As part of his Health Care Fact Check series, the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Stephen Koff looks into the theory that many uninsured folks are already eligible for free or subsidized insurance under existing programs. Koff found that while studies have shown that 25 percent of those presently uninsured would qualify under either Medicaid or SCHIP, some of those folks are illegal immigrants or others who would not be covered by any of the proposed government plans anyway. With a series of informed guesses, Koff works his way through the relevant math, then assesses the number’s final impact upon the health care policy debate.
In related news, Factcheck.org posted their own debunking of a notorious anti-reform e-mail that has been making the rounds for the past few weeks (see Polifact’s debunking of the same e-mail here), finding that of the e-mail’s 48 points, “Twenty-six of them are false and the rest mostly misleading. Only four are true.”
Angie Drobnic Holan, writing on the St. Petersburg Times‘ Politifact site, has composed a point-by-point debunking of a lengthy anti-reform chain e-mail that’s been circulating in recent days. Among the e-mail’s claims about the bill: self-insuring employers will all be audited, health care will be rationed, the “Health Choices Commissioner” will make all decisions for you, leaving you with no input, illegal immigrants will get free health care, union retirees and community organizers will get subsidized health care and eligible folks will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid whether they like it or not.
Politifact also rates a few of the e-mail’s claims as “barely true” or “half true,” including the conversion of the general recommendations of the government’s health advisory committee to “a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get” and the repackaging of electronic medical records-related goals as “Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.” Many of the assertions made in the e-mail were based on blogger and tweeter Peter Fleckenstien, who posted his rebuttal here.
In another Truth-o-meter post, Politifact reports that U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (Mo.-D) misquoted the Congressional Budget Office about cost of health care reform plan during a recent town hall meeting.
Charles Babington of The Associated Press also is debunking confusing claims and distortions about the health care reform bill. Among the claims he focuses on:
- House Republican Leader John Boehner’s claim that it will lead to government-encouraged euthanasia
- Reform will lead to government-funded abortions.
- Americans won’t have to change doctors or insurance companies.
- Reform will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have.
- Overhauling health care will not expand the federal deficit over the long term.