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The Lies and Misconceptions During the Joint Session of Congress (9/9/2009)

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

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obama speech

Many times presidential speeches can be very inspiring. Obama gave a similar speech, at times almost hypnotizing, to a joint session of Congress last week to re-energize the American people about his public health care option. He addressed “several myths,” as he described it, which one in particular stirred up a hornets’ nest with South Carolina congressman, Joe Wilson, who screamed out that Obama was a liar.

I decided to break down Obama’s speech and see if his words were genuine or if he was giving the American people the old political spin. Let’s begin.

“Thanks for the bold and decisive action, we’ve taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink.”

LIE!

This one is very easy to validate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2009 unemployment rate was at 7.6 percent. In July of this year, the unemployment reached 9.4 percent. According to the Center for American Progress, when it came to the country’s industrial capacity usage, only 68 percent was being utilized. To date, 91 banks have failed under Obama’s watch. These facts are far from Obama’s overconfident declaration that the economy was pulled back from the threshold of total economic collapse.

“We are the only democracy, the only advanced democracy on Earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for millions of its people.”

LIE!

We are a generous nation, a nation who is willing to bend over backwards to help our neighbors. If a person does not have health insurance, he/she is still at liberty to receive medical treatment. That is the law. If a person cannot pay the hospital debt, that liability is passed on to people who currently have health insurance. So I cannot see how we allow ANYONE in the US with such hardship as Obama claims.

“There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”

LIE!

This is a two-part endeavor to hoodwink the masses. Let’s take a look at his number. In his earlier addresses to the American people, Obama claimed “over 46 million” were lacking health insurance. This number is a far cry compared to his latest speech of 30 million. But look closely at the quote. He stated “30 million American citizens.” I see. He must have left out the 16 million illegal immigrants. So my question is this – In his previous speeches, did Obama have every intention to cover illegal immigrants? You will see later, Obama explicitly tells the nation that illegal immigrants are excluded from the public option.

The second part is dissecting the numbers. Remember, Obama said that 30 million people were without health insurance. That part is true. But it is only a half truth. According to the Census Bureau study in 2007, the uninsured making an annual income of $50,000 or more was 17.6 million, while others without insurance making $75,000 or more annually was 9.1 million. That is a total of 26.7 million Americans who OPTED OUT to buying health insurance.

Now Obama’s number of 30 million drops to 3.3 million. However, since the Census Bureau numbers are founded on a two-year-old study, we will go ahead and add a few million to the new number. According to a study presented by BlueCross BlueShield, 8.2 million people were without insurance because they were too poor but earned too much to receive government assistance (read The Myth of the 46 Million).

So Obama wants to revamp our entire health care system for the uninsured that consists of only approximately 8 million people? Something is very wrong with that picture when the US population rests at 305 MILLION!

“In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point.”

TRUE BUT . . .

According to the Insurance Research Council, one in every five Americans drives without automobile insurance. Should we begin a government auto insurance plan? Or maybe the government should just ban automobiles altogether since there is one death every 13 minutes on US roads. I know to the left elitists, those are silly comparisons, but if we are to hand out health insurance, why not all other types of insurances?

“One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn’t reported gallstones that he didn’t even know about. They delayed his treatment and he died because of it.”

LIE!

Based on the testimony from this man’s sister before the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation on June 16, 2009, the subsequent assertion was made:

“… Otto Raddatz was a 59-year-old restaurant owner from Illinois who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. He underwent intensive chemotherapy and was told that he had to have a stem cell transplant in order to survive. With coverage provided by his individual insurance policy, he was scheduled to have the procedure performed. But then his insurance company suddenly told him it was going to cancel his insurance coverage. Otto could not pay for the transplant without health insurance. The stem cell transplant surgery was cancelled. The insurance company told him that it found when he applied for his insurance; he had not told the company about a test that had shown that he might have gallstones and an aneurysm, or weakness of the blood vessel wall. In fact, Otto’s doctor had never told him about these test results. He didn’t have any symptoms, and these conditions did not have anything to do with his cancer, but the insurance company was going to rescind his policy, effectively tearing up the contract as if it never happened and it would not pay for his stem cell transplant. Otto made a desperate plea to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office seeking help to get his insurance company to reverse its decision. He told them, and I quote, ‘I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is a matter of extreme urgency that I receive my transplant in 3 weeks. This is an urgent matter. Please help me so I can have my transplant scheduled. Any delay could threaten my life.’ The Illinois Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation, confirmed that Otto’s doctor had never even told him about the test findings and sent two letters to press the insurance company to reinstate his policy. The company relented and Otto received his stem cell transplant. He was able to live 3 more years before passing away earlier this year.” (Hearing on Termination of Individual Health Policies by Insurance Companies, p. 4)

