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Thread: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

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    FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge
    By CALVIN WOODWARD and ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers Calvin Woodward And Erica Werner, Associated Press Writers Thu Sep 10, 3:15 am ET


    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation's health care system without adding "one dime" to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.

    The president's speech to Congress contained a variety of oversimplifications and omissions in laying out what he wants to do about health insurance.

    A look at some of Obama's claims and how they square with the facts or the fuller story:

    Link
    Here are some of the "whoppers", and suspected whoppers the AP fact check found:

    OBAMA: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period."

    THE FACTS: Though there's no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they're ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.

    House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.

    Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this "doc fix" from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn't have to be paid for because they decided it doesn't have to be paid for.

    The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn't have to be counted again.

    That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.

    ***********

    OBAMA: "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."

    THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.

    In the past Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan "requires" any change.

    ***********

    OBAMA: "Don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut. ... That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare."

    THE FACTS: Obama and congressional Democrats want to pay for their health care plans in part by reducing Medicare payments to providers by more than $500 billion over 10 years. The cuts would largely hit hospitals and Medicare Advantage, the part of the Medicare program operated through private insurance companies.

    Although wasteful spending in Medicare is widely acknowledged, many experts believe some seniors almost certainly would see reduced benefits from the cuts. That's particularly true for the 25 percent of Medicare users covered through Medicare Advantage.

    Supporters contend that providers could absorb the cuts by improving how they operate and wouldn't have to reduce benefits or pass along costs. But there's certainly no guarantee they wouldn't.

    **********

    OBAMA: Requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies "makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

    THE FACTS: Studies have shown that much preventive care particularly tests like the ones Obama mentions actually costs money instead of saving it. That's because detecting acute diseases like breast cancer in their early stages involves testing many people who would never end up developing the disease. The costs of a large number of tests, even if they're relatively cheap, will outweigh the costs of caring for the minority of people who would have ended up getting sick without the testing.

    The Congressional Budget Office wrote in August: "The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."

    That doesn't mean preventive care doesn't make sense or save lives. It just doesn't save money.
    My conclusion:

    Same political BS... Different day.


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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    OMG....government agencies fudging numbers to make their programs look better! That's never been done in the history of the United States before.

    Of course, there was that whole transparency pledge Obama made and seems unwilling to stand by, but that too was the same BS different day sort of thing.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    Well, Obama really slammed it home, didn't he! He said he was providing details when all he did was regurgitate the same old tired Democratic Party ambiguous talking points. Lawyers touting numbers is always scary - especially when one has a "D" behind his name!
    Obama lied... Ambassador Stevens died!

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    I find it very telling that the Obama/democratic supporters are going hog wild over a republican calling Obama a liar, yet don't seem much interested in talking about whether the actual issues he discussed were true or not?

    They seem to be too busy "high 5'n" themselves over a possible victory in the polls because of the "liar" comment.

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    There's a word for this sort of thing in South Carolina, can't think of it right now tho.




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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17 View Post
    I find it very telling that the Obama/democratic supporters are going hog wild over a republican calling Obama a liar, yet don't seem much interested in talking about whether the actual issues he discussed were true or not?

    They seem to be too busy "high 5'n" themselves over a possible victory in the polls because of the "liar" comment.

    .
    Wilson provided a welcome diversion from the FACTS. But threads like this illustrate that regardless how desperately the mainstream media attempts to avoid the truth, it will get out.

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    Wilson provided a welcome diversion from the FACTS. But threads like this illustrate that regardless how desperately the mainstream media attempts to avoid the truth, it will get out.
    I can't believe it's been 24 hours, and the Obama supporters on this board are still talking it up about the "liar" comment, and still won't address this thread.

    Does the truth mean anything to you people?

    Or is this all about winning even if America is getting screwed?

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    let's look at these points:
    OBAMA: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period."

    THE FACTS: Though there's no final plan yet, the White House and congressional Democrats already have shown they're ready to skirt the no-new-deficits pledge.

    House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill actually was deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.

    Their reasoning was that they already had decided to exempt this "doc fix" from congressional rules that require new programs to be paid for. In other words, it doesn't have to be paid for because they decided it doesn't have to be paid for. The administration also said that since Obama already had included the doctor payment in his 10-year budget proposal, it didn't have to be counted again.

    That aside, the long-term prognosis for costs of the health care legislation has not been good.

    Obama made an excellent observation, asking why the republicans previously moved forward without concern for the budgets required to fund an inappropriate war in iraq, the trillion dollar giveaway to big pharma last year, and the multitrillion dollar tax cut for the wealthiest among us ... only now to ask the fiscally correct question. how do we pay for this?

    and his answer is that we will operate government more efficiently
    no one can argue that the military industrial complex is underfed
    and Obama has recognized that efficiencies will be implemented in the existing government managed health care programs
    a method used by Erskine Bowles while an agency head, was to direct his program managers to prioritize every budgetary element within their empire. it then became much easier to identify the ones - at the bottom - that were seldom cost effective
    and his argument that the doc fix needn't be budgeted twice appears to be sound reasoning ... but if you think otherwise, please share with us why something deserves to be 'costed' twice


    ***********

    OBAMA: "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."

    THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the health care bill written by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.

    In the past Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan "requires" any change.

    and who would want employers to be bound to health insurance agreements they could not pay for or which did not represent good health care values. nothing here changes that ... presently employers can abandon their existing policies for another, or even end them altogether. except under Obama's plan, that business or that individual would have the opportunity to buy coverage at an affordable premium, which seldom is the case today

    insufficient attention has been given to the ancillary benefits of a universal health care program. it will make our businesses more competitive; especially small businesses. try competing on price with a foreign employer which does not have to fold in employee health care expense into its price of goods and services. eliminating that expense item will cause domestic business to become more competitive in a world economy

    ***********

    OBAMA: "Don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut. ... That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare."

    THE FACTS: Obama and congressional Democrats want to pay for their health care plans in part by reducing Medicare payments to providers by more than $500 billion over 10 years. The cuts would largely hit hospitals and Medicare Advantage, the part of the Medicare program operated through private insurance companies.

    Although wasteful spending in Medicare is widely acknowledged, many experts believe some seniors almost certainly would see reduced benefits from the cuts. That's particularly true for the 25 percent of Medicare users covered through Medicare Advantage.

    Supporters contend that providers could absorb the cuts by improving how they operate and wouldn't have to reduce benefits or pass along costs. But there's certainly no guarantee they wouldn't.
    if hospital emergency rooms are no longer the primary medical care facilities of those without insurance, then it stands to reason that they will no longer require the subsidies they now receive once health care is (near*) universal. [*what do we do for the millions of illegals who are without coverage and will be ineligible for government health care ... will emergency rooms still be their source of medical care at massive taxpayer expense?]

    **********

    OBAMA: Requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies "makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

    THE FACTS: Studies have shown that much preventive care particularly tests like the ones Obama mentions actually costs money instead of saving it. That's because detecting acute diseases like breast cancer in their early stages involves testing many people who would never end up developing the disease. The costs of a large number of tests, even if they're relatively cheap, will outweigh the costs of caring for the minority of people who would have ended up getting sick without the testing.

    The Congressional Budget Office wrote in August: "The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."

    That doesn't mean preventive care doesn't make sense or save lives. It just doesn't save money.
    this is a valid point
    i do recall the hue and cry about limited access to medical procedures. something about death squads not providing sufficient care to the terminally ill. which is where a disproportionate amount of the health care budget is now devoted
    do we give old timers - like myself - a couple of more days with costly intensive care or do we provide preventive care to those who could benefit from it. or do we do neither. i am sure many would want both

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba
    let's look at these points:



    Obama made an excellent observation, asking why the republicans previously moved forward without concern for the budgets required to fund an inappropriate war in iraq, the trillion dollar giveaway to big pharma last year, and the multitrillion dollar tax cut for the wealthiest among us ... only now to ask the fiscally correct question. how do we pay for this?
    I read you loud and clear...

    Republicans did it, so therefore, it's ok if the Messiah lied... Even though the democrats also voted to fund the war in Iraq, while the republicans almost unanimously voted against this heath care nonsense.

    Hey, lets not also take into account that none of Bush's proposals put the American economy in danger of going bankrupt. That would be too much information, and might weaken you argument significantly.

    and his answer is that we will operate government more efficiently...
    You mean eliminating the corruption and waste in Medicaid and Medicare? Well answer me this then... Why doesn't he do that now? If it can be done as he says, do it first and he will save us the money we are losing every minute this continues, and it will prove such a savings exists.

    Naaa... Scratch that one... It makes way too much sense.

    *********

    There is way too many excuses, and simply not enough time for me to deal with them... So I'll get back to this later.
    Last edited by Grim17; 09-11-09 at 04:39 PM.

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    Re: FACT CHECK: Obama uses iffy math on deficit pledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17 View Post
    I read you loud and clear...
    it appears you did not

    Republicans did it, so therefore, it's ok if the Messiah lied... Even though the democrats also voted to fund the war in Iraq, while the republicans almost unanimously voted against this heath care nonsense.
    neither Obama nor i indicated that it would be acceptable to move forward with health care reforms without simultaneously addressing how to pay for it

    Hey, lets not also take into account that none of Bush's proposals put the American economy in danger of going bankrupt. That would be too much information, and might weaken you argument significantly.
    your short term memory is obviously impaired
    the financial meltdown took place on the shrub's watch

    You mean eliminating the corruption and waste in Medicaid and Medicare? Well answer me this then... Why doesn't he do that now? If it can be done as he says, do it first and he will save us the money we are losing every minute this continues, and it will prove such a savings exists.

    Naaa... Scratch that one... It makes way too much sense.
    it is apparent you give your own ideas far to much value
    making government directed health care more efficient is only a portion of the reforms needed to improve healthcare
    since it is obvious this has been a long standing problem please identify the medicare/medicaid remedies the republicans implemented while they controlled the federal government
    ... i won't hold my breath awaiting that response

    *********

    There is [sic] way too many excuses, and simply not enough time for me to deal with them... So I'll get back to this later.
    why put off tomorrow what you can put off today ... now i hear you loud and clear

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