Opinion: Bald-faced lying to defend the indefensible

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash over the weekend, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price complained that the current health-insurance system has to be changed because “we’ve got deductibles that are skyrocketing. You have got folks with a health coverage card, but no care because they can’t afford the deductible.”

So …. got that? High deductibles are bad, because as Price points out, they discourage people from using the system and getting treatment. If you believe Price, that’s a problem that Republicans intend to fix.

Yet it’s a lie. Under the Senate bill being pushed by Price and other Republicans, deductibles would soar even higher. They would soar not by accident, but as a result of conscious, deliberate policy decisions written into the bill that are designed to drive those deductibles higher.¹ The intent is to make people pay more out of their own pockets for health care, through higher deductibles and co-pays, so that they will be less likely to get treatment.

Price absolutely knows that. Price embraces that theory. So when he complains about high deductibles in the current system, implying that the Republican version is going to make it better, he is engaging in all-out, conscious, cynical deception on a scale that is shocking even in the political world. And that’s only the beginning.

In that same interview, Price made the following statement:

“We would not have individuals lose coverage that they want for themselves and for their family. We want to make certain that health care is available to all Americans. Right now, we have got 28 million Americans who are uninsured, who don’t have insurance right now in the current plan. Is that a plan that works for patients? Absolutely not. That’s the kind of thing we’re trying to fix.”

Got that?

The current system leaves 28 million Americans without insurance, and Price considers that unacceptable. If you believe what he’s saying, “that’s the kind of thing we’re trying to fix,” both with the House Republican plan passed last spring and with the Senate Republican plan up for a vote this week.

However, instead of reducing the number of uninsured, the House Republican health-care reform plan will push an additional 23 million off the health insurance that they now enjoy. If 28 million uninsured is a sign that the current system is a failure, what would you call a system that raises the number of uninsured to 51 million? Price and his buddies would call it a huge success.

Price also claimed the following:

“It’s important the people appreciate that what our goal is, is to make it so folks on Medicaid, the most vulnerable in our society, those moms and kids and the seniors and the disabled, that program works for them in a way that allows them to get the kind of care and the coverage that they need, in addition to those who are also in the low — in the vulnerable category, that they’re able to get the kind of coverage that they want and need for their families.”

Got that?

The Republican goal is to make sure that the most vulnerable in our society get the care they want and need.  Those “most vulnerable” include the two-thirds of senior citizens in nursing homes who rely upon Medicaid to pay their bills. In fact, 42 percent of the Medicaid budget goes to long-term care for those older Americans. And Senate Republicans propose to protect them by cutting $880 billion out of Medicaid so that wealthy Americans can enjoy a huge tax cut.

That’s not just a rollback of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion; congressional Republicans are using the anti-Obamacare frenzy as cover to undercut traditional Medicaid as well. And it is mathematically impossible to cut almost a trillion dollars out of the system and claim that as a result, more people are going to get even better care.

Price and his colleagues are telling the American people that up is down, that black is white, that wrong is right. They cannot defend what they are trying to do because it is frankly indefensible, so their strategy is to claim to be doing one thing while in reality they attempt the exact opposite. It really is one of the damnedest things I’ve ever witnessed.

——–

¹ Here’s one way they would drive deductibles higher. Under current law, the typical “benchmark” health insurance plan is designed to cover 70 percent of the beneficiary’s normal health-care costs, absent a major illness or accident, leaving 30 percent to be covered out of pocket. Under the Senate version, the benchmark plan is required to cover just 58 percent of normal health-care costs, meaning 42 percent will have to be made up out of the patient’s pocket.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

948 comments
Bryan Odale
Bryan Odale

Obuma care is imploding no one will be able to afford that Govt BS a year from now wake up sheep

Jamie Williams
Jamie Williams

Congress as NOT exempted from the ACA. They were actually REQUIRED to use it instead of the federal employee health benefits program.

OdessaHooker
OdessaHooker

Is there anyone in this administration who knows how to tell the truth?  Or even knows the meaning of the truth?

Please help us, Heavenly Father!

Bart Baker
Bart Baker

AJC MUST BE COMMUNIST FAKE NEWS PRODUCER... BYE BYE PUNKS YOUR BLOCKED

Chloecake
Chloecake

"Republicans do more to protect investors." ? Is this why they are trashing protections for investors put in place by Dodd Frank? Wall Street, the banking industry and the current GOP administration are working real hard to reduce regulations even after the incredible economic meltdown these institutions caused during the 2007 housing bubble. Financial advisors no longer have to have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients when making investment advice. The Consumer Protection Bureau is under GOP attack.  Some of us without a degree in economics can see who's interests the GOP protects and, quite frankly, it isn't the interests of Main Street.

