Following are some of the discredited claims the President repeated last night during his address to a joint session of Congress on the topic of health care.

Despite the President’s claims, the Democrats’ health care bills will force millions of Americans out of their current health care plans, add to the federal deficit, and increase Americans’ health care costs.

CLAIM: “…[N]othing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.”

FACT: This marked an important change in the President’s language last night. He used to say, “If you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan.” By now using the word “require,” the President’s admitting that they can’t guarantee Americans will keep their health plan. After both the Associated Press, ABC News and others have thoroughly debunked this claim, it’s not surprising the White House has made this shift. But the point is that no one knows for sure how many employers will drop their coverage altogether if their plan goes into effect. Experts at the Lewin Group estimate the number could be more than 100 million Americans. And $500 billion in Medicare cuts will obviously reduce the quality of care America’s seniors receive.

CLAIM: “The plan will not add to our deficit…I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.”

FACT: According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the House Democrats’ bill would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years. And a recent study by the Lewin Group found that “[i]n the second 10 years…the proposal would add an estimated $1 trillion to the federal deficit.”

CLAIM: “(I)t will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”

FACT: As the Associated Press has reported, the Democrats’ plan will increase costs, rather than lower them: “Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf warned lawmakers the legislation that he has seen so far would raise costs, not lower them.”

CLAIM: “If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.”

FACT: The Hill reported yesterday, that the President has not met with House Republicans since April, and when Republican Leaders asked for a meeting to discuss health care in a May 14 letter, the President ignored the request. The Politico reported on the President’s response on June 5, saying, “he makes no mention of the request to meet in the letter, which he signs off by stating, “Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me and I look forward to further discussions on this critically important issue.” But those “further discussions” simply didn’t happen. The facts are clear: blame for the lack of bipartisanship in the current health care debate lies squarely at the feet of Washington Democrats.

CLAIM: “I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are.”

FACT: This is an interesting assertion considering the President also said last night: “Our overall efforts have been supported by an unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses; hospitals, seniors’ groups and even drug companies.” So what special interests is he talking about when the White House seems to have struck back room deals with so many of them?

CLAIM: “We’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse.”

FACT: The massive $1.6 trillion House bill’s cost is NOT mostly “paid for” through savings in the existing health care system – not by a long shot. In fact, the House bill includes more than $800 billion in new tax increases during a severe economic downturn on families and employers to “pay for” most of the massive price tag. And, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that even with these tax increases, coupled with other “pay fors” in the bill such as cuts to Medicare, the House bill still has a revenue shortfall that will add $239 billion to the federal deficit over a ten year period. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote in an open letter to Congress raising concerns about a $534 billion small business tax in July: “Even with some exemptions, this provision will kill many jobs. Market forces and employer autonomy should determine what benefits employers provide, rather than Congress.”

CLAIM: “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

FACT: During his quest for the presidency, now-President Obama declared that everyone deserves access to reproductive health care that includes abortion, and vowed that this “right” would be at the heart of his health care reform plan if elected president. President Obama has never retracted this vow, and the health care reform bill moving through the House would help him make good on it if enacted into law. As written, it would allow the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) to include abortion as a benefit in the government-run health care option. Many Democrats dispute this, pointing to the recent adoption of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) that would prohibit federal dollars from being used to fund abortion. But under this amendment, the HHS Secretary is explicitly authorized to pay for elective abortions under the government-run insurance plan.

Some have also suggested that the government-run plan would not result in government-funded abortions because it will be subject to the “Hyde Amendment,” but this argument is misleading as well. The Hyde Amendment is not a government-wide applied law, but a rather provision included in the annual HHS Appropriations bill, which bans federal funding of elective abortions. According to a memo produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the government-option will not be funded through the appropriations process. For this reason, it will not be subject to the Hyde Amendment. The truth of the matter is that the HHS Secretary will be allowed to include abortion as a benefit in the government-run health care plan under the legislation currently moving through the House. Moreover, FactCheck.Org has stated that “House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.”

CLAIM: “Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

FACT: The non-partisan Congressional Research Service confirms in a report that there is no mechanism included in the bill to verify that individuals are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before they receive government benefits. Furthermore, Republicans offered two amendments in the Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees that were rejected by Democrats. The first would have prevented illegal immigrants from being automatically enrolled into Medicaid and the second would have required better screening for applicants for federally-subsidized health care to ensure they are actually citizens or legal immigrants.

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