The President’s Health Care Fables

The president pushed the health care bill through Congress using a series of fables — health insurance horror stories that turned out to be false. Michelle Malkin chronicles just a few of the false anecdotes told by President Obama in making the case for Obamacare. The most famous was the false claim that his mother’s health insurer tried to avoid paying for his dying mother’s treatment based on a pre-existing condition — when it in fact did no such thing and paid her benefits in full. (As the Washington Post notes, Obama’s misleading stories about his mother’s final months “often spoke as if he had been at his mother’s side,” even though he actually failed to visit her at all in the months leading up to her death from cancer.)

As Malkin notes, Obama’s “sham-ecdote” about his mother “is just the latest entry in an ever-expanding catalogue of Obamacare fables,” which include the following:

Otto Raddatz. In 2009, Obama publicized the plight of this Illinois cancer patient, who supposedly died after he was dropped from his Fortis/Assurant Health insurance plan when his insurer discovered an unreported gallstone the patient hadn’t known about. The truth? He got the treatment he needed in 2005 and lived for nearly four more years.

Robin Beaton. Also in 2009, Obama claimed Beaton — a breast cancer patient — lost her insurance after “she forgot to declare a case of acne.” In fact, she failed to disclose a previous heart condition and did not list her weight accurately, but had her insurance restored anyway after intense public lobbying.”

Natoma Canfield. The White House made the Ohio cancer patient a poster child for Obamacare in 2010 after she wrote a letter complaining about skyrocketing premiums and the prospect of losing her home. After Obama gave Canfield a shout-out at a health care rally in Strongsville, Ohio, and promised to control costs, officials at the renowned Cleveland Clinic, which is treating her, made clear that they would “not put a lien on her home” and that she was eligible for a wide variety of state aid and private charity care.

As PolitiFact has noted, Obama has made false claims about whether Obamacare raises taxes (it does, on investment income, medical devices, cosmetic surgery, etc.) and about court rulings dealing with the health care law.

Obama made other false claims about the new health care law, like whether you can keep your health insurance plan if you like it; whether people will be compelled to buy coverage under the new health care law; and whether some employee benefits will be taxed due to the new law. Thousands of people have lost high-quality private health insurance due to the health care law. Others have lost their Medicare Advantage plans.

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.