Chloecake
Chloecake

The data on spending on the 6th Election should not be cherry picked. Ossoff did out-raise Handel in individual contributions to his campaign. He raised more in total dollar amount from Georgians than Handel. Handel's campaign benefited hugely from Super PACs, much more so then Ossoff's campaign. Independent PACs raise money from across the US, thus are not largely supported by Georgians. The Congressional Leadership Fund alone, Paul Ryan's PAC, spent $7.M on Handel's campaign. Other independent groups that contributed to Handel are not required to disclose their donors (i.e., "dark money"). In all outside money that Handel received was about $19.2M while Ossoff's was about $7.6M. A lot of money was spent from people who could not actually vote in this election. Again you have to look at ALL the money spent in the race and its source if you're going to be honest. RichardF30127's comments below are baloney. 

RichardF30127
RichardF30127

Second comment: For those of you that, for some reason, have fallen prey to the left-wing rhetoric that conservatives/Republicans are all rich, you need to look closely at those who support them AND do the same for the libs/Dems.  The Democratic party is and has been far wealthier and throws far more money into campaigns than the right.  For example, the Jon Ossoff vs Handel campaign.  The Dems spent 7 times more than the Reps.  Even so, the Republicans do more to protect businesses and investors than the Dems.  Why?  Basic economics.  When the investors have more money to invest, there are more business ventures which equals more jobs, and more tax money coming in without having to raise the tax rate.  Everyone benefits.  And yes I took economics in college, but I am not rich.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

True that there has been an increase in GOP voters from the lower earning demographic in recent cycles. A couple of ideas offered. GOP does a better job framing the debate and business friendly benevolence sounds appealing. Facts don't alway support the narrative though. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leon-friedman/why-does-the-white-lower-_b_8442162.html

And none of that explains why Tom Price makes ridiculous statements on Sunday TV. Ridiculous and laughably so - if it weren't so sad.

RichardF30127
RichardF30127

I have not read the bill from either house therefore I am not qualified to say anything about them.  However, I think if we were to get these elected officials off of their lifetime, free, no pre-existing condition health care that they get for just serving one day in office and make them have to give up government healthcare once out of office, we may start to see both (real) insurance and healthcare reform.  AND THAT GOES FOR BOTH THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS!

Mike Novak
Mike Novak

Is that a bigger lier than Trump. Not possible!!! Republicans eather are unbelievably gullable or just stupid believing this guy.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore

I think it is a combination.  For people like Tom Price, it is mostly a lust for power and increasing his own wealth.  For most of the supporters it really is a combination of gullibility, ignorance, and stupidity when they hear someone who is telling them their prejudices are correct even though their prejudices are not supported by reality.

Marian Main
Marian Main

Really..you are citing a can interview...ha...ha....everyone says it is better than Obamacare...and only an idiot would not realize that people die every year...so to say people will die is even too stupid to laugh at...how many people die anyway...yhe see how many die once in effect...that would be the only way to measure...you've run out of talking points...so...be quiet...

Andy Smith
Andy Smith

Bookman, the poster child of lying liberal "news" tells another whopper. Mullet wrapper gets fishery smelling by the day.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Identify with specificity, Randy, one lie. Just one.

Virgil Dammen
Virgil Dammen

The democrats accuse the republicans of the very thing the democrats are guilty of. And the mainstream media helps convince the democrat sheep followers to believe them. This is how democrats think a democracy works.

Donald French
Donald French

Before Obama care I had good insurance now I have insurance and good I can't go to the Doc out pocket is much deductible is so high so Obama care is a dead sentence for me

CSFiles
CSFiles

The last employer insurance plan I had was full of pre-existing condition exclusions. The insurance industry knows this and employers choose plans based on price which are cheaper based on the number of pre-existing condition exclusions. The employer inflates the value of the benefits package and pays you less due to all the benefits they provide. OBAMACARE not only covers more without pre-existing condition exclusions, it actually covers more than most employer sponsored insurance plans. OBAMACARE is better coverage than most employer provided insurance plans and it would actually mean employers would have to pay you more.

CSFiles
CSFiles

The one thing I love most about this debate I that the majority of people are coming to realize that SINGLE PAYER or MEDICARE FOR EVERYONE is really the only solution. Then people like Tom Price will not exist to make themselves rich off the suffering of others.

Buttercup23
Buttercup23

And next will be Medicare and Social Security because the greedy will never get enough.  

In fact, the Bible specifically warns against greed and trickle-down economics:

  • Once the greed-driven have acquired and protected, they begin to covet. They are not satisfied with all they have; their eye is on all that they don’t have. (Luke 12:15)
  • This coveting begets more greed, the greed begets more selfishness, and the selfishness begets more coveting and so on to madness.


CSFiles
CSFiles

Republicans have shown just how far they will go and cheat to stay in power. Georgia has 100% voting machines so that means there is no real way to recount. DEMAND PAPER BALLOTS. I noticed England is still using paper ballots.

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Donkeyperson
Donkeyperson

Lol Jay. Your absolute hatred of all things republican gets more nonsensical and rambling in your writings every day.

Got that?

Your heroes' plan, the infamous "Obamacare" was a total disaster on all fronts. The deductibles were so extreme it seemed almost surreal. ANY change from that "Plan" is welcome with open arms[ Obamacare flat out Sucked.

Got that?

CSFiles
CSFiles

@Donkeyperson  Obamacare is still saving my life. I intend to fight like nothing you have ever seen to keep it. Obamacare is working well in 31 States.

