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Fact Check Please

Posted by Ender on February 25, 2009

Last night President Obama said this in his speech:

This is a cost [Health Care]  that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, one million more Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it’s one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget.

Michael Tanner at the Cato Institute said this last night:

Those figures on health care bankruptcies have long since been discredited. In 2007, the last year data was available, there were just over 822,000 non-business bankruptcies nationwide. But according to a study by Dr. Ning Zhu at UC-Davis, only 5 percent of them were caused by medical bills. That’s only 41,000 medical bankruptcies, a far cry from the more than 1 million Obama implies. In fact, seniors who qualify for Medicare (universal health coverage) are 125 percent more likely to go bankrupt than people under age 65.

Obama’s statement was not an accident. He or is speech writer delibrately chose each word in that paragraph to achieve a certain effect. It is just another example of him fear mongering in order to reach his political means. He wants the government to take over health care. It’s that simple. He wants us to believe no matter what the facts are that we just can’t afford to let private companies run health care.

I hate that politicians get away with this type of lie on a daily basis. Millions more watched the speech than will ever read Tanner’s analysis or any simaliar analysis. Who would even realize his lie unless you are actively following alternative media sources?

I think that politicians including the President should have to answer for these “mistakes.” Maybe there should be a sportslike press conference following speeches. No long term policy or off topic questions allowed. Only questions pertaining to the accuracy of the speech.

In football it looks like this:
Reporter: Coach Reid why did you waste 45 seconds figuring out which McDonald’s  to eat at post game during your two minute drill?

Reid: Uh…Well…Uh…you see…

In politics it could look like this:

Reporter: You said that 1 million Americans go bankrupt because of medical costs, this has been proven false, why did you say that?

Obama: Uh…Well…Uh…you see…

Moral of the story: Get out there and tell someone…



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