Throughout the year in which he campaigned in favor of health care reform, President Obama threw out lie after lie, damned lie after damned lie, about the implications of his legislative program. A largely lazy, gullible, and fawning media provided him with a free pass, though a growing body of independent bloggers did not.
A leading expert in this field, John Goodman of The National Center for Policy Analysis has closely tracked Obama’s terminological inexactitudes concerning health care reform. In a column dated March 22, 2010, Goodman draws upon independent statistical estimates to refute each of Obama’s many false statements. In this column, I focus attention on the most egregious of Obama’s Adventure in Wonderland:
Lie # 1: ”If you like the plan that you are in, you can keep it“
Statistical prediction: Between 8 and 9 million individuals will lose their employer plan (Congressional Budget Office).
Statistical prediction: 33 million individuals in traditional Medicare are at risk of a significant reduction in access to care as a consequence of $523 billion of enacted cuts in Medicare spending (Medicare Chief Actuary).
Statistical prediction: 20 per cent of all hospitals in the United States will become unprofitable as a consequence of cuts in Medicare spending (Medicare Chief Actuary).
Statistical prediction: 8.5 million individuals are at serious risk of losing Medicare Advantage plan benefits as a consequence of the health reform legislation (Medicare Chief Actuary).
Lie # 2: “There will be no tax increases for anyone who earns less than $200,000 per annum“
Statistical prediction: 73 million individuals who earn less than $200,000 per annum will see their tax bills increase (Joint Committee on Taxation).
Statistical prediction: A 40 per cent tax rate will be imposed on ‘Cadillac’ health care plans (Reconciliation Summary).
Statistical prediction: The legislation contains a hidden health insurance tax estimated to bring in $60 billion (Reconciliation Summary).
Lie # 3: “The average family will save $2,500 in health care costs by the time I complete my first term as President“
Statistical prediction: The annual health care premium will increase by $2,100 for the average family (Congressional Budget Office).
Lie # 4: “Over the past year, the House and the Senate have been working on an effort to provide health insurance that lowers costs and that guarantees access to care“
Statistical prediction: Health care spending will increase by $220 billion over the next 10 years (Medicare Chief Actuary).
Statistical prediction: 15 million new individuals will be added to Medicaid, where care is increasingly rationed and where provider choice is increasingly restricted (Congressional Budget Office).
Statistical prediction: There will be a zero number of new doctors, a zero number of newly trained nurses and a zero number of new hospitals built to meet the needs of 32 million newly-insured patients (Congressional Budget Office).
Lie # 5: “This is not about big government“
Statistical prediction: 16,500 additional IRS auditors will be required to enforce the legislation (Ways and Means Minority report).
Lie # 6: “We are going to get rid of special deals“
Statistical prediction: The new Bill provides for an extra exemption of $7,300 from the Cadillac premium tax, but only for members of labor unions (Ways and Means Minority Report).
Any CEO of a public corporation who advertised company stock on the basis of such a set of lies would end up with Jeffrey Skillings of Enron in a medium security prison. Yet, Barack Obama claims that the rule of law reigns in the United States.
Well, he would, wouldn’t he…