday, September 10, 2009

AP Joins Congressman Joe Wilson: "Obama, You Lie!"

The truth is so out of fashion in America these days (and how else could such moral ruffians as Bill Clinton and Barack Hussein Hoover Muhammad bin Obama have been elected?) that I awaken this morning to speculation that that unctuous paragon of righteousness, Nancy Pelosi, might be considering censure for hero Congressman Joe Wilson's introduction of facts into the health care debate with his attempt to inform America of what most of us already know: Barack Hussein Hoover Muhammad bin Obama is a raging liar.

One wonders if Pelosi, et al., will attempt to similarly censure/censor the Associated Press, who asserts that Obama was lying on five of seven major assertions made about health care last night?


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

THE FACTS: Though there's no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they're ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.

House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.

Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this "doc fix" from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn't have to be paid for because they decided it doesn't have to be paid for.

The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn't have to be counted again.

That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf had this to say in July: "We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."


OBAMA: "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."

THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.

In the past Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan "requires" any change.

We'll call this a half-lie, since the AP gives Nobama a pass here. But note that even the AP asserts that the nature of Obama's guarantee has changed - whereas before his statement was "You will be able to keep your current coverage," his new statement is a somewhat middling "I won't require your coverage to change." The lie, then, is in his original guarantee, even if modified for last night's speech.


OBAMA: "The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." One congressman, South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, shouted "You lie!" from his seat in the House chamber when Obama made this assertion. Wilson later apologized.

THE FACTS: The facts back up Obama. The House version of the health care bill explicitly prohibits spending any federal money to help illegal immigrants get health care coverage. Illegal immigrants could buy private health insurance, as many do now, but wouldn't get tax subsidies to help them. Still, Republicans say there are not sufficient citizenship verification requirements to ensure illegal immigrants are excluded from benefits they are not due.

Though the AP claims "the facts back up Obama," their left hand taketh away what their right hand giveth in the final sentence of their evaluation. Much like the lie above ("You can keep your current health care"), when you promise that your legislation will/will not do A, but your actual legislation has no provision to enact/prevent A, then one is credibly lying in the utterance of one's promise.

Though Obama does the politically expedient thing in promising that citizens will not be taxed for health coverage for illegals, in fact, the legislation makes no verification provision for ensuring that illegals do not get such coverage. Where there is no plan to prevent A, we can infer that the actual results will be that A will take place.

If "the facts back up Obama" on this one, then "the facts don't NOT back up Joe Wilson on this one either." The practical effect will be that Obama is lying under current plans, since a failure to prevent illegals from signing up for coverage will result in illegals signing up for coverage, regardless of the angelic intent of The Messiah.


OBAMA: "Don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut. ... That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare."

THE FACTS: ...Although wasteful spending in Medicare is widely acknowledged, many experts believe some seniors almost certainly would see reduced benefits from the cuts. That's particularly true for the 25 percent of Medicare users covered through Medicare Advantage....


OBAMA: Requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies "makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

THE FACTS: Studies have shown that much preventive care — particularly tests like the ones Obama mentions — actually costs money instead of saving it. That's because detecting acute diseases like breast cancer in their early stages involves testing many people who would never end up developing the disease. The costs of a large number of tests, even if they're relatively cheap, will outweigh the costs of caring for the minority of people who would have ended up getting sick without the testing.

The Congressional Budget Office wrote in August: "The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."

That doesn't mean preventive care doesn't make sense or save lives. It just doesn't save money.

Arguably, then, when both the Obama statements and AP evaluations are looked at carefully, Obama lied on a minimum of five policy statements in his speech last night.

And that's to say nothing of the fact that he also didn't quite tell the truth in other ways. For instance, the AP notes that Obama promised that people who left a job would be "able" to get health coverage under his plan, when in fact his plan mandates that they get coverage. This, AP notes, after he harshly "criticized his Democratic primary rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for proposing to mandate coverage."

And the continually-morphing figure of exactly how big the problem of the chronically uninsured, socialist compassion (!) for which is, of course, the reason for the debate (or maybe it is fascist power hunger, but who am I to criticize?), has now, by Barack "The Mathematical Messiah" Obama's own profession morphed once again, from the 46 million that AP says Obama has referred to "time and again" to a mere 30 million.

But what is 1/3 of the total number among friends? After all, we are only talking a few million here! Are you sure you want these algebraic frauds "controlling health care costs?"

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