As the Obamacare program continues to founder, Democratic members of Congress and the White House are systematically making it clear that they "misled" (code: outright lied to) the American people.
The president has "apologized" (code: implied that Americans are too stupid to understand) for saying that everyone could keep their current health insurance policies and doctors. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, New York Democrat, has confirmed that, duh, of course members of Congress knew that the president was misleading the American people.
At this stage, the program is clearly raising health care costs and restricting choices, and contains hidden taxes on young people and homeowners. But, although this is all coming slowly to light, the administration is "moving forward" (code: in full panic mode) to make the website "work," and may succeed in getting more sign-ups before sounder minds in Congress are able to shut the program down.
Assuming, for the moment, the worst-case scenario that we are stuck with Obamacare for the next few years, I think it's only fair to speculate on what the Democrats in the Congress and the White House also know to be untrue about their claims for Obamacare. (Code: What are the other lies they have told the American people?) Let's call these misstatements and those that promote them "Obamacons."
Let's start with the claim, crowed by the White House Obamacons and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, that Obamacare is a jobs-producing machine. There is enormous evidence to the contrary, but suffice it to say that the president's own Council of Economic Advisers has indicated that such forecasts are unreliable (code: made up), and the Congressional Budget Office has recently reported that there is a decline in health care employment. (Code: The claims were untrue.)
The Obamacons claimed that Obamacare would reduce health care costs. The Obamacons were running wild here. The evidence is already clear that costs are exploding and that anyone who has "navigated" through the current program has found that unsubsidized premiums have gone up sharply. Everyone knew that would happen. Medicare has seen massive cost increases over its history, and many of the rising Medicare costs have been offset by the health care industry pushing extra costs onto privately insured patients. (Code: These government programs raise everyone's costs.) Medicare is approaching bankruptcy because of its rising costs, and yet Obamacare is a massive doubling-down on the failed attempts of Medicare to control costs. Obamacons in the White House and the Congress who follow Medicare knew this. They simply misled the American people to sell the program.
The rising costs of Medicare and the increased restrictions on doctors are causing many physicians and hospitals to restrict their Medicare caseload — i.e., care is being increasingly rationed to the elderly. The president's health care adviser and senior Obamacon, Ezekiel Emanuel, has said as much in a famous article referencing a chart known as the "Reaper Curve," which suggests that care to the elderly should be restricted. Although the White House swore there would be no rationing of health care, there is now, effectively, rationing to the elderly. They said there would not be any "death panels," i.e., determining who would get chosen for care, but there are. (OK, Obamacons are clever — they'll probably call them "life panels.") I think it's also a fair point that, if the Obamacons in the White House and Congress knew this was coming, and Dr. Emanuel said it was coming, then the AARP knew it, too, and yet told retirees that everything was all right. What's up with that? Have Obamacons invaded the AARP?
Probably one of the most egregious "misstatements" in this whole thing is the claim that Obamacare will cover pre-existing conditions, catastrophic illnesses and provide full portability. The current performance of the program suggests that it will never be able to afford all of that without massive increases in taxes. (Oh, sorry, those tricky Obamacons also said there would be not increases in taxes because of Obamacare. You didn't believe that one too, did you?) The sad part here is that these particular promises completely fooled and raised the hopes of so many Americans who really thought that the president was telling the truth and knew what he was doing. These promises generated a huge amount of support for the program, yet they will almost certainly be proved to be "misleading."
Obamacare is virtually nothing that it was sold as. It has raised hopes, and yet it will fail, further cripple Medicare and set back real health care reform for another decade at least. It took nearly two decades to recover from the "Hillarycare" disaster.
So, caveat emptor. The warning label should state: "This Obamaconjob is seriously dangerous to your health and welfare." Given its size and economic impact, it is the single biggest "misstatement" in American political history. It needs to be fully exposed for what it is and stopped as soon as possible. (Code: Revoke the bill and get rid of those in the White House and Congress who supported it.)
Grady Means was an a assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and provided oversight to the RAND National Health Insurance Experiment.