Fact Check: Dems really don’t get it (thanks to my wife for pointing out typo)
Yesterday, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey authored an opinion piece in Politico, arguing that the health care bill, as well as the prior failures of the Bush Administration, will result in Americans embracing the Dems this fall. This kind of nonsense compelled me to do some heavy lifting. Summary: If Americans embrace the Dems in November, it will be because they’ve lived under a rock for the past year and a half.
Sen. Menedez first offers several assertions about the the healthcare bill; each of them either misleading or downright inaccurate. Case in point:
Health care reform will not just expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, it represents a giant leap forward in controlling the increasingly out-of-control costs. Passing affordable, accessible health care for every American was a historic moment for our county — and a monumental achievement for Democrats.
To argue that this bill will decrease costs is simply ridiculous. Even the Health and Human Services Department admits that, while the bill will increase the number of people covered, it will also increase costs.
Senator Menendez continues,
This law offers many long-overdue benefits, including preventing insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, closing the so-called doughnut hole for seniors, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 and increasing coverage to more than 30 million Americans.
While the bill will bar insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, it will drive premiums up, help lead to a middle class tax hike of $3.9 billion in 2019 alone, and is estimated to cost $115 billion more than previously estimated. And this doesn’t even address the negative effect it will have on the medical community and quality of care.
Sen. Menendez then addresses how the Dems stepped up for the American people:
During the long and contentious debate over health care reform, Republicans showed they were all too willing to fight for large insurance companies, rather than the millions of American families who suffered under the broken status quo. The pressure from far-right and special interest groups led to almost every Republican member of Congress and candidate for Senate signing a pledge to work on repealing health care if elected.
Republicans fight for the big, bad insurance companies, the Democrats fight for the working man, yada yada yada. Where have I heard that before? While there is no doubt Republicans are lobbied hard by big business as a general proposition, so are Democrats. In fact, Democrats received millions from big PhRMA during the health care fight.
But drug industry lobbyists, according to Politico, spent the weekend “huddled with Democratic staffers” who needed the drug lobby to “sign off” on proposals before moving ahead. Meanwhile, we learn that the drug lobby is buying millions of dollars of ads in 43 districts where a Democratic candidate stands to suffer for supporting the bill. The doctors’ lobby and the hospitals’ lobby are also on board with the Senate bill.
Also, we can’t forget that, as the head of the People Party, President Obama’s second largest company PAC contributor was none other than Goldman Sachs. The largest recipient of BP contributions in the last 20 years? That’s right, President Obama.
Menendez then attempts to strike fear into the heart of Republicans seeking to repeal the healthcare bill:
This repeal pledge leaves GOP candidates across the country in a sticky situation. They have to look voters in the eye and say, “If I’m elected, I will take away your health care.”
Mark Kirk will have to tell college students in Evanston that they can no longer be covered under their parents’ health insurance plan. Richard Burr will have to tell the woman in Winston-Salem that because of her pre-existing condition, she no longer will be able to afford health insurance.
Pat Toomey will have to tell the retired union worker in Allentown why he wants the doughnut hole reopened. Jane Norton will have to tell the single mother in Denver why her family no longer will be eligible for Medicaid.
Human interest stories concerning fictitious persons is par for the course with liberals, and they apparently work for their base. However, while Senator Menendez can threaten the Republicans with a few individual stories (that may or may not be true), he can’t hide from these figures: 41 and 55. Only 41% of likely voters were in favor of the healthcare bill before it was passed. After signing the bill into law, 55% of likely voters favored repeal. In a more recent poll, 58% of likely voters supported repeal.
Simply put, Senator Menendez is symptomatic of the disease currently infecting Washington: he’s completely out of touch with the people that pay his salary (well, his base salary anyway).
On the other hand, Democrats will surely reap political benefits from health care reform this November. They were sent to Washington in 2006 and 2008 to clean up the multitude of messes left by Republicans and to get things done.
Whether the issue is health care or any of a host of issues, the reality is that in the past 18 months, Democrats have succeeded on moving forward on issues that matter to all Americans. Democrats brought the economy back from the brink to a point where we have now created or saved more than 2 million jobs, with signs pointing toward a slow but sure economic recovery.Now, with Democrats in charge, we’ve succeeded in addressing all these issues and have moved the ball forward. We put our nose to the grindstone and produced results for the American people.
There is no debate that the Republicans sat on their hands for much of their turn at the wheel. That’s precisely the reason why they’re out of power. That’s precisely the reason why we have a small collection of far left radicals who don’t represent anywhere near the majority of Americans directing policy (See, for example, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank). That’s precisely why we have a president who, before being elected, had about as much executive experience as, well, me.
But to justify your party’s drunken-sailor ways by pointing to the Republican’s prior failures is lunacy (it’s also pathetic). Dem spending has placed this nation on its way to a Greece-style collapse. As of this past March, the national debt was over $11 trillion. If Obama’s 2011 budget is passed, it will increase the debt by an additional $9.8 trillion over the next decade. President Obama’s first budget in 2009 more than tripled the 2008 deficit from $458.6 billion to $1.4 trillion.
Not only is the spending massive in scope, and against the will of the American people, it’s not actually helping anything. For example, only 37% supported the stimulus before it was forced through. Now it’s more or less a foregone conclusion that it didn’t help.
All of this spending leads to only one thing: massive tax increases for all (well, not the 47% who don’t pay any income tax) . These increases don’t take into account the possibility of cap and tax and the Value-Added Tax being kicked around by the Obama Administration.
Menendez ends his piece with this parting shot:
Voters have a choice this fall to go back to the failed Republican status quo, in which patients are denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and have the Medicare doughnut hole reopened and costs continue to soar, or they can move forward with the Democratic Party, which is making progress toward controlling health care costs and increasing access to quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans.
Democratic candidates are sure to be better off this November because of health care reform. But, more important, the real winners will be the American people.
The real winner are the American people? Are you high? Massive spending; mountainous debt; increased taxes; and still 9.9% unemployment? And I have to listen to Michelle Obama call for censoring the Hamburglar? I’ll take my status quo with a side of unintelligible Texan please.