More mendacity on health care reform

WASHINGTON — One year after Congress passed a landmark health care law, its detractors continue to campaign against it with deceit, dissembling and distortion. They have blamed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for a high unemployment rate, runaway deficits and spiraling health care costs.

The facts don’t count for much in this debate. It doesn’t seem to matter that President Obama’s predecessor ate through a budget surplus with two unfunded wars and, ironically, a huge new health care entitlement — a prescription drug plan for seniors. Nor does it seem to matter that health care costs were soaring for years before the Affordable Care Act, which curbs Medicare spending.

Obama and his Democratic colleagues, including Nancy Pelosi, share the blame for the confusion and misinformation that abound: They did a poor job of building public support for the law, allowing Republicans to create a backlash.

But you’ve got to give the law’s critics credit, too. Unrestrained by truth or reason, they have engaged in a creative campaign to discredit the law, often reversing their previously held positions. Mitt Romney’s attempts to distance himself from his own Massachusetts health care law, from which “Obamacare” borrows heavily, are well known. And laughable.

Then there are detractors such as Atlanta-area businessman Herman Cain. As he considers a run for the GOP nomination for the presidency, Cain likes to tell audiences that he would not have survived Stage IV colon cancer if the Affordable Care Act had been in place. He repeated that contention when I interviewed him here in February.

“If Obamacare gets implemented, it will slow down the process of treatment from start to finish. Every socialized health care system has shown that.

. . If we had had a system similar to the one they have in Canada or Britain, I wouldn’t have been able to get the quality of care or the speed of care,” Cain told me.

There’s a problem with those comparisons, though. The Affordable Care Act bares no resemblance to the systems in place in Great Britain (where many doctors and nurses are government employees) or Canada (which has a single-payer system, much like Medicare for all citizens). The new health care law would require every American to purchase private health insurance.

Nothing in the law would force Cain, a wealthy businessman, to give up the private health insurance policy that helped pay for the care he received at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s leading cancer treatment facilities. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act prohibits the center’s cutting edge treatments or rations them.

Since Cain would brook no disagreement, I left the interview confused about whether he genuinely believed his factually incorrect arguments. Perhaps he was merely repeating the false claims he’s heard in rightwing circles.

However, I’m certain that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was intentionally disingenuous and misleading in an essay he wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, in which he suggested that his now-grown daughter, who was born with a heart defect, would not have survived under the current law.

He was careful with his rhetoric, engaging in innuendo, half-truths and speculation. “I am convinced that ObamaCare was designed to lead to a government takeover of our entire health-care system,” he wrote — an assertion that merely cozies up to  the lie that the new law is a government takeover.

Like Cain, Johnson is a very wealthy man, and his daughter was covered by private health insurance. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act would take away his right to purchase that policy or circumvent his “freedom to seek out the most advanced surgical technique.”

The Affordable Care Act merely seeks to give more Americans that same “freedom.” It’s hardly a perfect piece of legislation, but it’s a pretty darn good one. If it were as bad as its critics claim, they’d be much more likely to tell the truth about it.

124 comments Add your comment

Not at the Trough

March 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

Even the democrats didn’t understand the ramifications when it was passed. We have seen health care costs, and insurance costs spiraling. It does nothing to address tort reform or interstate competition among carriers. It smacks of governmental intervention into the private relationship between doctors and patients, and while Medicare reimbursement goes down and doctors scramble to retire or refuse to take Medicare patients, we are all going to be at the mercy of the government as provider, and I venture to guess that the costs and time it takes to become a doctor will not be appealing to those who realize they will simply become government drones dispensing patch work care on a take a number basis. Obama did try to explain it. He couldn’t get support for it, yet it was passed anyway by a tone deaf Congress. Talk about mendacity and corruption–look to your liberals for that.

SouthGaDawg

March 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

“The facts don’t count much in this debate.”

Indeed they don’t. Well at least for CT and the rest of the dems…

Tech Man

March 25th, 2011
4:04 pm

Its because our executive branch and Democratic controlled congress Obamulated.

