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Democrats spar with AP over health-care fact check

By Alec MacGillis and Michael D. Shear
Democrats responded quickly Wednesday to an AP story that suggested health insurance premiums would go up if Congress passes health care legislation, blasting the news agency's fact check as inaccurate.

The article advised that "buyers, beware" the health care legislation, and it called into question claims that President Obama made this week in Ohio, saying that the health-care legislation would reduce people's premiums.

"Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say," the AP reported.

in a "Fact Check" of their own, officials with the Democratic National Committee said, "Independent analysts and the nonpartisan CBO agree that, under the president's reforms, consumers would see lower premiums, in addition to numerous other attributes of the legislation."

The Congressional Budget Office, the only neutral arbiter to analyze the legislation's impact on premiums, predicted in November that the bill would reduce premiums by 14 to 20 percent for people in the individual insurance market who decide to keep the same limited coverage they have today. That is because the legislation would expand the number of people in the individual insurance market, further spreading out costs.

But the CBO predicted that, overall, premiums for people buying their own coverage would go up by 10 to 13 percent, as subsidies offered in the legislation enable people to afford more comprehensive coverage than they have today. The legislation also would require that coverage meets a minimal threshold of quality, keeping companies from selling truly bare-boned, low-price policies.

In summary, the CBO predicts most people in the individual insurance market would be paying higher premiums, but they would be getting more coverage for their dollar than they do today, and the increased premiums would be offset by the subsidies to help them afford the coverage. Obama's reference in Ohio to people seeing their premiums decline by 14 to 20 percent was technically true of those who keep the same level of coverage, but could have used more context.

The CBO report also found that people with employer-based coverage would see little impact on their premiums -- that is, premiums would continue to increase, as they would without reform.

The AP analysis dinged Obama for citing a Business Roundtable report that employer premiums would decrease by as much as $3,000 per year. That report is not considered as reliable as the CBO one.

The White House also weighed in today on the issue of premiums. In a post on the White House blog, communications director Dan Pfeiffer took aim at the AP's analysis without referring to the story directly.

"The CBO assumes that under the President's Proposal individuals purchasing coverage in the reformed individual market will have access to a wider range of health benefits than they have in today's individual market," Pfeiffer wrote. "So people may choose to buy better coverage.  Some may pay more because they are getting more for their money."

He added: "Critics also fail to point out that the majority of people purchasing coverage in the individual market will receive tax credits that on average will cover two-thirds of their premium. Once the impact of these new tax credits are taken into account, many people in the individual market could see their premiums drop by almost 60 percent compared to what they would have paid without health insurance reform."

By Alec MacGillis  |  March 17, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Capitol Briefing , Health Care  
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Comments

mhsettelen: VP Cheney, Republican, servant of his people, but not all his people; especially those who want the Public Option, how dare they: even though he himself, tapped it to the tune of $24 million & counting!

Not sure what Cheney has to do with anything but if you want to talk about former VPs, how about the untold millions of dollars VP Gore is making on his exaggerated the sky is falling scenario.

Posted by: usr105 | March 19, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

To read the HCR bill is to understand that the government mandates minimum coverage that exceeds what most people choose for themselves.
1. Such a change in individual policy forces the buyer out of their existing plan into the government plan because it is a change in policy.
2. RomneyCare clearly demonstrates that the claimed cost reductions because of a "bigger pool" don't materialize: that's why the average premium in MA is 27% higher than the national average.

Fortunately 37 states have announced their intention to question the Constitutionality of ObamaCare so we can hope that this abominable usurpation of authorities never granted will never see the light of day no matter what the sleazebags in Congress do to manipulate a 'yes' vote.

Posted by: fbanta | March 18, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Garbage in, garbage out. What are their assumptions and where do they receive the data. If from the WH then why would any honest thinking person believe anything that results.

Posted by: bbarre69 | March 18, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The American people elected a fraudulent government and now they are getting their just desserts.

What were they thinking?

The only hope now is that sensible Democrats will overpower the Obama Democrats' apparent death wish and prevail.

Posted by: theduke89 | March 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Fact check? Democrats would fight with any reasonable person over their false facts.
1. Pay 10 years and get only 6 years benefits. A Democrat fact!!
2. Give the CBO false numbers to work they come out with reduction to deficit. A Democrat fact!!

