The President’s Town hall in New Hampshire turned out to be is a staged play (theater of the absurd), Tickets were given to a pre-screened audience
As usual for such events, the White House controlled the distribution of the free tickets to get into the gym at Portsmouth High School. And, per usual, the Secret Service will take care of any unruliness.
Any doubt about the event being staged was erased by this banter between the President and the crowd:
THE PRESIDENT:That’s what we need to do right now. And I need your help. If you want a health care system that works for the American people — (applause) — as well as it works for the insurance companies, I need your help — knocking on doors, talking to your neighbors. Spread the facts. Let’s get this done. (Applause.)
Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I remember that
You would think that with such a loyal audience, the POTUS would at least give honest answers. Unfortunately that did not happen, as laid out by the Heritage Foundation, the president told tons of whoppers at yesterday’s New Hampshire Town Hall:
“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter.” This is directly contradicted by candidate Barack Obama’s own website which quotes Obama at a rally in Ames, Iowa form 2008: “If I were designing a system from scratch I would probably set up a single-payer system. … So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices….Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system.” So there you have in one paragraph the true purpose of Obama’s public option: a vehicle to slowly transition all Americans out of private coverage and into a government-run single payer health care system. This Trojan Horse view of the public option has been reaffirmed by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
“Under the reform we’re proposing, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” This statement is also plainly false. Again, as demonstrated above, the true purpose of Obama’s public option is to move Americans out of their private coverage and into government run health care. Independent, non-partisan analysis from the Lewin Group has confirmed the House bill, H.R. 3200, will do exactly that: About 88.1 million workers would see their current private, employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.
“That’s what the health exchange is all about, is that you — just like a member of Congress — can go and choose the plan that’s right for you.” This statement isn’t false, but it is misleading. Members of Congress do purchase their health care through a health exchange: the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Through the FEHBP 283 private plans compete for federal employees’ health care dollars. The Heritage Foundation has long been a supporter of health reform that empowers consumers to utilize a FEHBP like system. But Obamacare is nothing like the FEHBP system. There is no government run public option competing with private plans in the FEHBP. So whenever Obama says that a health exchange already “drives down costs” he is right … but remember that this cost reduction is achieved purely by private health coverage without any “competition” from a government run public option.
“We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors.” This is just plain false. The AARP released a statement late yesterday directly contradicting the President: “While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.”
“I just want to be clear, again: Seniors who are listening here, this does not affect your benefits. This is not money going to you to pay for your benefits; this is money that is subsidizing folks who don’t need it.” Under the current system, more and more seniors are discovering that it is becoming harder and harder to find and keep doctors who will accept Medicare patients. A 2008 survey found that 29% of the Medicare beneficiaries it surveyed who were looking for a primary care doctor had a problem finding one to treat them. Obamacare will only make this problem worse by cutting $313 billion in Medicare reimbursements to health care providers over the next 10 years. This will only force more doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. Obama also mentioned yesterday that he wants to pay for subsidized health care by killing the Medicare Advantage program. Medicare Advantage plans cover all of the traditional Medicare benefits and much more, including coordinated care and care-management programs for enrollees with chronic conditions as well as additional hospitalization and skilled nursing facility stays. 22% of all Medicare patients, which translates to 10.5 million seniors, are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
“I said I won’t sign a bill that adds to the deficit or the national debt. Okay? So this will have to be paid for.” That is a nice promise, but so was Obama’s October 2008 promise that he would enact a “net spending cut.” We all know how that has turned out. The reality is that the Senate still has not figured out how to pay for their bill and the House bill would increase the budget deficit by $239 billion over the next ten years. CBO director Doug Elmendorf has said: “In sum, relative to current law, the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window.”
“My belief is, is that [Obamacare] should not burden people who make $250,000 a year or less.” Both the House and Senate bills partially pay for Obamacare by imposing “employer mandates” or “pay or play” provisions that require employers to pay higher taxes if (a) they do not offer health insurance, or (b) they offer it but have employees who decline it and instead use the government system. Multiple studies have shown that such provisions cause both lower wages and lost jobs for low-income workers.
And these are just some of the falsehoods and misinformation peddled by President Obama yesterday. It doesn’t even include his choice to sell Obamacare as The “Post Office” of Health Care Plans. No wonder so many Americans are skeptical.
Don’t forget the biggest Whopper of all, that Health Care wont be rationed. The POTUS has been saying that over and over lately. But he didn’t say that in April:
The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.
“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”
Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.
“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”
It says a lot about what the President himself thinks about his Heath Care legislation when he stands in from of a crowd of supporters, and lies with a straight face. But then again, he stands in front of the American People and lies every day