Ellen L Wright
Ellen L Wright

I have despised Tom Price from the day he surfaced in GA politics and my opinion about him has not changed one bit.

Drexell Dawson
Drexell Dawson

THE WORLD View OF USA New Administration, NOW IS ALMOST LIKE THEIRS, Dictatorship and THAT ITS LEADERS FROM THE PRESIDENT TO LOWEST RANKING GOP WILL LIE ABOUT ANY OR EVERYTHING. They're putting party and greed before the people. They don't care at all....

Rebecca David
Rebecca David

Says the party that have been brain washed by main stream media. The left don't even have control of their own brains!! You are just repeating what the left tells you to... good luck with that strategy... it has worked so well in the past..

Drexell Dawson
Drexell Dawson

Rebecca David good luck with yours YOU CANT EVEN SEE A CON IF IT SLAPS YOU ON THE FACE....

RufusATL
RufusATL

...the party that "has" been...........The left "doesn't".........Rebecca, you are just fooling us with that big brain of yours.

CSFiles
CSFiles

I plan to work very hard to shove your head up your a ss.

CSFiles
CSFiles

Your argument is about 40 years too old. Quit bangin' that tired old drum.

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Yea, they really can't tell the truth about trumpcare. They have outsourced the truth-telling on that to the Democrats.

Lewis Clardy
Lewis Clardy

Bookman...the 'purist' Democrat...political hack, certainly not a journalist...typical AJC...

Vicki Ron Bauer
Vicki Ron Bauer

Yes, the liberals are bald faced lying about the health care. Obama and the lying liberals lied to us, "you can keep your health care, you can keep your doctor, we will save $2500 a year... YOU LIED...... lost our insurance, lost our doctor, enormous deductibles over $7,000 , insurance premiums have tripled, those on medicaid have almost doubled ..... now most states have 1 company to insure with and some states have none. There are only about 10 million on obummercare. So everything the liberals have said is an outright lie. AJC are the bigges media maggots out there next to CNN

Rebecca David
Rebecca David

Eddie Daves yep. We are. It's better then being outta touch with reality left leaning nut jobs...

RufusATL
RufusATL

You may be proud, Vicki, but you are terribly misinformed.  

CSFiles
CSFiles

Georgia does not get the Medicaid expansion money from the fed. Our premiums do not reflect real Obamacare premiums. Deal as much as said he would not accept help from a black man. DO YOUR eFFING HOMEWORK  and stop lying to your fellow Georgians

CSFiles
CSFiles

The last employer insurance plan I had was full of pre-existing condition exclusions. The insurance industry knows this and employers choose plans based on price which are cheaper based on the number of pre-existing condition exclusions. The employer inflates the value of the benefits package and pays you less due to all the benefits they provide. OBAMACARE not only covers more without pre-existing condition exclusions, it actually covers more than most employer sponsored insurance plans. OBAMACARE is better coverage than most employer provided insurance plans and it would actually mean employers would have to pay you more.

Eddie Daves
Eddie Daves

Rebecca David I think you mean "than."

luludog
luludog

It would be one thing if these anti-government radically conservative idealogues like Tom Price and Paul Ryan would announce to the world that their actual goal is to eliminate once and for all of the safety net programs enacted into law and into our lives by Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and so many other Democratic Party leaders who cared (and still care) deeply about the well being of all US citizens, especially the vulnerable. They obviously believe that they cannot reveal their political philosophy - that all these programs must be eliminated and everyone should just succeed or fail, eat or starve, be sick or well, live or die based on free market, capitalist system principles. If you don't make it - tough! So these right-wing fanatics - they just won't tell us that. They freely discuss it among themselves. But like Price does here, they simply lie and shroud their actual intentions from the public. How disgusting that they do not have the courage of their convictions to reveal what they really believe so that they might be judged on those beliefs.

Dan Swift
Dan Swift

This report is the lie! Nothing less! Obviously the person who wrote this has NO idea of what he writing. "Obamacare" is a complete failure. I am a participant so don't try to tell me anything about it. It is a disaster! Not saying this bill is the total answer, but we have to stop the bleeding! Now! It will have to be tweaked many time over the next few years, IF anything can ever fix the mess the ACA created.

Eddie Daves
Eddie Daves

Did it fail to pay your qualified medical expenses? Did it exclude any condition you've had in the past? Has your insurance company threatened to cancel your policy because you filed claims? Unless you answer "yes" to all of those questions, it isn't a complete failure.

CSFiles
CSFiles

I intend on telling you until I die that Obamacare is working wellin 31 States. The way I see it, you are trying to kill me and 22 million others. You are a lier and a murderer.

David Bunkley
David Bunkley

I always wonder about people that end every sentence with an exclamation mark.

Dan Swift
Dan Swift

Eddie Daves Premiums have increased for similar coverage 120% since ACA inception. Forced to change Insurance companies 4 times in 4 years because they withdrew from the exchange, or local Hospital and medical groups refused exchange insurance. And I live in major city 'burn. So YOU have NO idea what you are talking about!