Posted by: prossers7 | March 18, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

VP Cheney, Republican, servant of his people, but not all his people; especially those who want the Public Option, how dare they: even
though he himself, tapped it to the tune of $24 million & counting!

Posted by: mhsettelen | March 18, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

VP Cheney, Republican, servant of his people, but not all his people;
especially those who want the Public Option, how dare they: even though he himself, tapped it to the tune of $24 million & counting!

Posted by: mhsettelen | March 18, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

How can insurance premiums NOT GO UP? There is NOTHING in the bill the addresses the underlying costs of insurance...the COSTS OF HEALTH CARE DELIVERY!

The AP has it right...er...correct!

Ever hear of supply-side economics?

We are a nation of idiots! Completely and totaly!

Posted by: sosueme1 | March 18, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The CBO Numbers come from Dreamland. They don't look at all the variables, and weigh every possibility, in coming up with their 'Projections'.
They TAKE the numbers that THE DEMOCRATS give them. They only take in to consideration, the SCENARIOS that the DEMOCRATS give them. Estimated GROWTH RATES. Estimated JOB NUMBERS. Estimated INTEREST RATES. In other words: Garbage IN - Garbage OUT.
gmclain writes: Ever know of any Government program where costs go down?
It's even WORSE than that. They plan on collecting Taxes NOW, for something that doesn't START for 4 YEARS. Sound familiar? They're gonna put that money IN A LOCK BOX. You know....Like SOCIAL SECURITY.
It's getting to be SECOND AMENDMENT TIME. I cam smell it.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | March 18, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

***...individual market will receive tax credits that on average will cover two-thirds of their premium. Once the impact of these new tax credits are taken into account, many people in the individual market could see their premiums drop by almost 60 percent compared to what they would have paid without health insurance reform."***

Gee a 66% tax credit would lower out of pocket by 60%? Sounds like prices going UP to me.

Simply making health insurance deductible for ordinary people is a "reform" that could be passed on its own without the rest of the bill.

Posted by: Tully1 | March 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

What seems to be overlooked in all this is that doctors, drug companies, and hospitals will all benefit from an increase in business due to a larger number of people seeking health care who currently cannot afford it.

This will allow hospitals to hire more employees and to end the burden of supplying emergency room service to indigents free of charge. And the cost of acquiring new expensive equipment, like remote-controlled stations for surgical procedures will be spread over a larger paying clientele.

The improvements in treatment methods resulting from more money available might make our healthcare system more attractive to ailing foreigners, helping to balance our balance of trade.


The money saved by hospitals could conceivably drop insurance costs. Doctors will find their services more in demand and should not suffer in their pockets. And of course drug companies will do more business and might conceivably reduce costs of medication.

The taxpayers will subsidize the indigent, but if insurance costs moderate, they should not suffer unduly.

In other words it is a stimulus package for one of the few industries that cannot outsource jobs.

Investment in a better healthcare system could benefit the country in many ways not apparent to all those nearsighted naysayers out there.

Posted by: loyalsyst | March 18, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Walden1,

Illogical, Your argument doesn't compute. This bill will not save the country money that is if you mean that country is the taxpayers side. But if you mean that the country is the government dependent sector our soceity then sure you got me. How can taxpayers save when they will pay the premiums of the additional 31 million previously uninsured. This so called healthcare reform bill or should I called it "Deform bill" will not do anything about healthcare cost. This is just a ploy of the politicians to milk more money from the taxpayers. The real cost of healthcare is the healthcare professionals' fees and medications. Will this "deform bill" reduce the medication costs and doctors' fees? Health insurance companies are are only middlemen and buying their services should be optional not mandatory. Some taxpayers save money in the bank or make investments so that they have money for emergency needs including healthcare. Others just go to health care providers get treated then negotiate payment plans. A few maybe more get treatment and not pay all due lack of ability to pay(the main reason why paying patients pay more). Why encourage government dependency? We need jobs not handouts to pay for our own needs.

Posted by: Jager3 | March 18, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Boosterprez,

The AP article is generally correct.

In addition the CBO assumed figures are based on healthy economy. When businesses fail and/or move out due to costly overhead including high contributions to gov programs then thousands of displaced workers won't be able to pay premiums. Recepients will outnumber contributors. Premiums will skyrocket.

Posted by: Jager3 | March 17, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Reesh,

You said "One final comment, Medicare is a government run insurance program that provides more health care for your dollar than private insurance companies. Medicare has lower administrative costs and no profit".

Medicare provide more healthcare for my dollar because it spend money it doesn't have. Medicare is in the hole and keeps borrowing. Medicare doesn't have lower admin cost. It employs unionized employees with layers of bureaucracies paid lucratively. Compare the k-12 public schools' admin cost and quality of service to Parochial Schools. Do the same to the US Postal Service, UPS and FEDEX.

On the other hand for profit Insurance companies can and do invest premiums collected and earn more profit. We, the poor who use private insurance like it when they make huge profits because we can benefit from their succes. They will not raise my premiums. We also feel secured and assured that whey we file our claim it will be paid.


Posted by: Jager3 | March 17, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Lunetrick,
When are you going to wake-up and open your eyes? If you are a government employee, I can understand how twisted your thinking is. The poor, the middleclass, the rich, the industries and corporations who are on the producing side of our economy are the taxpayers that fund the US government and its programs. The gov doesn't have orchards of money bearing trees, only taxpayers. The corrupt dems who pretend to help the needy by playing Santa Claus using taxpayers money, shackle them to lifelong dependency to them and the government creating a solid voting bloc. Corporations, the rich and the poor are all on the same side. Punish the rich and the corporations with high tax means punishing the poor. My employer will delay or forgo my pay raises and bonuses if his profits is cut by gov taxes. If taxes will cost corporations to much that competing with foreign industries with cheap overhead will become a huge problem then they might close or move away. There goes thousands of jobs including yours and mine. Where will the gov get its money to pay for our debt and our healthcare?

Posted by: Jager3 | March 17, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's see what Tim Cahill, Mass TREASURER has to say about THEIR State run health care system, and what it has done to the Mass economy:


BOSTON — Unenrolled gubernatorial candidate Treasurer Timothy Cahill predicted Tuesday the country would go bankrupt within four years if President Obama and Congress follow the Massachusetts health care model, warning against dramatic access expansion and suggesting the state curb publicly subsidized benefits.


Summoning reporters into his capitol office as he lined up with national Republicans as Congress nears a vote on a health care bill, Cahill said the state’s 2006 health care expansion has wreaked havoc with the state budget and blamed Gov. Deval Patrick for "very little if any oversight."


Pointing to numbers that show spending on Medicaid and health care reform has boomed from $6.3 billion to 10.4 billion between fiscal 2005 and projected fiscal 2010 figures, Cahill said, "It makes it very clear why we're going broke in this state."


Patrick aides mobilized quickly to question Cahill’s numbers and defend Patrick’s performance and the program. Patrick spokesman Juan Martinez, in a statement, said Patrick had exhibited “strong management” of health care reform that has led to Massachusetts leading the nation with over 97 percent of residents insured.


Jumping into the Washington debate, Cahill said, “If the federal government does what Massachusetts has done, I don’t know who’s going to pay for it, except the taxpayers or we’re going to have to borrow money from China, as we’ve been doing.”


Cahill said the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority had "failed," and said the state should do more to promote competition among insurers. He said the state should "absolutely" consider reducing coverage packages and said he supported changing the state's "fee-for-service" payment model.


Cahill’s public denunciation of the state’s showpiece health care law establishes him as the highest-ranking state official to side so firmly against it. Bay State Republicans, while publicly questioning the program’s cost, have been loath to break with a law they helped pass, and which then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed with fanfare.

http://www.dailynewstranscript.com/news/x1526467812/Diving-into-health-debate-Cahill-warns-against-Obamacare

Posted by: obamaalmighT | March 17, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's a quote from Dr. Adrian Rogers:

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

Posted by: obamaalmighT | March 17, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Sportsfan2 said:

"I was raised in the late fifties. Health costs were not an issue. If a doctor was too expensive, you went to a different doctor. Everything changed when Medicare arrived in the early 60's. Every Doctor and hospital wanted their share of the Govt money and costs skyrocketed. The Govt screws up everything. The post office overruns are just the latest example. YOUR TAXES WILL GO UP WITH THIS TAKEOVER."

********************************

Now, why would that be? Medicare provides medical benefits to retirees. That has little or nothing to do with the rest of the population, except that Medicare and insurance companies huge negotiating power does help to hold medical costs down.

Taxes are a red herring in the debate about health care costs. Higher costs and higher taxes are two separate issues. Of course, there are taxes associated with Medicare. That's how you pay for the program. One final comment, Medicare is a government run insurance program that provides more health care for your dollar than private insurance companies. Medicare has lower administrative costs and no profit.

Why do you think private companies are spending millions to block reform: because they are concerned with liberty issues? No! Government administered insurance is cheaper and no one in their right mind would buy private insurance if given the chose.

Posted by: Reesh | March 17, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Blue Two1, Lets go back to the healthcare debate. Everybody's premium will go-up if this so called healthcare reform bill is enacted if we going to have the same quality of healthcare that we are enjoying right now. Think, use your logic, don't listen to the propaganda and rhetoric from the President, the dems or even the bias media. The CBO report use the words "would reduce" not "will reduce". Covering additional 31 million non premium paying patients will cost the paying patients more. Since this bill will kill jobs because businesses will be required to contribute for everybody including able people who are not their employees. American industries are having a hard time competing in the world market due to high overhead cost(labor, tax, energy, raw materials). If they move away or close, thousands will lose their jobs which means no premium contributions. Premium payers will be outnumbered by hand-outs recipients. Do you even understand how insurance work?

Posted by: Jager3 | March 17, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama cannot be bothered with the "details," as he is just the front-man for the Progressive Party. Need to check with Rham for those pesky things.

Call you senator and congressman! Anyone who votes for this will be voted down! (They have received so much bribe money, I don't think they care...they will leave Washington millionaires.)

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | March 17, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama does not even know if the Connecticut deal is still in this version of the health care bill. All of the backroom deals are still in this bill and he does not even know that!!!!

Posted by: prossers7 | March 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Face it.

Health care is going to cost more.

The first objective of reform should have been to lower costs.

Instead, we got the subsidization scheme, which we ALL KNOW is going to cost more, AND will be reflected in higher taxes. If people can get more and don't have to pay for it, they're going to use more. How can you blame them?

It's just common sense.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 17, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Lies, lies, and more lies... As a member of Morticians for Obamacare I believe I can assure everyone that little will change.

Posted by: nemosnemesis | March 17, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I was raised in the late fifties. Health costs were not an issue. If a doctor was too expensive, you went to a different doctor. Everything changed when Medicare arrived in the early 60's. Every Doctor and hospital wanted their share of the Govt money and costs skyrocketed. The Govt screws up everything. The post office overruns are just the latest example. YOUR TAXES WILL GO UP WITH THIS TAKEOVER.

Posted by: sportsfan2 | March 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Treason! The AP has shown its disloyalty. Never Again!

Posted by: corrections

-------------------------------------------

Trason? What a fricking joke...they are supposed to report factual news not be loyal to the state. Even though for the most part... it is a state run media.

Posted by: Straightline | March 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

When are the American people going to wake up and open their eyes! The Republicans are puppets for big money, wall street and the health insurance companies! The Corporations pull their strings and they jump and scream trying to cut all cost the the bad guys. They never fight for the American public .... infact for the last 25 years they have been trying to distroy the middle class so we can go back to the plantation days of free slave labor. If things don't change the 1% weathy will be the plantation owners and everyone else will be the slaves. Don't vote Republican!

Posted by: lunetrick | March 17, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

LMAO Its the AP that ~should~ be sparring with the democrats about facts.

Posted by: Straightline | March 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Well it is nice to see that even the AP will respond if the lies from the Democratic Party are egregious enough.

Posted by: Bob65 | March 17, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Well it is nice to see that even the AP will respond if the lies from the Democratic Party are egregious.

Posted by: Bob65 | March 17, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

gmclain: Then you clearly don't understand Medicare. Try to replace THAT with private insurance for anyone over 62.

Or unemployment insurance. Try buying your own, & cost it out.

Posted by: clampson | March 17, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

So - in the absence of healthcare reform - do we think premiums will NOT go up? Hilarious!

Posted by: clampson | March 17, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

So - in the absence of healthcare reform - do we think premiums will NOT go up? Hilarious!

Posted by: clampson | March 17, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Are there minimum coverage requirements in the bill? I believe there are. If so, some people will have to buy more coverage/more expensive coverage. That comment is not meant to be pro- or anti-HC reform, just meant to raise a fact.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 17, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Treason! The AP has shown its disloyalty. Never Again!

Posted by: corrections | March 17, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

We could save a bundle by ending two pointless wars. But those wars have the full support of every right-winger in America. The noise level from the right wing may lead one to believe, erroneously as it turns out, that everyone in America is of the right-wing persuasion. This health care thing should be a non-issue. But because right-wingers are ferociously anti-coddling, and doctoring the sick seems parlous close to coddling, making cheaper, better health care available to more Americans is something for right-wingers to oppose on every specious front they can muster. Facts don't matter. Beliefs matters. Right wingers believe Barack Obama is a non-citizen, Socialist, community organizer bent on ruining the nation. He's already started by being the first highly pigmented human to be elected President of the United States. Sacrilege!

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama got caught lying yet again. I guess now the Dems will try to silence the Associated Press as they dared to question the great Obama. These kool-aid drinking Dems are truly clueless.

Posted by: Realist20 | March 17, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/03/10/durbin_admits_premiums_will_go_up_if_health_care_bill_is_passed.html

"Sen. Dick Durbin, March 10, 2010: "Anyone who would stand before you and say 'well, if you pass health care reform next year's health care premiums are going down,' I don't think is telling the truth. I think it is likely they would go up.""

Posted by: snowflower | March 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If you want to mislead, you can do anything you want with statistics. The only thing that's important is to compare premiums with what would happen without reform. There's no comparison, no one will be able to pay their premiums soon without reform, so whether they go up a little or actually go down hardly matters, they will go up a lot if nothing is done.

and telling us they will go up because we will buy better policies is like telling us that the cost of a Malibu will go down, but that the cost of a Cadillac will go down enough that most people will buy one of them instead, and wind up paying more.

Posted by: JoeT1 | March 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The AP article is generally correct.

The CBO only looks at what Congress wants them to look at. It also makes assumptions about peoples behavior.

The subsidies don't kick in until 2014. The mandate doesn't kick in until 2014. What kicks in right away is pre-existing condition clause, mandated preventive coverage, taxes on insurance companies, taxes on medical equipment, taxes on pharma, ban of rescissions.

Think about all of those things. They all cost the insurance company money, don't they? So they will pass those costs on to the insured by way of higher premiums.

As well, CBO assumes that people will buy insurance under the mandate, which will presumably make the insured pool healthier. But what if healthy young people opt to just pay the cheap fine?

Posted by: boosterprez | March 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Living overseas five hours ahead of EST..."

Then we don't give a rip what you think.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | March 17, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Living overseas five hours ahead of EST I saw this AP article and was appalled. I thought, even the AP, has become a Republican mouthpiece like the Washington Post! Facts don't even make it through a "Fact Check"?

This legislation will save the country money despite the watering down to please Conservatives. It can be tweaked and reformed again once it is law. But that it become law of the land (and the bills have already passed!) is crucial for the economic and physical health of Americans for generations to come.

Posted by: walden1 | March 17, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

In one sense, it really doesn't matter whether what the Prez is saying is true. He and the Democrats are determined to pass this legislation regardless of the effect on the premiums. If he's proven wrong on this issue (or the other issues), the whole thing will come back on the Democrats. The voters can then decide what to do with them. The whole reason why the Democrats wanted some Republican to vote for this originally was to provide them with some cover, i.e., they voted for it too. That's why it's an all-in bet for both parties at this point. I'm skeptical of the Democrats' claims, but I can't do anyting about whether this bill passes or not. Final thought: I don't see how anyone can say what the Prez said is the unvarnished truth.

Posted by: willdd | March 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

To put the "deficit savings" in prospective, the US government ran a $221 billion deficit in February alone. And the "goal" of the bill is to save $100 billion over ten years? I guess goals are easy to attain when the bar is low.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 17, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama and pelosi wouldn't know a fact from a fart. To quote the great Ronald Reagan, "the closest thing to eternity on this earth that we will ever see on this earth is a government program".

Posted by: jhr1 | March 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: if you decide to lease a Lexus instead of your usual Honda, your lease payments may go up!

Posted by: Demagirl | March 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr MacGillis - One addition to previous comment. "For those who wonder whether their premiums would go up" is the context within which the president made the remark.

