- Oct 30, 2008
- Reaction score
- East Japip
Health Care Summit Squabbles
We tuned in to watch the presidents health care summit at Blair House today all six-plus hours of it. And we werent surprised to hear some factual missteps in the discussion:
Sen. Lamar Alexander said premiums will go up for millions under the Senate bill and presidents plan, while President Barack Obama said families buying the same coverage they have now would pay much less. Both were misleading. The Congressional Budget Office said premiums for those in the group market wouldnt change significantly, while the average premium for those who buy their own coverage would go up.
Alexander also said 50 percent of doctors wont see new [Medicaid] patients. But a 2008 survey says only 28 percent refuse to take any new Medicaid patients.
Sen. Harry Reid cited a poll that said 58 percent would be angry or disappointed if health care overhaul doesnt pass. True, but respondents in the poll were also split 43-43 on whether they supported the legislation that is currently being proposed.
Obama repeated an inflated claim weve covered before. He said insured families pay about $1,000 a year in their premiums to cover costs for the uninsured. Thats a disputed figure from an advocacy group. Other researchers put the figure at about $200.
Sen. Tom Coburn said the government is responsible for 60 percent of U.S. health spending. But that dubious figure includes lost tax revenue due to charitable contributions to hospitals and other questionable items. The real figure is about 47 percent.
Reid said since 1981 reconciliation has been used 21 times. Most of it has been used by Republicans. Thats true: GOP senators have used it 15 of the 21 times for legislation they wanted.
Rep. Charles Boustany said the main GOP-backed bill would reduce premium costs by up to about 10 percent. According to CBO, thats true for the small group market, which accounts for only 15 percent of premiums. But premiums in the large group market would stay the same or go down by as much as 3 percent.
Health Care Summit Squabbles | FactCheck.org