Health Care Reform 101: The Facts

on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unless you've been floating on a raft in the middle of the Pacific for the last several months, you probably know that health care reform is being pushed quite heavily by Obama and his minions on the left. While health care reform has been tried in several United States presidencies, none have has as much momentum as this... which leads me to conclude that if it doesn't pass this time, it never will.

But with both sides of the argument screaming at each other over whether or not this health bill will raise taxes, add "death panels", and provide free medical coverage to illegal immigrants, the question begs to be asked: What is true and what is not?

For starters, both sides are guilty of distorting the facts to a certain degree, albeit the Democrats take the cake on Pinocchio-esque rhetoric concerning the health care bill currently under debate. Among the largest of these falsehoods from the left are the notions that this will not add to the nation's deficit and that you can keep your current health plan if you like it. Below are a series of facts to help you debunk the lies that Obama is trying desperately to sell you.

LIE #1: Barack Obama - “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period.”

Are you really going to believe a statement like that from a guy whose own deficit this year is $1.6 TRILLION in the hole after promising "change" in the way government is spending? According to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare will increase the deficit by over a trillion dollars, pushing Obama's tab on the American taxpayer up to $2.3 trillion - and that's just within the first decade.

LIE #2: If you like your current health care plan, you can keep it

Impossible. The director of the Congressional Budget Office has officially stated that, while this health care bill will extend coverage to roughly 39 million new people, it will almost immediately force 23 million off their current plan, bringing the net total of newly insured people from this health care bill to a measly 16 million at a huge cost. Add that to the fact that at least 4 predominant Democratic politicians and White House aides, including Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are on tape admitting that this health care bill is just a means to an end - the end being full-blown government run single-payer health care... the very same kind of health care that dictates when and to which doctors you are allowed visit. Besides, think about it for a moment, how can a private insurance company compete financially against a government run program backed by the Treasury Department's printing presses?

LIE #3: Your tax dollars will not be used to fund abortions

Brace yourselves, Catholics. Even the Obama-loving Associated Press couldn't swallow this one. In a "fact-checking" article a few weeks ago, they found that under Obama's proposed health care plan, your tax dollars will be used in the form of premiums to pay for abortions - a direct violation of the Hyde Amendment.

LIE #4: The American health care system is broken

Really? According to the CIA world factbook, the death rate in America is 20% better than that of the UK's health system that Obama keeps praising. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have just released figures confirming that the U.S. just reached record high life expectancy levels for both males and females in 2007. Also, mortality rates in the U.S. reached an all-time low after a continuous 8-year trend of falling. The American Cancer Society also noted earlier this year that cancer death rates dropped 19.2% and 11.4% in men and women respectively between 1990 and 2005. No wonder Canada (the other country with a government run health care system that Obama lavishly praises) is currently sending their citizens to the U.S. for better treatment. It should also be noted that Canada is also currently revamping their health care system to one they think is better - ours. Couple that with the fact that 83% of the insured public is satisfied with the care they receive from their doctors and are 81% satisfied with their current insurance company, and you have all the evidence you need to debunk this myth with ease.

LIE #5: Health Care reform will not extend insurance benefits to illegal immigrants

Technically, it already does. Having worked in an emergency room during college, I can safely say that illegal immigrants are taking advantage of the system that obligates ERs to treat illegal immigrants with your tax dollars under a "no questions asked" doctrine. Now, there are two schools of thought regarding this statement from Obama: Either he's not lying because a) he's planning on granting amnesty to all illegal immigrants anyway, thereby making it impossible to provide coverage to illegals since there is no such thing anymore, or he IS lying because b) the Congressional Research Service notes that HR3200 (the House version of the health care bill) goes out of its way to ensure that people won't be required to establish proof of citizenship or legal residency before applying to exchanges for health insurance, including the public option. The same bill also includes text granting that illegal immigrants "would be eligible for emergency Medicaid" and that some families of illegal immigrants would qualify for subsidies if other members of the household are eligible for those benefits.

LIE #6: There are 47 million uninsured Americans in this country

This fabrication is an incredibly shameless distortion of actual figures. Here is a breakdown of who is included in that number according to the U.S. census (the figures below add up to more than 47 million because some categories overlap):

  • Illegal immigrants: 9.4 million
  • People who make between $50,000 and $75,000/yr and choose not to buy insurance even though they can afford it: 8.3 million
  • People who make over $75,000/yr and choose not to buy insurance even though they can afford it: 8.7 million
  • "Indestructible" 18-25 year olds who choose not to buy it for themselves: 8.4 million
  • People in-between jobs who are only without insurance for a temporary period as small as one day: 9.4 million
  • Children actually covered, but whose parents simply haven't signed them up yet: 8 million
  • People eligible for a government health care aid who have simply not signed up for it: 3.5 million

    In actuality, there are only between 8.9 and 14 million Americans that make less than $50,000/yr who are not eligible for government aid and are truly "uninsured". That's a far less number than the 47 million figure Obama keeps strapped to his belt at all times. Even if it was the highest figure of 14 million, that's only 4.6% of the American population, meaning that 95% of the American public is either already insured or has access to and/or the means to provide insurance for themselves and is choosing not to.

    LIE #7: If you choose not to be insured, that's your decision and we support it

    According to the bills currently being circulated in Congress right now, if you decide to forgo insurance coverage, you will be fined $3,800 by the government.

    Even the most basic analysis of Obama's health care plan reveals that the plan is a total boondoggle, a waste of money that is likely to cause more problems than it relieves. Remember when Obama demanded with fear-mongering that his stimulus be passed immediately lest the economy die that week? Congress, being the tools they are, passed it in two days leaving the public no time to investigate and question it. But once the "emergency" bill was passed and safe from critique, Obama left it on his desk for 3 days and went on vacation before signing it. And here he is trying to do it again. Why else do you think he tried to pass the health care bill in mere hours before Congress took their August recess? Answer: He didn't want to give you the time to find all of the above information out. I also find it interesting that this "emergency" health care bill that needed to be passed before Congress recessed in August won't even go into effect until 2013. If it's such an "emergency", Mr. President, why avoid congressional hearings on the pros and cons and pass it in such a hurry? And why not implement it before 2013?... Hmm... 2013, why is that number so significant? Oh yea, it's because that's right AFTER the next presidential election and the public won't be able to see the horrible effects of his health care bill until he is safely re-seated in the oval office for a second term. Well played, sir.

    Yes, our health care system has its flaws, but why are we willing to hand the keys to 1/6th of the entire economy over to a government that has yet to successfully manage the finances of JUST ONE government program? I think Michael Ramirez sums it up nicely in this comic from IBD: