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Top Headline Comments 3-21-11 | Main | VDH Brings the DOOM!: "Debt Is The Father Of Us All"
March 21, 2011

Democrats Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of ObamaCare by Lying About It

WaPo's factchecker looks at the Democrats' claims about the President's signature law and finds, unsurprisingly, that they are making the same lies that have been debunked over and over again.

McConnell framed his speech in negative terms, citing data to back up his language. Both Democrats and Republicans can pick and choose numbers and studies to make their case, but we found that generally McConnell did not exaggerate or use bogus figures. In fact, he correctly described a Congressional Budget Office analysis suggesting a potential reduction in employment of 800,000 jobs (technically, one-half of 1 percent of household employment in 2021) that other Republicans have misrepresented.

By contrast, House Democrats appear to show little hesitation about repeating claims that previously have found to be false or exaggerated.

That's because they care nothing for the truth and know that their brain-dead followers won't either. Click over for the details, but the three claims that got WaPo's factchecker worked up are that same old fibs that ObamaCare creates jobs, reduces the deficit, and has caused small businesses to provide more health insurance.

Time and again these claims have been shown to be false. Democrats keep repeating them because they wish they were true. And here's the thing: unless the Democrats can find a way to make them true the elections in 2012 are going to be an even bigger shellacking than the mid-terms in 2010.

That's why the Obama Administration is doing everything it legally can -- and some things that likely aren't legal -- to mitigate the effects of ObamaCare.

Obama administration officials say they were expecting praise from critics of the new health care law when they offered to exempt selected employers and labor unions from a requirement to provide at least $750,000 in coverage to each person in their health insurance plans this year.

Instead, Republicans have seized on the waivers as just more evidence that the law is fundamentally flawed because, they say, it requires so many exceptions. To date, for example, the administration has relaxed the $750,000 standard for more than 1,000 health plans covering 2.6 million people.


Waivers are usually seen as a way to deal with exceptional circumstances in which the enforcement of a law or policy might cause hardship. But with the new health care law, exceptions like these have become increasingly common. They provide wiggle room in a law originally thought to be strict and demanding.

There are three types of waivers being discussed right now. The most common are the minimum coverage waivers that have been handed out to unions, major corporations, colleges, and local and state governments. Those can be applied for by insurance providers and they're awarded to insurance providers. HHS has handed out about 1,040 of them.

The second type of waiver is the medical loss ratio waiver, like the one just awarded to the state of Maine. Those can be applied for by states that believe the new MLR rules will disrupt the insurance market in their state. It is then awarded to the state, though its effect is to waive the MLR rules' application to insurers in that state. Several more MLR waiver applications are pending with HHS.

The third type of waiver being discussed is a Medicaid mandate waiver. Several states believe that the new Medicaid coverage mandates will bankrupt them and they are accordingly seeking a reprieve. Secretary Sebelius says she does not have the authority to grant this type of waiver.

In any of these cases, there have been no waivers granted to inviduals (contra Ed Morrissey), although many individuals will certainly benefit from their insurers not having to comply with ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is so burdensome, so bad for the insurance markets generally, that not even the Administration which shares its name is standing up for it. Like the Democrats in Congress, though, the Obama Administration is hoping that the law will magically work as advertised in 2014.

Administration officials said the waivers showed a pragmatic, flexible approach to carrying out the law. Without the waivers, said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, many employers would have increased premiums, and some would have dropped coverage altogether.

In other words, ObamaCare does the opposite of what the President said it did. It will raise premiums and, unless the Democrats get their individual coverage mandate, cause burdened businesses to drop coverage. The forthcoming economic catastrophe when businesses no longer have the option to structure their insurance coverage according to their needs, but rather according to the demands of HHS, is obvious.

Which is why even the President is now tepidly supporting an opt-out for states that want to come up with their own healthcare solutions. On the anniversary of ObamaCare, the stark reality is that nobody, not even the law's namesake, believes it will live up to the Democrats' lies.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:46 AM

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