PolitiFact: Obama Made False Claims About Health Care, Taxes, and Court Rulings

PolitiFact, which earlier took Obama’s side about whether Obamacare is a government takeover of  health care, now is criticizing President Obama for making false claims about health care and taxes. In a pre–Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, Obama made the false claim that 12 judges have rejected “the notion that the health care law was unconstitutional.” As PolitiFact notes, only “four judges have ruled on the merits of various cases challenging the health care law. Two ruled in favor of the administration and two against.” (Earlier, we explained why the recent ruling by a Florida judge striking down Obamacare was not judicial activism.)

Obama’s problem with numbers isn’t new; during the 2008 campaign, he claimed that he had been to “57 states.” So he may not have been deliberately lying about this.

But as John Kartch noted earlier, Obama made a far more flagrantly false claim when he insisted to Bill O’Reilly that “I didn’t raise taxes once” while president. It’s hard to view that claim as anything other than a lie. Obama has signed into law a long list of tax increases on consumers and investors, which Kartch lists here. That includes “two dozen new or higher taxes” just in the health care law alone.

Some of the biggest of Obama’s tax increases haven’t gone into effect yet, and won’t go into effect until after the 2012 election, such as the new 3.8 percent tax it levies on many of America’s investors. As PolitiFact noted in debunking Obama’s claim that he hadn’t raised taxes, “starting in 2013,” “Individuals who make more than $200,000 and couples that make more than $250,000 will see additional Medicare taxes of 0.9 percent. They will also, for the first time, have to pay Medicare taxes on their investment income at a 3.8 percent rate.”

By contrast, an excise tax increase Obama signed in 2009 went into effect “soon after” he took “office,” and some of the tax increases in the health-care law that affect middle-class patients and medical-device manufacturers are already in effect.

For the moment, Americans’ taxes are not that high, because many of the tax increases already signed into law have yet to kick in. But appearances are deceiving, for as Kartch notes, “100% of the tax increases Obama signed into law are … permanent,” while “over 90% of the dollar value of the tax cuts Obama signed into law are only temporary.”

I earlier discussed why PolitiFact was wrong to accept the Obama administration’s claim that Obamacare was not a government takeover of the health care system.

While it dramatically increases regulation and red tape, Obamacare has done little to control costs; health insurance premiums have risen substantially in many states as a result of its passage, such as a 47 percent increase for some policyholders in Connecticut. Obamacare contains provisions that are harmful to the economy and medical innovation. Earlier, I discussed some of the bad effects of Obamacare on patients, employers, consumers, and the insurance market.