So the man did receive a transplant and did not die immediately after his policy was cancelled as Obama depicted it to be.

“And it’s why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it – about $1000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care.”

TRUE BUT . . .

Earlier in his speech Obama said that we are “the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for millions of its people.” I can’t tell which of the two statements are true. Can you? First he said Americans without health insurance lead a hard life. Then he said the same group of people passes their medical debt on to people who have insurance through hidden and growing taxes. I find it hard the latter can be considered hardship to the uninsured since the responsibility of paying their medical bills rest on the insured.

“These are the facts. Nobody disputes them. We know we must reform this system. The question is how.”

LIE!

I just did dispute some of his so called facts. And a majority of Americans disputes them also.

“There are those on the left who believe that the only way to fix the system is through a single-payer system like Canada’s, where we would severely restrict the private insurance market and have the government provide coverage for everyone.”

WHAT?

Whoa! So the bill the House brought to the table does revolve on a SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM. The democrats created H.R. 3200. And now we know the truth.

“Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch. And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the past several months.”

LIE!

Obama just said that the democrats wanted a single-payer system. That is what Congress has been working on the last few months.

“And there is agreement in this chamber on about eighty percent of what needs to be done, putting us closer to the goal of reform than we have ever been.”

LIE!

The democratically controlled Congress refuses to consider what republicans have to say. They have taken a step forward and blocked a bill the republicans have constructed.

“. . . if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, 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.”

POSSIBLY TRUE BUT . . .

Although Obama said that nothing in this plan will require employers to change medical coverage, there is nothing in the plan that requires businesses to hold on to their current plans. If it is cheaper to pay the government the penalty set by H.R. 3200, why keep the plans currently offered to their employees?

“Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. 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.”

POSSIBLY TRUE BUT . . .

I am not sure if Obama really wants to place blame on any one person except himself. It was he who told an audience that “at least we can let doctors know and your mom know, ‘You know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.’”

“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. “

MAYBE TRUE NOW, BUT BEFORE . . .

As stated before, Obama’s earlier uninsured count was at 46 million. During this speech, it dropped to 30 million. Also, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “Under HR 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs), non-immigrants, and unauthorized aliens who meet the substantial presence test… would be required to obtain health insurance.” Currently, this bill does not show any means of determining legal status of being an American citizen. Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) presented a bill that prevented illegal immigrants or other ineligible non-citizens from getting benefits. The bill was defeated by the House and Ways Committee. So I am leaning toward Rep. Joe Wilson when he said, “You lied!”

“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.”

REALLY?

I will let you read from the Planned Parenthood web site on how they feel about H.R. 3200:

“Congress has made progress on health care reform legislation — and when it comes to the early drafts of the bill: so far, so good. All versions of the health care reform bill would expand coverage, protect women’s access to reproductive health care, and allow women to continue to see the health care providers they know and trust (like Planned Parenthood). That’s the good news. Now for the bad.

Anti-choice groups are gearing up for an all-out assault on women’s health care. They’re using the reform negotiations to pursue their number one goal: preventing women from accessing comprehensive reproductive health care, from birth control to abortion.” (see Planned Parenthood web site, Making Women’s Health Care a Priority)

Do I need to say any more? Sometimes non-profit organizations can be their own worse enemy.

“My health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a “government takeover” of the entire health care system. . . Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. The insurance reforms that I’ve already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Let me be clear – it would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.”

DO YOU TRUST HIM?

Nowhere in his speech does Obama talk about how to prevent the government from taking over the entire health care industry. This was a very weak assertion. To say we will not be forced to choose the public option, well let’s just say that is a questionable debate since Obama has not informed the American public any guidelines to ensure us it won’t happen. As previously mentioned, companies may drop a coverage in favor of paying less on penalties. And if this is the case, there is no choice but to pick up the government health care plan for many.

“Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don’t like this idea. They argue that these private companies can’t fairly compete with the government. And they’d be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I have insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.”

LIE!

As revealed in my previous blogs, the government can print more money if need be to sustain the public plan. Private companies cannot. Also, signs of violating free enterprise emerged when in August, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent letters to more than 50 of the nation’s major insurers informing them that the committee “is examining executive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry.” They requested full information on the compensation packages of the companies’ highest-paid employees, as well as information on the companies’ boards, conferences and events they sponsored the profitability of the individual health-care products they sell and revenues earned through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. This type of action would never take place between competitors in the health care industry; in any industry for that matter.

“It’s worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I’ve proposed tonight.”

LIE!

The tea parties in the past months have already proven that most Americans are apposed to the current health care plan proposal. If Obama has another plan, we haven’t seen it. So to say that a strong majority of Americans still favor such a public option is ridiculously not true. Many Americans do feel some type of reform is in order, but not a total government takeover of the system. I guess they will learn how the strong majority of Americans will feel come Election Day.

“And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.”

LIE!

Apparently Obama is out of the loop as to what is going on in the House. The democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi, rebuffed any suggestions made by republicans. Right now, the Republican Party in the House have a bill to present, which is far less than the 1,000 pages of rhetoric the democrats presented. But not one democrat, not even Obama, will take the time to read it. So instead of getting on the pulpit and preach to the Republican Party, Obama and his band of democrats need to reflect on their own arrogance with party lines.

“Here’s what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”

WHAT?

Obama stated in this address and all his previous addresses that the public option will not bring us further into the deficit. Now he is saying that a provision will be added in case the deficit grows from it. Which one is it? Provisions can be added and removed at any time. So once again, it’s a trust issue. And right now, the majority of Americans do not trust ANY of these elected officials.

“The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies – subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care.”

WHAT?

If Obama is saying waste and fraud exist within the Medicare system, will there not be waste and fraud within the public option? And if he feels that this health care plan will clean up the corruption, then I must ask – How? As Americans have heard many times over, Obama is using generalities with no concrete remedies to back it up.

“Finally, many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs.”

LIE!

Obama doesn’t believe that tort reform is the answer but doctors are telling him otherwise. The bottom line is Obama is too busy pocketing the cash he receives from all those lobbyists representing the lawyers.

“A belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgement that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.”

LIE!

He has already stated that we must share the wealth, no matter how hard we worked for it. This belief is everything against the American dream. And hardworking Americans definitely do not want the government to step in and help. The majority has managed just fine without the government intervening. The only promise the majority asked for is less spending, less government. However, Obama and the democrats continue not to heed those words.

“This has always been the history of our progress. In 1933, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism. But the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it.”

LIE!

We are all not better to have Social Security. Social Security is close to being bankrupt. Would it be better to send money to our government to save for our retirement or would it be more beneficial to pump the same amount of money into investments through the private sector. I believe the latter would have taken care of us just fine. To the government, Social Security is nothing more than a loan department to cover their other expenses. And many Americans believe the public option will do the same.

That pretty much wraps it up in a nutshell. I am sure many Americans can find other flaws to his speech and would love to hear from them. Let’s tally the score. I found 13 lies and 8 misconceptions in his 45-minute address to the American people; way too many for me to feel confident about the government health care plan. And now that I brought this to your attention, how do you feel about the plan? You decide.

I have placed a pdf file of this blog for you to print out and show to your friends, neighbors, and relatives. You may want to post it at your local grocer. The public has the right to know what is really going on in Washington. Tell them to write to their senators and representatives. It only takes a minute and it is the American way. Stand up and be heard!