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Fact Checking John Campbell on Healthcare

Rep. John Campbell (R-Newport Beach), the congressman who won’t bring a dime home to CD-48 but voted for a $700 million bill to protect wild mustangs (must have thought it was Ford Mustangs), has a fact-challenged post on healthcare on the FlashReport where he parrots a debunked claim from batsh!t Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman.

Campbell’s post is here.

Let’s fact check the Congressman, shall we?  Our comments in bold after Campbell’s bullets.

  • from the CBO director to Rep. Charles Rangel; Campbell’s claim that this will increase the overall cost of healthcare by trillions of dollars (let’s call it at least two trillion to get the plural) if off by nearly two trillion.  A key paragraph: “According to the CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting HR 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate relfects a projected 10-year cost of the bill’s insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partial offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those years. … by 2019, the number of uninsured would be reduced from about 37 million to 17 million.”  How much do we spend in Iraq again? How much have we spent in Iraq again?
  • Current estimates project that there will be nearly 5 million additional jobs that will disappear nationwide, as a result of the plan. According to Phil Cyran of UC Berkeley, the Obama plan would create many more jobs than it would eliminate.  His report is here. A second report by Phil Hacker co-director of the Center on Health, Economic and Family Security at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and Ken Jacobs, chairman of the university’s Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, says: “Play-or-pay proposals currently under consideration pose no economic threat to business and the economy. The cost to employers would be similar to a modest increase in the minimum wage. At the same time employers would benefit from access to the new pool, a reduction in the cost shift from uncompensated care into premium costs and other reforms that would bring down the cost of coverage over time.” So where did Campbell get this number?  According to SmallBusinessMajority.org, the dramatic rise in healthcare costs under the current system is a bigger threat to small business survival. Click the link to download their report and here’s their report conclusion: “Small businesses in the United States are suffering great harm under our current healthcare system and will likely fare far better under a substantially reformed system along the lines of what is currently being debated in Washington—as long as such a system offers appropriate levels of assistance to small businesses in meeting their healthcare obligations.”
  • As many as 114 million Americans could lose their current coverage under the bill, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group. That’s not what the Lewin Group said; it said 114 million people might leave private insurance for a government plan if it was offered because The Lewin Group also reports that Americans could lower their healthcare premiums by 25 percent through the Obama plan.  “If we create this public plan which is priced so much lower than private insurance, that will draw a lot of people in,” said John Sheils, a Lewin vice president.
  • Doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers will be paid even less than they are currently being paid by Medicare or Medicaid, which will bankrupt many. Campbell must have missed the endorsement of the Obama healthcare plan by the AMA last week: from the UK publication, the Guardian — “America’s largest and most powerful doctors group has endorsed Barack Obama‘s massive overhaul of the US healthcare system, removing a substantial hurdle to legislation that Democrats hope will extend health coverage to most of the estimated 46 million Americans who currently lack it.  The American Medical Association, which vigorously opposed Bill and Hillary Clinton’s 1990s reform effort, today pledged to work with congressional leaders to ensure legislation is soon passed. The group endorsed the strongest legislation currently on the table, proposed this week by top Democrats in the House of Representatives. The group long opposed government intervention in the healthcare system for fear that its physician members would see their lucrative pay decline.
  • A government “Institute of Comparative Effectiveness” will determine whether you are allowed to receive treatments or medicines, and sometimes, as happens in other socialized countries, whether you are allowed to live or die.  This is complete hogwash.  I mentioned in my post about my gastric bypass surgery that my private insurance company did everything that they could to delay a surgery my doctors and I decided was best for my health.  I’d rather have a government bureaucrat involved in facilitating my care than a profit driven insurance company executive who makes money by denying me insurance coverage for treatments I am eligible for and have paid for through private insurance.  The CER Program fully involves consumers, patients and caregivers in key aspects of CER, including planning, priority setting, research proposal development, peer review, and dissemination. This approach was endorsed not only by Barack Obama last fall, but also by John McCain.
  • It does not deal with the bankruptcy of the Medicare system or Social Security so those problems continue, but the taxes said to balance them will have been spent on this.  Neither does Campbell’s plan; The Bush administration did nothing other than advocate for privatizing Social Security and the ranks of thoise covered by Medicare have increased as the numbers of Americans covered by private employer-based insurance plans dropped by 5 percent since 200 and the number of small businesses offering insurance to employees also dropped by 29 percent since 1995.
  • And, it will not even cover everybody with insurance, so it won’t even fix what it is supposed to fix. What it’s supposed to fix is offering a plan for people who have no insurance, now estimated between 37 and 47 million with numbers dramatically rising under the Bush administration.  Campbell shows just how out of touch he is with Californians and the American people on fixing healthcare now. According to a new Field Health Quality Survey, the vast majority of California voters believe the healthcare system in this country needs major changes.
  • The survey of registered voters in California found that a huge majority favors President Barack Obama’s proposal to allow people to choose between a government-sponsored health plan and private insurance.
  • The poll also showed considerable bipartisan agreement among voters about various health care proposals, but sharp disagreement between Democrats and Republicans about how to pay for them.
  • The Field Health Policy Survey found that 71 percent feel the health care system requires fundamental changes or should be completely rebuilt.
  • As for the urgency of reform, 67 percent of California voters agree “it’s more important than ever to take on health reform now” to 29 percent who say the nation “can’t afford to do it now.”
  • Voters were evenly split when asked if they would be willing to pay higher taxes so that every American could have health insurance. Fifty percent said they are; 47 percent said they aren’t.
  • Among Democrats, 66 percent are willing to pay higher taxes; among Republicans, 73 percent are not. Independents were somewhere in the middle, with 54 percent willing to pay higher taxes and 43 percent unwilling.

And my favorite part of Campbell’s post is a big pout on how the president and the Democrats in Congress won’t work with Republicans on meaningful reform.  Bi-partisanship means compromise Congressman.  Its not Bi-Partisan if you refuse to budge on principal or negotiate for certain terms to be included in a bill and then vote No anyway.  Please recall how you and your Republican colleagues regarded Democrats when you hade the majority in the House, Senate and White House.  What’s good for the Goose…..