Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obamacare pep rally fact check


Posted August 12th, 2009 at 9.30am | Heritage

Any doubts that President Barack Obama’s “townhall” in Portsmouth, New Hampshire yesterday was a complete farce were dispelled early on when the hand picked crowd broke out in a chant of: “Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!” at the close of his opening remarks. Recognizing his campaign’s signature slogan, the President responded: “Thank you. I remember that.” Comforted knowing he was surrounded by a room full of die-hard supporters, President Obama then want on to make a number of misleading and outright false statements about the health care legislation still working it’s way through Congress. Here are just seven:

the seven false statements

USATODAY does some fact checking too. By Kathy Kiely

Some of the assertions that President Obama made about his health plan at Tuesday's town-hall meeting are open to argument:

� "Under the reform we're proposing, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

Not necessarily. In an analysis of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that 10 million workers could lose employer-provided benefits and would have to find other insurance.

� "Insurance companies basically get $177 billion of taxpayer money to provide services that Medicare already provides."

About 10.2 million Medicare recipients are in Medicare Advantage. Under that program, the government pays insurers a set amount per Medicare beneficiary. Obama ridiculed it as costly and redundant, but the plan provides additional benefits, such as vision, dental and hearing, to seniors and helps coordinate health care for those with chronic conditions, says Robert Zirkelbach at the trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans.

� "The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for 'death panels' that will basically pull the plug on Grandma. ... (T)he intention. .. was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready, on their own terms. ... (O)ne of the chief sponsors of this bill originally was a Republican ... (Sen.) Johnny Isakson from Georgia."

Isakson issued a press release saying Obama misused his name. A provision he attached to a Senate health care bill would allow seniors to obtain help in formulating a living will something Isakson said is different from House language. The House bill would require Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling sessions, but it would not mandate that anyone use the benefit.

� "AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, OK?"

The AARP issued a press release to make it clear that it has not endorsed any particular health care proposal. "Indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate," AARP said.

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