08.31.2009 0

The Biggest Liar of All

  • On: 09/11/2009 09:32:22
  • In: Health Care
  • By Robert Romano

    Barack Obama is lying. And there is no need to apologize for telling it like it is, as Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) did after he shouted “You lie!” as Obama spoke to the joint session of Congress on Wednesday. He’s a liar.

    As you know, in the speech to Congress, Obama took one last bite at the apple to try and sell his government takeover of the health care sector. Therein, he attempted to dispel what he termed to be “bogus claims.” Let us review a few of his “clarifications.”

    On Wednesday, Obama claimed illegal aliens would not be eligible for the government-run plan. But they are: the only eligibility requirement is income. As ALG News recently reported in “The Hidden Cost of ObamaCare,” under the House version of the so-called public “option,” individuals up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or making approximately $43,320 or less annually, will be eligible for some level of health coverage under the plan whether through the public “option,” Medicaid, or otherwise.

    Or, 91.5 million people as of 2006 aged 25-65 who fell into that income bracket, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Throw in the 35 million who were 65 and older at that time, and the total figure comes to over 125.8 million eligible for ObamaCare, compared with 80.5 million who now receive their health care from the government.

    As a result, approximately 45 million more people—the exact figure the Census Bureau reports as being uninsured—will be receiving their health care from Uncle Sam. And it includes illegal immigrants! Why?

    As House Republican Leader John Boehner has pointed out, there is no prohibition enforcement in the bill against non-citizens receiving coverage under the so-called public “option.” Wrote Boehner on his website, “Republicans offered two amendments in the Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees that were rejected by Democrats. The first would have prevented illegal immigrants from being automatically enrolled into Medicaid and the second would have required better screening for applicants for federally-subsidized health care to ensure they are actually citizens or legal immigrants.”

    Without a citizenship verification requirement, a person would only need to prove they make less than $43,320, and they’re in. Those are the facts.

    The lies do not stop there. Obama challenged opponents who believe government-run care would result in rationing. He said, “The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens.”

    To be fair, this is more than a slight misrepresentation on Obama’s part, but it is true that under the plan, there will be bureaucrats rationing treatment—and that in essence will result in seniors being denied care. And, yes, that very likely means they would die sooner than if they had received the life-saving treatment, surgery, or drugs now covered under Medicare. How do we know that?

    A means of cutting “costs” that has been repeatedly touted by the Obama Administration, as reported by Politico, is “a White House proposal to empower an outside body, like the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, to make binding recommendations for cost cuts in government-run health care programs.” That includes Medicare, which House Democrats have already said they plan on cutting by $500 billion over ten years.

    On July 22nd, Obama elaborated on his plans to cut Medicare to pay for his overall plan by allowing an “independent group of doctors and medical experts” to determine how to cut the program tens of millions of seniors now depend on for medical care.

    And he said it again in his speech, “[W]e will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.” That’s it. That’s the rationing board—and Obama specifically defined what their role would be, when he defined what he viewed as “waste” in the system.

    Obama was answering the question of a woman whose mother had a pacemaker installed at the age of 100 after being told she was too old. She’s now 105.

    Here’s what Obama said in full response, “We’re not going to solve every difficult problem in terms of end-of-life care, a lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But, what we can do is make sure that some of the waste that exists in the system that is not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading upon additional tests or additional drugs, that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that, you know what, this isn’t going to help, maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer.”

    So, the rationing board will let doctors and individuals know what is and is not covered.

    Just how would they let the doctors know? By not paying for those “unnecessary” tests and drugs. And how would those aging mothers find out? When those life-extending treatments are denied. The message, in short, will be: take two aspirins and call the undertaker.

    And Barack Obama knows it. Most importantly, seniors know it.

    According to James Carville’s Democracy Corps polls, a full 54 percent of seniors oppose the
    Obama nationalized health care plan. According to the poll conducted in June, 41 percent of seniors strongly oppose the Obama plan and only 14 percent strongly favor it.

    “What every single member of Congress needs to do is go home to their districts and tell those 65 years old and older, and those who soon will be, that the plan is take their health care away to pay for somebody else’s,” said ALG President Bill Wilson when the rationing board was announced.

    Finally, Obama said that “The plan will not add to our deficit.” That is just an out-and-out lie. The Congressional Budget Office Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf, the non-partisan budget analyst single-handedly delivered a critical blow to the ObamaCare plan, stating that “the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care.” And that “The [cost] curve is being raised.” By how much?

    Even assuming the best case scenario, that the program operates as intended to insure an additional 45 million people, at a cost of $4,700 for an average insurance premium, the total cost would rise to $211.5 billion extra annually for government health care responsibilities. That’s $2.115 trillion over ten years. And that’s assuming that the number always stays at 45 million eligible. Which it won’t.

    Obama said himself that “If you lose your job or you change your job, you’ll be able to get coverage.” Right now, that includes about 50.4 million people, according to the current U-6 unemployment rate at 16.8 percent as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Should economic conditions worsen, the simple eligibility based on income noted above and employment status would still apply, and the government health care rolls would soar.

    It goes on and on. So, instead of apologizing for calling out these blatant lies told by Obama to the American people, it is time to dispel them once and for all. Barack Obama is a liar. Only now, he can no longer get away with it.

    Robert Romano is the ALG Senior News Editor.

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