To say that Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) “lit into” Dr. Jonathan Gruber, architect of ObamaCare, when Gruber appeared before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee would be an understatement. Gowdy’s questioning of Gruber was brutal. (see video here) His final question was, “Today your defense is that you’re not a politician. Is that the best can you come up with?” That question illustrates the degree of disdain in which Gowdy holds Gruber. And so should the rest of us.
But Gruber isn’t the only person who lied to us. It seems that fearless leader Barack Hussein Obama and his former Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius lied to us about ObamaCare as well.
Here are four lies that Obama himself told us about ObamaCare:
1. The Individual Mandate is not a tax.
In September 2009, when asked by George Stephanopoulos if the individual mandate in ObamaCare was a tax increase, Obama said, “I absolutely reject that notion.” Stephanopoulos pressed Obama to admit that the individual mandate was a tax. Stephanopoulos read the definition of “tax” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. To that Obama responded “George, the fact that you looked up Merriams Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Nobody considers that a tax increase.” Not true!
Obama’s own Justice Department repudiated his “not a tax” statement by noting that the penalty [for not having health insurance] is imposed and collected under the Internal Revenue Code, and that people must report the penalty on their tax returns. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.
And we get this from Yale Law School professor Jack Balkin: “Obama has not been honest with the American people about the nature of this bill. This bill is a tax.”
In July 2012, Obama said, “… if you’ve got health insurance, you’re not getting hit by a tax.” Did Obama say that people without health insurance were “hit by a tax”? We have to carefully parse his (or his Teleprompter’s) words. There’s precedent for that action.
Obama, you would like to, but you can’t have it both ways. It either is or isn’t a tax.
Regarding the tax question, Gruber said:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.
2. “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
Obama has said several versions of that lie, to which he clings this day. But…
“Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren’t up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama’s health care law.”
Why? An IRS analysis dated 19 Jul 10 concluded that “… 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.”
As Guy Benson at TownHall said, “‘Canceling’ and ‘changing’ do not equal ‘keeping,’ which was the promise.”
Obama lied to us even after the IRS analysis was released. Again, Obama tries to have it both ways.
3. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”
Here is yet another example of Obama lying to us. After the IRS analysis became public, Obama ceased saying that because changing health insurance policies usually meant changing doctors. But TODAY, on a White House web site, is that statement.
4. The “Slacker Mandate” has reduced the uninsured by 3.1 million.
Obama claims that the “slacker mandate” – the rule that lets parents keep their “children” on their private insurance plans until age 26 – had reduced the number of uninsured 19-25 year-olds by over 3 million. There are two factors in play here: the 3.1 million figure and HHS’s methods.
HHS estimated at 64.4% the number of 19-25-year-olds with insurance in the third quarter of 2011. It estimated 74.8% insured in the fourth quarter of 2012. It then multiplied that increase (10.4%) by 29.7 million (the number of 18-24 in 2011 according to the Census Bureau) to arrive at the 3.1 million. Never mind that Obama made claims about 19-25 year-olds, but cited a figure calculated using data about 18-24 year-olds. And there is the assumption that the number of 18-24 year-olds didn’t change from 2011 until 2012.
About the methodology,
… the biggest source of confusion is found in HHS’s methods. What HHS did amounts to little more than a “back of the envelope” calculation. To really get at how many young adults are newly covered under their parents’ policies would require surveys asking very detailed questions about the source of insurance.
So, HHS was just guessing.
Regarding ObamaCare itself, Gruber said:
Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever … that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. Look, I wish … we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not. …
“[I]f you had a law which explicitly said that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.
With mathematics, it takes only one illustration of something postulated being incorrect to disprove it. The same goes for Obama.
Now we get to Kathlene Sebelius. Her lie was her lack of consistency when she said that “HHS can’t release ‘unreliable’ data.” Well, how “unreliable” is defined determines whether she lied or not, so look at these releases and determine for yourself if she lied. The following are on-line enrollments in ObamaCare federal exchange.
- October 2013 – 106000
- Through November 2013 – 365000 (note how the November total includes October enrollments)
- Through 29 December – 1100000
- Through 31 December – 2100000 in both federal and state exchanges (mixing apples and oranges)
The October and November 2013 enrollment reports for Obamacare exchanges were released 11 days after the end of the reporting period. According to then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the delay was necessary to ensure the accuracy of the data.
But isn’t it funny that “unreliable” enrollment data (December) that made ObamaCare enrollment look good got released 13 days before it was verified as accurate?
Patrick Buchanan may have said it best:
The American people are not lacking in intelligence, but they are trusting, often lacking in knowledge, and they do rely on elected representatives to read and understand those thousand-page bills in Congress. And their faith is often misplaced.
“Faith Misplaced” indeed. We were downright lied to!
Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer