Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
In July 2015 in a speech on the economy at American University, Barack Obama made the following statements.
“The cost of “health care is now the single-biggest factor driving down” the federal budget deficit.”
The American public is tired of listening to President Obama’s lies, mostly lies and half truths.
Politifact analyzes many of President Obama’s statements of fact and grades them with Pinocchio’s and scores these statements.
- True 119 (21%) (119)
- Mostly True 149 (26%) (149)
- Half True 151 (27%) (151)
- Mostly False 67 (12%) (67)
- False 70 (12%) (70)
- Pants on Fire 9 (2%) (9)
Total 100% 565
Politifact determined that President Obama was telling the whole truth only 21% of the time.
He was mostly truthful 26% of the time. We have seen these mostly true statements over and over again.
A recent example is that he has not seen the private agreements in the Iran Nuclear Deal. He has not seen the agreement in writing but he has heard about it as John Kerry heard about it.
I consider this an act of deceiving the American public.
Half true, Mostly false, False and Pants on fire classifications add up to 53% of the time President Obama has used the bully pulpit of the President Of the United States to deceive the American people.
If you add the 26% of the mostly true statements to the rest of the deceptions you get an astonishing 79% of the time an attempt has been made to deceive the American public.
This brings me to President Obama’s statement at American University. “Obamacare is driving Down the Federal Budget Deficit”
Politifact gave this statement a mostly true.
The statement is mostly false in my opinion. The devil is always in the details. President Obama has mastered the details of deceptions.
“Partly because health care prices have been growing at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years, the growth in what health care costs the government is down,” Obama said in a speech about the economy last week at the American University.
The budget deficit is a result of revenue generated as compared to expenses. If a government spends more money than it takes in it has a deficit. The size of the deficit is a function of the deficit over the revenue. A deficit reduction from one year to another is that percentage difference one year to another. It is a percent and not a real amount.
A deficit reduction can result from many factors. One very important influence on the deficit is an increase in revenue resulting from an increase in Obamacare taxes. There has been a tremendous increase in taxes resulting from Obamacare. The effective tax rate as I have shown previously as a result of Obamacare is up to 50%.
Another influence on the deficit is a decrease in spending.
Medicare spending has decreased as a result of a very clever maneuver by the Obama administration. It claims it has increased reimbursement by around 2%.
Originally Medicare would pay 80% of the allowed reimbursement and the patients would be responsible for 20% of the fee allowed. The allowed fees have decreased. Fees previously allowed have been changed to non allowed fees.
Physicians’ claims for services might be for $200. Medicare might allow $80. Medicare would pay $64 and the patient or his Medigap coverage would be responsible for $16.
This has not changed. However the percentage of the claim allowed has been reduced and patients without Medigap insurance are responsible for the difference.
This is in addition to Medicare premiums and deductibles increasing yearly. Medigap premiums have also increased yearly.
Medicare recipients are experiencing greater out of pocket costs. Many cannot afford the cost and are not going to get medical care.
This has two potential effects. Office visit claims are reduced and Medicare payments are reduced. It decreases the deficit but could result in a sicker patient. Patient cannot afford the out of pocket expenses.
The result is Medicare experiences a decrease in the percentage it affects the federal deficit.
It could result in a valid decrease in office visits or an increase in sicker patients and higher Medicare expenses.
Obamacare might have helped decrease the resulting government deficit but it could result in increased spending in the future.
It did not result in better quality care.
All of this is very difficult for a casual observer to follow. Meanwhile, President Obama has established the media message that Obamacare is working to decrease the budget deficit.
Then pundits like Paul Krugman, can ridicule opponents of Obamacare for saying Obamacare will fail.
President Obama uses an argument that is a half-truth. However, it does not represent real numbers. He uses percentages.
In addition, many of the costs of Obamacare such as the web site and the website navigators are left out of the real costs of healthcare.
Other costs are left out of deficit reduction analysis such as the direct cost to the consumers and the direct loss of revenue to providers.
“Since the Affordable Care Act was first proposed, policymakers have been debating its potential effect not just on health care but on the economy as a whole. The bill effectively increases some types of spending, reduces other types and increases some taxes.”
Growth in national health spending, which had dropped to historic lows in recent years (deficit reduction), has snapped back and is set to continue at a faster pace over the next decade, federal actuaries said last week.
Senator Ron Johnson, member of the budget committee, discusses the real present and future costs of Obamacare. He also discusses President Obama’s misleading promises about Obamacare. Senator Johnson gives us a real understanding of the Obama administration’s manipulation of the facts.
Obamacare is a bad deal. It is destroying the medical profession. It is destroying the economy and America’s chances for economic growth.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone