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President Obama lies?

While I do not like shouting matches and I think Representative Joe Wilson should have exercised more self-control during the President's speech, Joe Wilson's exclamation of "He lies!" was not necessarily inaccurate. Take a look at this article in today's Wall Street Journal:

To highlight abusive practices, Mr. Obama referred to an Illinois man who "lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about." The president continued: "They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it."

Although the president has used this example previously, his conclusion is contradicted by the transcript of a June 16 hearing on industry practices before the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigation of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The deceased's sister testified that the insurer reinstated her brother's coverage following intervention by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. She testified that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week "window of opportunity" from "one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine," that the procedure "was extremely successful," and that "it extended his life nearly three and a half years."

The president's second example was a Texas woman "about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne." He said that "By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size."

The woman's testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist's chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.

These two cases are presumably among the most egregious identified by Congressional staffers' analysis of 116,000 pages of documents from three large health insurers, which identified a total of about 20,000 rescissions from millions of policies issued by the insurers over a five-year period. Company representatives testified that less than one half of one percent of policies were rescinded (less than 0.1% for one of the companies).

Similarly, take a look at this article from Our Sunday Visitor that corrects President Obama's claims on abortion coverage:

Cardinal Justin Rigali and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops say the existing health reform legislation mandates abortion and would allow government funding of abortion -- even though the president of the United States has labeled such statements "fabrications."

Nonpartisan Factcheck.org says the president is wrong.

"Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans," stated an Aug. 21 Factcheck.org news analysis.

Meanwhile, Michigan Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak, with the backing of the U.S. bishops, is trying to force a full public House vote on an amendment to block government funding of abortion when the health care reform legislation is sent to the House floor after the August recess.

Despite the Catholic Church's long-standing support for health care reform, Philadelphia's Cardinal Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, is urging lawmakers not to approve health reform that would mandate funding or coverage of elective abortions.

As currently written, the health care reform legislation marks a "radical change" in U.S. abortion policy, the cardinal wrote in an Aug. 11 letter to the House of Representatives. With the addition of an amendment introduced by New York Democrat Rep. Lois Capps, the House legislation specifically makes abortion a mandated benefit in the public health insurance plan and requires participants to pay a premium surcharge for mandatory abortion coverage.

All versions of the health care legislation introduced so far create government funding of abortion by allowing proposed federally subsidized health care vouchers to be used for public or private health insurance plans that include abortion, he said.


You know, this abortion funding issue could easily be cleared up by including something like the Hyde-amendment in the final bill. If as the President claims, the bill does not fund abortion, the addition of such an amendment would change nothing and would give the pro-life community the assurance it needs to be more supportive of reform. However, attempts in both the House and the Senate to include such an amendment have been defeated. If this legislation does not provide for federal funding of abortion, why should there be opposition to such an amendment?

When my children tell me only part of the story in order to mislead me, I don't cut them any slack. They lied and they are punished accordingly. I would say that the President is similarly guilty of telling only part of the story.

Comments

Rosemary Bogdan said…
I totally agree. Great documenation. I wrote about the President's "misrepresentations" too. How ironic that as he is accusing others of distorting the truth it is the president himself who is repeatedly misleading the American people.
Heide said…
Good post. Your point about the Hyde Amendment is well-taken, too. It has been a part of federal legislation touching on abortion funding since the 70's. I can't remember such a concerted effort to trash it. It seems that this administration has emboldened the worst elements of the pro-abortion left.

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