Posted by: foswell | March 17, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, what does the writer of the AP story say? Have MacGillis and Shear done any fact-checking themselves, or are they just in the service of the Democratic National Committee? The Post editor and the ombudsman owe the readers a thorough explanation

Posted by: suegbic1 | March 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

sambam, "right wing minions at WaPo"? To quote that famous lisper of the left Barney Frank, "what planet are you living on?".

Posted by: jhr1 | March 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

MacGillis says "Obama's reference in Ohio to people seeing their premiums decline by 14 to 20 percent was technically true of those who keep the same level of coverage, but could have used more context."

For people wondering whether their premiums would go up under the plan, this statement is not just technically true, but absolutely true. If after seeing the lower rate, a health plan participant decides to buy additional coverage, then that person will know that their price will go up. The CBO making a determination that more money will be spent on plans overall is just making a forecast on how much additional money will be spent by participants upgrading their coverage.

Posted by: foswell | March 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Although the article was fairly balanced, the headline was absolutely misleading, and the lede was unnecessarily snide and inappropriate.

Not sure how much of that is attributable to AP though, versus Fred Hiatt and his right wing minions at WaPo.

Posted by: sambam | March 17, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The CBO's analysis that insurance rates will go up because people will be able to afford better coverage is absurd. Use beef prices instead: if a new piece of legislation lowered the price of prime rib so much that people found they could buy it for $0.20/lb more than hamburger, could you really say that the legislation would raise beef prices because people could afford to buy better cuts of beef if it passed?

As for the AP - a couple of their Washington bureau staff have a history of parroting Republican talking points. If it's the "liberal" media - why is coverage of liberal issues uniformly negative?

Posted by: Common_Sense_Not_Common | March 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is the emphasis on deficit reductions of $1.1 trillion over twenty years when the national debt over the same period will increase by over $20 trillion. Are we really supposed to be excited that we spent $20 trillion instead of $21.1 trillion. Those are both bankrupting levels of spending.

Shooting heroine four times a day, instead of five, is not recovery.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 17, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

AP is lying in their headlines, which is usual. Even with a trusted news source, never ever trust the headline to be anything but marketing.

For example if consumers get more health care for slightly more money, then this in no way indicates they are paying more unless they have to take the expanded policies. If they can still get their own level of coverage, and the prices is less, they are paying less. This is true, even if they choose expanded coverage.
Thus, the headline is a lie.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | March 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

To hell with bo's ego and block this Hindenberg Bill.Nasty pelosi,socialist reid,and tyrant rahmbo are willing to put America in the brink of econ.crisis with their obsessive 'love' of bo and his demanding tantrums.When bo finally destroys America with his extrav. not to mention his personal cost, he at least has other countries which would gladly bestow homeland rights - Indonesia and Kenya.And Hilliary would take pelosi and the rest of ganglanders to Canada with her.
STOP THIS COSTLY BILL before we all end up as 'waifs' in some Chinese provinces

Posted by: somers91 | March 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The CBO is hardly a truly "neutral arbiter." They are neutral in the sense that a calculator is neutral, but, like a calculator, they have not choice but to accept things like the "asterisk" option suggested by Matt Miller of throwing in a line that says "we'll also find $100B in savings in 2015 but haven't figured out where just yet."

Does anyone truly believe that adding demand for health services without a concomitant increase in the supply of doctors, while also placing a bevy of restrictions on insurers to increase coverage, will result in prices going down? Whatever the merits of the bill, decreased prices for those who are currently insured is not one of them.

Posted by: 1ofamillion | March 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

That is the "the closest thing to eternal life that we will ever see on this earth is a government program".

Posted by: jhr1 | March 17, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

See, I read the AP article and thought it clarified a lot of the spin coming from the President. And I voted for the guy. And favor soem form of HC reform. But, then again, I don't believe much that either side is saying right now, what with Repubs not wanting Obama to get anything and the Dems' "pass at all costs"/"quash all questions about the bill" attitude.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama and pelosi wouldn't know a fact from a fart. To quote the great Ronald Reagan, "the closest thing that we will ever see on this earth is a government program".

Posted by: jhr1 | March 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Ever know of any government program where costs go down? I don't!!!

Posted by: gmclain | March 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw that AP article. It did strike me as a little bit on the sloppy side for a supposed "fact check" and way too glib.

Posted by: EricS2 | March 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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