Tech Man

March 25th, 2011
4:07 pm

However, I’m certain that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was intentionally disingenuous and misleading in an essay he wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, in which he suggested that his now-grown daughter, who was born with a heart defect, would not have survived under the current law.
—————————-
The child wouldn’t have survived or Sen. Ron Johnson would have gone bankrupt if they tried to rely on a child only health policy seeking issuance after Obamacare was passed.

Tech Man

March 25th, 2011
4:08 pm

Oops, I ment to spell OBAMBULATED.

Real

March 25th, 2011
4:20 pm

“…with deceit, dissembling and distortion…” funny – isn’t that the way it was passed!!!

ByteMe

March 25th, 2011
4:21 pm

And so many of your right-wing fans, Cynthia, will just repeat the same nonsense in the blog comments without bothering to check the facts. Just wait’ll they bring up the “wavers” that they don’t really understand… the costs spiraling out of control, which they won’t admit was happening before the law was passed… the routine rejection of coverage because of “pre-existing conditions” which they like that that’s now illegal with the law, but they don’t want to admit it that it comes at a cost… and so on.

ByteMe

March 25th, 2011
4:22 pm

Oh, and they’ll complain it was passed “too fast”, because it only took over a year of meetings and days and days of debate. Any life change must be “too fast” for them…

RLJ

March 25th, 2011
4:24 pm

It seems like Orwellian double-speak to say that people are “mandated to buy private health insurance” so that they can enjoy the same “freedom” that those who voluntarily did so have.

Question

March 25th, 2011
4:33 pm

When will I have the right to sit at home and have someone else pay for my food, clothes, housing, education, health care, car, phone, other “living expenses”?

arnold

March 25th, 2011
4:34 pm

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The right wing fring element has been squeakier than the Obama administration. You tell a lie often enough, and many will believe. Like Barnum said, “There’s one born every day”. Lately, there seems to be an entire party of them. They are all drinking the tea. :-)

Anne C

March 25th, 2011
4:42 pm

Assaults against the health care reform bill from Republicans cannot be taken seriously. Not only because of political reasons but because these people i bet have not experienced having a hard time trying to acquire health care coverage. They don’t know how it is to deliberate whether to pay their premiums or pay their bills. These people do not have any problem accessing health care. Republicans are understandably concerned over the costs but they also need to pay attention to our current health care system. Improvements need to be made.

Anne C
NY Health Insurer

Haves and have nots

March 25th, 2011
4:49 pm

“The new health care law would require every American to purchase private health insurance.”

And how, CT, are the generational government dependents going to purchase (pay) for their private insurance? Thought so!!!

Drifter

March 25th, 2011
4:51 pm

I haven’t voted for a Democrat in probably close to two decades and I don’t see that changing, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The Democrats did something after my guys did nothing for 8 years. You can gripe and moan all you want, but the truth is that we pay more for health care in this country than any other nation and the results are not good. You have to hate the French, but they pay less for health care than we do, everyone is covered and they can get the best results. If we can’t beat them, at least we can copy them. I honestly believe that’s where Obama was headed, but couldn’t even get enough support from his own party to get what he really wanted. At the least the Democrats are trying.

read the bills

March 25th, 2011
5:12 pm

Which ever person comes out with a copy of the bill in a plain simple format that the normal pearson can understand will insure the obama is a one timer. He don’t just mandate that you buy insurance, he even mandaited how the insurance spends thair money. He leaves in there $500,000,000 for the media to stand behind him. He leaves 2500 open jobs for union goverment workers to fill, and by 2016 will close down 15% of all hospital rooms. He takes away the offices from the doctor. They will not be able to own them. Everything you do will be on one data sheet the goverment will control. They will tell you that the job you do is not what they want, the play you do is not on their list of good things and the goverment can denie you benifits if you own a gun in 2017. If you do not belive me, prove me wrong and read the bill, every word of it, 750,000 of them so far and mor everyday.

B Cosby

March 25th, 2011
5:17 pm

Obama, healthcare, and the economy. It’s all about Hope & Change:
A doctor in Isreal says; “In Isreal the medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man’s testicles, put them on another man and in 6 weeks he looking for work”. A doctor in Germany says; “That’s nothing, in Germany we took part of a brain from one man, put in another and in 4 weeks he is looking for work. A doctor in Russia says,” We are so advanced in medicine, we took 1/2 of a heart from one man, put it in another man and in 2 weeks he is looking for work. The doctor from the U.S. says,”you all are so far behind us. 2 years ago, we took a man with no brains, no heart and no balls put him in a President and the whole country is looking for work. Now that’s hope and change!!

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

March 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

Yeah, after Barry hands out a thousand more “exemptions” to ObamaCare to his political cronies (like Anthony Weeeeeener of New York) and donors, the rest of us will be allotted “rationed” care by the Enlightened One…..

read the bills

March 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

To make if fair for everyone, everyone gets the same coverage. I MEAN EVERYBODY< OBAMA< BIDDEN AND CYNTHIA TUCKER and me too. the exact same coverage. Rich or poor, if it so great, nobody will have it better than the next. See what happens then!

read the bills

March 25th, 2011
5:26 pm

and that nancy bitch to

Really last word

March 25th, 2011
5:26 pm

” . . . its detractors continue to campaign against it with deceit, dissembling and distortion.” You might say that it was passed with deceit, dissembling and distortion, too!

Alatsea

March 25th, 2011
5:29 pm

Wiener the whiner from NY bragged how he was healthcare as he made it sound as though he wrote the nightmare without help. Now he wants his district to be given a wavier. You demowits have no sense of anything. And when did the facts ever concern you Tucker?

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

March 25th, 2011
5:35 pm

Hey Cynthia, weren’t we supposed to just LOVE ObamaCare once it passed and THEN we could find what was in the bill??? WTF???

Obviously we found out about it, and even Weeeeeener from NY doesn’t like the stench from that pile of sh*t!

Mark in mid-town

March 25th, 2011
5:39 pm

There has been dishonesty from opponents of ObamaCare. But that pales in comparison to the dishonesty engaged in by its proponents. President Bush certainly spent like a drunken sailor, but that’s not the reason surpluses were eaten through. The surpluses disappeared because they never really existed in the first place They were predictions based on economic assumptions which were not founded in reality. They were based on a dot.com bubble not existing. The bursting of that bubble is the real reason such surpluses were eaten through. As for the new health care entitlement Bush signed into law — let’s remember that the alternative wasn’t no new entitlement. Rather the alternative was the Democratic Party plan which was projected to cost massively more than what Bush signed into law. What Bush signed into law was certainly irresponsible, but not as irresponsible as the alternative Democratic Party plan would have been. Once they got going, the 2nd wave of Bush’s tax cuts actually started to bring in more revenue than the projected CBO baseline had projected would be the case without the tax cuts.

Really last word

March 25th, 2011
5:42 pm

Anne C, March 25th, 2011, 4:42 pm ~ I don’t think Republicans have ever thought for one moment that our healthy care system could not use some revamping and offered suggestions to what they believed should have been included and a part of health care reform . . . however, the arrogant President and his cronies wanted all the glory and they saw an opportunity to include in the bill a menagerie of wish list items aside from the real health care issues and use whatever (crooked) means to gain the votes necessary for passage of the bill. Anyone who thinks this bill is the answer has been snowballed and is very delusional. If it is so wonderful . . why the waivers . . . why are Congress and government employees exempted.

read the bills

March 25th, 2011
5:58 pm

The only thing this bill is going to do for us in to insure you know who is providing your healthcare. In seven years, there will be no insurance companies. The will all go broke, All they will sell is car insurance, They will not even write life insurance, it will be a sure thing, if you get sick- you die. The most you will get in enough to plant you. Even that WILL BE CONTROLLED. Insurance is a for profit business. nothing more. they take a chance they will make more than they will spend. The pre-existing is what is going to put them out. If nyou do not understand that, you are dumner than a five year old. Most of you would belive anything that comes out of his mouth. Hear me now, READ THE DAMN BILL WORD FOR WORD AND SEE FOR YOUR SELF< most of you could not understand it because it does not bash President Bush and it has no pictures in it.

sport

March 25th, 2011
6:18 pm

One way to help us decide if it is a good bill or not is to look at it where the rubber meets the road , where actual financial people are making actual financial decisons. And what I see is a lot , I mean a lot, of people trying to get out from under the bill by opting out, being exempt, ect.

These decsions are not politically based, but financially based , so they hold a lot of weight for me.

sport

March 25th, 2011
6:19 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot my favorite quote on this subject

” we gotta sign/pass the bill so we know what’s in it” – Genius

F. Sinkwich

March 25th, 2011
6:24 pm

“They did a poor job of building public support for the law, allowing Republicans to create a backlash.”

Why is it that when liberal policies prove unpopular, it’s always because of “messaging” or “marketing.” It’s as though liberals believe the American people are so stupid, that if only they could penetrate that stupidity, they’d be successful every time!

Message to libs: America knows and understands what you’re all about, and they voted last November accordingly.

America hates what libs are all about. That’s why we’re America.

Got liberty?

Dick Hertz

March 25th, 2011
6:56 pm

Rightards would rather die themselves and sacrifice their families than try to get a scrap of justice or fairness in the world. Like the Russian peasants in the old story where one is granted a wish knowing his neighbor would get twice as much of what he wished for, then wishing half of his cattle to die. It’s a sickness.
As for the lying, you have to figure the conservatives love to be led astray as long as it fits their prejudices. Gingrich/Palin 2012!!

F. Sinkwich

March 25th, 2011
7:07 pm

“Like the Russian peasants in the old story where one is granted a wish knowing his neighbor would get twice as much of what he wished for, then wishing half of his cattle to die.”

WTF ???

Please show proof.

Didn’t think so.

AH.

Paddy O

March 25th, 2011
7:49 pm

Yeah, Obama erudite passed a law that failed to be explained to the public. The bit & pieces we know – insurance exchanges run by state government (more duties for existing employees?), the mandate that businesses report minimal economic activity with customers/suppliers (600 a year? Why? control?).

Tenants I would like discussed:

T or F: Many unions have been given a waiver?

T or F: Some liberal leaning states have been given a waiver?

If you don’t have insurance, you MUST pay a fine – T or F? How is that constitutional?

If you have an excellent plan, you must pay a surcharge, T or F?

Insurance companies MUST cover adults over the age of 21 on their parents coverage? T, yes? Who pays for that excessive coverage?

Those with pre-existing (ie: expensive to cover), can NOT be charged more than a healthy person, T or F?

Those without coverage can not be denied. So, if a 22 year old moron wrecks his motorcycle, loses a leg, is in a coma for a month, can his parents obtain insurance for him with no premium penalty? And thus, all his rehab is covered by a policy he just started paying for? And, will that policy cost the same as a 22 year old in a seminary?

Blitz Wolfer

March 25th, 2011
7:51 pm

Cynthia – If Obozo-care is so great, why is the Wiener in NY now wanting a waiver for the state along with all of Obozo’s union-thug buddies?

Paddy O

March 25th, 2011
8:00 pm

So, the annointed Emporer of America attacks Libya without cause, and this is the kind of story we get? Yeah, no bias. No yellow journalism. Just hard edged,fact based analysis of the most duplicitous, arrogant and half ass President we’ve had since at least WW 2, maybe since that stretch in the 1800’s where nobody can remember the Pres’ name. Excellent.

[...] will take time to implement, as states build the new health insurance exchanges and minimize …More mendacity on health care reformAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)A year after health-care reformRochester City Newspaper [...]

Paddy O

March 25th, 2011
8:02 pm

Dick – tell us again the success of the stimulus and how deserving Obama is of the nobel peace prize? Obama is a re-run of Bill Clinton – I guess he really was the 1st black president of the US.

[...] insurance, and offers tax credits and subsidies to ensure that coverage is affordable. …More mendacity on health care reformAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Prevention Works: Affordable Care Act Is Already Building Health [...]

Jack

March 25th, 2011
8:23 pm

Nothing new in this latest Tucker tale of liberal woe: she wants a Communist state just like her hero.

Verbotten

March 25th, 2011
8:48 pm

“It doesn’t seem to matter that President Obama’s predecessor ate through a budget surplus with two unfunded wars and, ironically, a huge new health care entitlement”

First, the lame claim about a budget surplus. For about 5 minutes, there may have been a surplus…on paper. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Clinton still added $17B to the debt in his final year in office.

Congress funded both wars and continues to fund those wars under Mr. Obama. Of course, they funded it the same way they fund most things: borrowing the money.

Under this definition. though, Mr. Obama has begun a 3rd unfunded war. Excuse me, not “war” but “kinetic military action”. And this despite the clear protestations several years ago by Mr’s. Obama and Biden, along with Mrs. Clinton, that taking such activity without congressional approval was simply not to be done. I’m sure Mr. Biden will be filing those impeachment proceedings any day now.

And while Mr. Bush did sign plenty of Congress’s big-spending bills, Mr. Obama racked up deficits in two years that rival all of Bush’s first 7 years of deficits combined (year 8 included TARP, which is now being paid back and counted as revenue, making Mr. Obama’s deficits just that much smaller than they really are).

Finally, one has to wonder why Ms. Tucker feels the need to use these misleading words (unfunded, surplus) to smear Mr. Obama’s predecessor (when we know it’s easy enough to do so without stooping so low).

Verbotten

March 25th, 2011
8:49 pm

And there’s not a *thing* in this column that is “intentionally disingenuous and misleading”. Right…

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 25th, 2011
9:08 pm

My favorite surprise in ObamaCare was the $100 billion future-year-spending committed by the democrats in the bill. Unless the thing is repealed – won’t happen with a leftist in the oval office – our mountain of debt will continue to climb, on autopilot. This is what happens when democrats are put into power.

[...] the original: More mendacity on health care reform – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) March 25th, 2011 in Health in General | tags: atlanta-journal, business, care-reform, congress, [...]

Facts vs opinion

March 25th, 2011
10:16 pm

Funny thing here. Most of what I read is Cynthia’s opinion that conservatives are not dealing with the facts. Seems Cynthia is pretty short on facts herself and pretty long on opinion herself.

One thing I caught is that Cynthia said the new health law “curbs” Medicare. Why doesn’t she just be honest and say the new health law “cuts” medicare and in particular Medicare Advantage plans which are very popular with lower income and middle class seniors. Deception by Miss Tucker? Absolutely.

TnGelding

March 25th, 2011
10:30 pm

” designed to lead to a government takeover ”

What part of “lead to” don’t you understand?

It’s too complex and costly, and probably unconstitutional. It would have been so simple to extend Medicare to everyone. It’s not that good, but at least we’d all have basic coverage.

Facts vs opinion

March 25th, 2011
10:30 pm

I re-read Cynthia’s piece 3 times. I did not see one iota of evidence from Cynthia that the health bill will do what it claims- make health care more affordale,bring health care to more Americans, etc. Not one iota of truth or evidence presented by her that the health care law will do any of the things the Dems say it will.

TnGelding

March 25th, 2011
10:32 pm

Since when were Republicans against cutting Medicare? They’d really like to kill it.

Facts vs opinion

March 25th, 2011
10:32 pm

TnGelding,

Medicare is rife with fraud and abuse- one out of every 5 dollars spent on the system goes to waste, fraud, and abuse. Many think tanks or organizations such as AARP put the number at 30 percent or higher.

TnGelding

March 25th, 2011
10:36 pm

And who is committing that fraud and abuse? Don;t any of us hae any integrity? I’d argue that at least that much is being denied legitimate claims, so it’s a wash.

TnGelding

March 25th, 2011
10:37 pm

Let me try that again:

And who is committing that fraud and abuse? Don’t any of us have any integrity? I’d argue that at least that much is being denied in legitimate claims, so it’s a wash.

Mongo

March 25th, 2011
10:40 pm

The really pathetic part is that 90% of “Obamacare” consists of Republican healthcare plans from the past 40 years, but somehow it’s all “evil socialism” now. What a bunch of disingenuous maroons.

Facts vs opinion

March 25th, 2011
10:40 pm

TnGelding,

If that were true the Repubs wanted to kill Medicare then they wouldn’t have passed the Part D drug benefit now would they? The truth is neither party wants to tick off the Medicare community. The Dems just made cuts to Medicare Advantge plans which help poor and lower middle class people- very ironic. The reason they did it was heavy lobbying- AARP and other insurance companies can make a lot more many selling private medicare supplement policies.