Not sure how many of you watched the Obamacare speech, I didn't. I knew he would lie so what was the point. But for those of you who couldn't see past the words to the truth of Obama's lies, Point of View Ministries made it all nice and tidy for us. Just because Obama doesn't use the words "death panel" doesn't mean that there won't be death panels.
"In his speech, President Obama charged that his healthcare plan had been attacked with "bogus claims," "misinformation" and that it had been the victim of "misunderstanding."
As he went through the list of these "key controversies," he included a number of things we have said, both on the air and in previous emails. His rebuttals included many half-truths and, according to at least one congressman, outright lies. Now it is our turn to "set the record straight:"
"The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."
President Obama proposed the creation of the Institute for Comparative Effectiveness and it was funded to the tune of $1.1 billion through the stimulus bill. The purpose of ICE is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness as well as the cost-effectiveness of medicines and medical treatments. While such an organization is good in theory (i.e. giving doctors and medical professionals better information about what treatments work) in practice it has been anything but.
The clearest example of where this is headed is the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in Great Britain. This bureaucracy determines what drugs and treatments are allowed and in what circumstances for the national healthcare system in Great Britain. In many instances, NICE has disallowed the usage of lifesaving treatments or medications on the basis of cost, condemning individuals to an otherwise avoidable death earning them the title of "death panels."
Under the public option health plan proposed by the president there will be a limitation of resources and it will fall to ICE or a similar agency of the government to determine how those resources are allocated. President Obama himself stated earlier this year that only people who will get "healthier" should get treatment. Where does that leave the elderly, the disabled and those with degenerative diseases?
Ezekiel Emmanuel, Health Policy Advisor, Office of Management and Budget (and brother to Obama's chief of staff) has written, "Savings will require changing how doctors think about their patients. Doctors take the Hippocratic oath too seriously, as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others." His perspective is, there are limited healthcare resources and before a doctor prescribes a test or treatment for one of his patients he should consider if those resources would be better spent on someone else.
In response to the assertion by many pro-family groups that abortion would be covered by the national healthcare plan and paid for with our tax dollars Obama said, "And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place."
At times like these I remember Bill Clinton's statement, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is' is." It has been argued that the Hyde amendment would prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortions under the healthcare plan. There is also the amendment Rep. Capps has offered to specifically say that the healthcare plan cannot use federal dollars to fund abortions.
However, this is a distinction without a difference. The proposed health insurance exchange will be funded by the federal government as well as premiums paid by individuals and employers. It can pay for abortions and claim it only used the funds that came from individuals and employers, not the federal government.
This is the defense that Planned Parenthood has used for years to defend their federal funding. It is basically the same as telling us that the government will use federal funds to pay for abortions but will only use tax dollars that come from pro-abortion individuals.
As to the assertion that "federal conscience laws will remain in place," we have never said the healthcare bill would remove these protections. The protections were created primarily by an executive order, not legislation. The Obama administration made it known earlier in the year that they planned to rescind that executive order, removing those protections for healthcare workers.
Because of the outrage this announcement generated, the administration has yet to move forward with their plans. This could be done at any time literally with the stroke of the president's pen giving no opportunity for discussion or debate.
Coverage for Illegal Immigrants
Then there is the statement that caused Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst, "You lie!" President Obama stated, "There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
While the bill making its way through congress doesn't specifically say it will fund healthcare for illegal immigrants, the bill does nothing to prevent it and so far any attempt to remedy that problem has been defeated by the Democrats.
As the bill now stands, if someone who is in the country illegally applies for coverage under the public option there is no requirement to show proof of citizenship so the application could not be refused for that reason.
You Can Keep Your Plan
"Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have."
Because the majority of Americans have their health insurance through their employer, they may lose their plan if their employer chooses to switch to the public plan to save costs. Independent experts all agree that the legislation proposed would result in millions of Americans losing the coverage they have—the Congressional Budget Office believes several million, the Urban Institute up to 47 million, and the Lewin Group as many as 114 million.
Increasing the Deficit
"I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future. Period."
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3200 would increase deficits by $239 billion over ten years and the legislation "would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits" thereafter. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation released a study today, which found that in its second decade, H.R. 3200 would increase federal deficits by more than $1 trillion.
"Not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan."
"Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers."
The two statements seem contradictory and if H.R. 3200 is enacted it would severely damage Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cuts to Medicare Advantage plans included in the current legislation would result in millions of seniors losing their current plan. So much for "nothing in this plan requires you to change what you have."
"Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years."
The Congressional Budget Office review of H.R. 3200 as introduced, found that the legislation would spend approximately $1.6 trillion over ten years, but what's $700 billion among friends?
"Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do.
"I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open."
Perhaps it slipped the president's mind that on May 13, House Republican leaders all wrote the President a letter reading in part: "We write to you today to express our sincere desire to work with you and find common ground on the issue of health care reform….We respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss areas for potential common ground on health care reform." Nearly four months later, that meeting has yet to take place.
"We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. . . This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right."
Four years? Isn't that just after your campaign to be re-elected ends? Why is it you don't want the American people to see what this plan will really do to their healthcare until AFTER you ask them to give you a second term?
The debate over healthcare reform is moving forward quickly and your congressional representatives will come under increasing pressure to support the president's plan. Please contact your congressman and senators right away to let them know where you stand on healthcare reform.
Warren Kelley, President, Point of View Ministries"