Sure, Obama gave us the “you can keep your healthcare, period” lie and of course there is the “you can keep your doctor” lie and the Obamacare is cheaper lie, but there are other classic lies in the President’s selling Obamacare playbook. One that he has been exploiting often lately is the “no GOP alternate” lie.
During his Tuesday speech the President said:
You ask many of the opponents of this law, what exactly they do differently, their answer seems to be well, let’s go back to the way things used to be.
A day later he opined:
“If you don’t like the law, then you have got to tell us specifically what you would do differently. You can’t just say the system was working when 43 million went without health insurance.”
The truth is while the Democrats were working on the bill that would be come Obamacare, Republicans were offering their version of healthcare reform. Not one of the GOP results were considered by the President or the Democratic majority in either house.
Three of the alternate bills were offered in the spring summer of 2009:
- In May, Republicans in the House and the Senate formed a bicameral coalition to produce the130-page “Patients Choice Act of 2009.”
- In June, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced the “Health Care Freedom Plan.”
- In July, the Republican Study Committee, under the leadership of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) who is himself a physician, unveiled the “Empowering Patients First Act.”
Rep. Price reintroduced his bill each during each of the last three Congresses. A recent analysis of its of the bill promised:
- It would save taxpayers $2.34 trillion over 10 years
- It would slow the rate of premium increases more than Obamacare
- It would increase the number of insured Americans (by almost as much as Obamacare, WITHOUT an individual mandate tax)
A few months ago Price testified before Congress and explained his plan.
Also this year, the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013 was offered in the house. The bill:
- Fully repeals President Obama’s health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs.
- Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations.
- Reforms medical malpractice laws in a commonsense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients. This will drive down the doctor’s cost of doing business, and allows for an overall downward push on the price of Healthcare.
- Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance. Since there is a standard deduction, there is an incentive to shop for the cheapest insurance, as families get the same deduction even if they have a very cheap plan.
- Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses.
- Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.
The bottom line is President Obama can say he didn’t like the bills that were offered, or his bill was better and why, but every time he says the GOP never offered an alternate to Obamacare its as much of a lie as all those times he said, “you can keep your plan, period.”