Campbell’s lies about the House Health Care Reform bill

Congressman John Campbell

Congressman John Campbell

The OCRegister published Congressman John Campbell’s OP-ED full of lies about the House Health Care Reform bill today. I wonder if they will print a fact check? Odds are, they won’t bother.

To start Campbell claims: This bill is 2,032 pages of a pure and unadulterated government takeover of health care. The total package would cost $1.3 trillion more than what we are spending now and would increase taxes by nearly $800 billion. These taxes wouldn’t be limited to the wealthy; it would extend taxes on everything from wheelchairs and hospital gowns to artificial organs.

FACT: A government take over of health care would be the elimination of health insurance and establishment of a single (government) payer for health care for all Americans. Nowhere in this legislation does anything close to that happen. In fact, the legislation provides the health insurance companies with millions of customers who are required to have insurance, and gives them little if any competitive incentive.

REALITY: CBO found the bill offsets its $894 billion coverage costs. In stating that $894 billion was the bill’s “net cost” and its “real price tag is $1.05 trillion,” The Washington Times and Wallace were respectively citing CBO’s score of the net and gross costs of the bill’s coverage provisions – the costs of which are fully covered. Indeed, according to the CBO score available when they made their claims, CBO found that “the net cost of the coverage expansions would be more than offset by the combination of other spending changes, which CBO estimates would save $426 billion, and receipts resulting from the income tax surcharge on high-income individuals and other provisions, which JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] and CBO estimate would increase federal revenues by $572 billion” over 10 years.

CBO’s updated score incorporating manager’s amendment similarly found the House bill offsets its $891 billion coverage costs. CBO found that the House bill had a “net cost of $891 billion over 10 years for the proposed expansions in insurance coverage” and that the bill’s “gross total” amounted to $1.05 trillion. And as with prior score, CBO found that “the net cost of the coverage expansions would be more than offset by the combination of other spending changes, which CBO estimates would save $427 billion, and receipts resulting from the income tax surcharge on high-income individuals and other provisions, which JCT and CBO estimate would increase federal revenues by $574 billion over that period.” [CBO score, 11/06/09] 

Campbell Claims: If you fail to purchase “approved” insurance, you will be subject to a fine in the form of a 2.5 percent tax on your gross income. If you fail to pay the fine, then you will have committed a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 – all of this is included in a bill supposedly designed to improve our health care.

FACT: While failure to purchase insurance would require payment of a 2.5% tax to represent that the bill would fine a person $250,000 and put them in prison for 5 years is a misrepresentation. The fine and prison sentence would be for failure to pay taxes and currently exists as United States law.

reagansocialmedicineCampbell Claims: To call the House bill socialized medicine would misstate the truth. This is nothing less than command-and-control government designed at turning the spirit of the individual into the monotonous creep of the collective.

REALITY: Conservatives have trotted out “socialized medicine” smear for 75 years. Numerous conservative media figures have revived the “socialized medicine” smear to undermine the efforts of Obama and congressional Democrats, most recently by promoting Ronald Reagan’s 1961 attacks on a legislative precursor to Medicare. But as the Urban Institute wrote in an April 2008 analysis, “socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services,” and therefore, recent progressive health care reform proposals do not “fit this description.” The analysis also noted: “Similar rhetoric was used to defeat national health care reform proposals in the 1990s and, with less success, to argue against the creation of Medicare in the 1960s.” Indeed, a Media Matters analysis found that dating as far back as the 1930s — with respect to at least 16 different reform initiatives including President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s consideration of government health insurance when crafting the 1935 Social Security bill; President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 legislation establishing Medicare; and the health care initiative by President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 and 1994 — conservatives have attempted to smear those proposals by calling them “socialized medicine” or a step toward that purportedly inevitable result.

What Campbell fails to mention is the overwhelming public support for Health Care Reform, both nationally and in his own district.

Rally organizer Guy Johnson spoke to approximately 90 public option health reform backers who rallied outside the office of Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine, on Thursday November 12, 2009. Moveon.org teamed with the The Service Employees International Union and Health Care for America Now to sponsor the rally.

Rally organizer Guy Johnson spoke to approximately 90 public option health reform backers who rallied outside the office of Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine, on Thursday November 12, 2009. Moveon.org teamed with the The Service Employees International Union and Health Care for America Now to sponsor the rally. - JEBB HARRIS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

FACT: A Field Health Policy Survey released in June found that 71% of California voters — Democrats and Republicans combined — believe the nation’s health care system needs significant overhaul or restructuring. 

In addition to the California polls and research, several other polls released recently in other parts of the country show a majority of Americans are ready for health reform with a major goal being providing coverage for an estimated 46 million Americans with no health insurance.

A sampling of findings includes:

  • A New York Times/CBS poll found 85% of respondents want major health care reforms and most would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone had health insurance. A clear majority (72%) said they backed a government-administered insurance plan similar to Medicare for those younger than age 65 that would compete for customers with the private sector. Only 20% said they were opposed to a public plan.
  • Nearly 75% of respondents in a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll said they support the idea of a public health insurance plan.
  • A poll released in Michigan found that health care worries weigh heavily on Americans. Nearly half of those polled in a University of Michigan survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said they’re worried about paying for future care. About one in four said they worried they might lose coverage in the next year. About the same number reported they or a family member delayed seeing a doctor in the past year because of what it might cost.

So much for truth from John Campbell. Why is it the OCRegister publishes his drivel?