AP Accuses Obama of "Iffy Math"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Sinatra, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    While not quite an outright declaration of lying, as was voiced by Congressman Joe Wilson, the Associated Press has been quick to point out that there were many instances of "oversimplifications" and outright "omissions" in Obama's healthcare speech...

    FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge


    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation's health care system without adding "one dime" to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.

    The president's speech to Congress contained a variety of oversimplifications and omissions in laying out what he wants to do about health insurance.

    A look at some of Obama's claims and how they square with the facts or the fuller story:

    OBAMA: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period."

    THE FACTS: Though there's no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they're ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.

    House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.

    Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this "doc fix" from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn't have to be paid for because they decided it doesn't have to be paid for.

    The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn't have to be counted again.

    That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.

    CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf had this to say in July: "We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."


    OBAMA: "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."

    THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.

    In the past Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan "requires" any change.

    OBAMA: "The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." One congressman, South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, shouted "You lie!" from his seat in the House chamber when Obama made this assertion. Wilson later apologized.


    THE FACTS: The facts back up Obama. The House version of the health care bill explicitly prohibits spending any federal money to help illegal immigrants get health care coverage. Illegal immigrants could buy private health insurance, as many do now, but wouldn't get tax subsidies to help them. Still, Republicans say there are not sufficient citizenship verification requirements to ensure illegal immigrants are excluded from benefits they are not due.

    OBAMA: "Don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut. ... That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare."

    THE FACTS: Obama and congressional Democrats want to pay for their health care plans in part by reducing Medicare payments to providers by more than $500 billion over 10 years. The cuts would largely hit hospitals and Medicare Advantage, the part of the Medicare program operated through private insurance companies.

    Although wasteful spending in Medicare is widely acknowledged, many experts believe some seniors almost certainly would see reduced benefits from the cuts. That's particularly true for the 25 percent of Medicare users covered through Medicare Advantage.

    Supporters contend that providers could absorb the cuts by improving how they operate and wouldn't have to reduce benefits or pass along costs. But there's certainly no guarantee they wouldn't.


    OBAMA: Requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies "makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

    THE FACTS: Studies have shown that much preventive care — particularly tests like the ones Obama mentions — actually costs money instead of saving it. That's because detecting acute diseases like breast cancer in their early stages involves testing many people who would never end up developing the disease. The costs of a large number of tests, even if they're relatively cheap, will outweigh the costs of caring for the minority of people who would have ended up getting sick without the testing.

    The Congressional Budget Office wrote in August: "The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."

    That doesn't mean preventive care doesn't make sense or save lives. It just doesn't save money.

    FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge - Yahoo! News


    OBAMA: "If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage."

    THE FACTS: It's not just a matter of being able to get coverage. Most people would have to get coverage under the law, if his plan is adopted.

    In his speech, Obama endorsed mandatory coverage for individuals, an approach he did not embrace as a candidate.
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    If the AP is heading south on His Nibs, then we could be witnessing the start of a full-on crash and burn.

    But I'm not gettin' my hopes up too far yet.
     
  3. Zona
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    Zona A guy in ariZONA

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    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddddddddddd so it begins.
     
  4. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    Agreed - they are poking a stick at Obama, but not yet taking full out whacks.

    Still - the speech response has hardly been stellar, and I don't think the infighting within the Democrat Party will improve any.

    Clinton made a similar speech back in the day to save his healthcare plan - it was DOA within the year...
     
  5. Maple
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    Maple Senior Member

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    Thanks, again his speech was the same old stuff long on rhetoric, short on numbers and details. He is not fooling anyone, he may get a little bump up in the polls but he will be right back where he was today and maybe lower once people digest exactly what he said. IAny dummy knows that you can not add 30 million people, keep quality care, reduce the costs and be deficit nuetral. Something has got to give and that something has to be big. I have an idea, let's stop paying all of congress and the senate and the president and his adminstration and see if we can save some money that way. Maybe that would be enough to pay for his takeover.:lol:
     
  6. LibocalypseNow
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    LibocalypseNow Senior Member

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    Wow you know things are bad for Hopey Changey when his own old Liberal Media outlets are beginning to have questions. First crack in the Obama-run Mainstream Media facade? Hmm?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  7. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    Just wait - much more is coming...
     
  8. concept
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    concept Evil Mongering

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    Wow. Coming from the AP, that is tantamount to calling Obama a filthy fucking liar. :clap2:


    :lol:


    But now of course, the dopey libs will come charging in shrieking of that vast right wing conspiracy that we all know the AP really is. :lol:
     
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  9. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Can't wait....:cool:
     
  10. Dr.House
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    Dr.House Lives on in syndication!

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    Yep...

    There'll be threads on how the AP is just another arm of Murdoch and Faux News....
     

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