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Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama's Health Care Fraud

Obama knows that there is no way to pay for universal health care insurance coverage. He also knows that there is no way to borrow enough money for such coverage. The well is running dry on the national credit card.

The solution: Cut health care costs to pay for expanded coverage. Obama trumpeted a plan with industry executives to trim $1.5 trillion in costs. But this wasn't a cut in costs, merely a cut in the rate of increase in costs. Even so, the plan was heralded:
President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed the health care industry's promise to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years and vowed to keep working tirelessly to find a solution to the problem of uninsured Americans.

Hospitals, insurance companies, drug makers and doctors told Obama in a letter that they will voluntarily slow their rate increases in coming years in a move that government economists say would create breathing room to help provide health insurance to an estimated 50 million Americans who now go without it.

One big problem. The Obama administration twisted private industry's willingness to look into a problem as a promise to do what the administration wanted:

Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending....

“These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,” Mr. Obama said. “Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.”

Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.

This episode is reminiscent of Obama's overstating the supposed promise by Caterpillar to rehire workers if the stimulus package passed. Caterpillar disputed that any such promise was made, and ended up laying off more workers, not rehiring.

Why should the public put any faith in the administration's health care cost projections, when such projections are "just words" and based on nothing more than political spin?

Related Post: $1 Trillion "Downpayment" For Health Insurance Announced

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  1. The media and Left are now claiming 50 million uninsured. It used to be 47 million. That number is bull and it keeps increasing.

    The real number of uninsured is more like 19 million. source:


    Not great, but a lot less than 50 million.

  2. Great post.

    This whole story hits a raw nerve. What the Obama supplicants actually said:

    "...we will do our part to achieve your Administration’s goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate--saving $2 trillion or more. This represents more than a 20% reduction in the projected rate of growth. We believe this approach can be highly successful and can help the nation to achieve the reform goals we all share."

    Is Obama stretching it a little? Yes, as always. But it's hard to sympathize with the signatories of that letter. They're professional lobbyists. They should know who they're playing ball with and how the game is played.

    Moreover, they're not the champions of free-market capitalism or the promoters of private industry that they are pretending to be.

  3. Wrong assessment, Professor (all due respect...)

    Obama was TELLING the industry to 'cut costs' by 1.5%/year X 10 years. He disguised it a bit, but that was no mis-understanding.

    Next, Obama will invite the President of A.H.A. to the White House and remark about 'how nice a family' the AHA figure has...

  4. Not to mention, does anyone actually believe that the SEIU will fight to hold down their own members wages? Or will Doctor's have the ability to not raise prices for the rest of us when medicaid and medicare start slashing payments even further? Or do these lobbyists meeting with Obama even have the authority to represent the millions of independent doctors, companies, and organizations that make up the medical field? What a joke.

  5. David Brooks, writing for the New York Times, warns that President Obama's health care plan is "fiscal suicide", on top of everything else he and Congress have spent; unless they can find a way to drastically cut costs.


    Of course, the best way to cut health care costs is to get out of the health care business. A free market solution is the only way to go. Yes, there are those who simply have no other option at this point, but the government should be working to wean those people OFF dependency on entitlements, not disincentivizing self-reliance.

  6. Thank God that someone is proposing an alternative to government run Obomunism. The Obama Nation is quickly becoming an abomination. It's a grotesque perversion of the philosophy upon which this country's founders built our great nation. What makes him so dangerous is that he is a youthful prodigy - an uncanny master, almost a Pied Piper of sorts, of demagogic rhetoric and scapegoating (think Wall Street big shots, big banks, insurance companies, drug companies, student loan companies etc...) His prowess in this regard reminds me of another infamous demagogue who got the great unwashed masses to follow him like a flock of mesmerized sheep to tragic consequences. Anybody know who I'm talking about? Anybody? If he was a baseball player jacked up on steroids they would probably nick name him A-Hit. But since he was a tyrannical fascist dictator jacked up on amphetamine let's just call him Adolph Hitler. For the Obama supporters who don't understand a word of what they just read: Don't ask questions. Just follow the person in front of you into the shower and don't worry about a thing. Barack says it's OK so it must be so.

  7. I can't accept the Hitler analogy, for Obama or any of the other mainstream politicians; many of the points about the sheepish followers are true, but no need to fall victim to Godwin's law. See my post, http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/04/enough-with-nazi-analogies.html