President Obama loves to throw around facts and figures (like 57 states, ha!). But this one caught everyone’s eye.
But like 57 states … this appears to be wrong. ABC’s Jake Tapper picks up the story.
The claim, based on a 2001 survey, “is simply unsupportable,” he writes. “The figure comes from a 2005 Harvard University study saying that 54 percent of bankruptcies in 2001 were caused by health expenses.”
But the Harvard survey asked those filing bankruptcy whether health care costs were “a reason” behind their troubles. They were included.
They also included any bankruptcy filers with $1,000 or more in unreimbursed medical expenses in the previous two years.
Update: Fox News Major Garrett adds to the fact check. Pay particular attention to Obama’s economic advisor Christina Romer at the end. “I’ll get back to you.”.
Yeah … the facts are wrong but the story’s true. Oh brother.
Obama seems to be an agenda driven ideologue who will use whatever numbers, or means necessary to scare the American people into his agenda. For instance this Sally Pipes NY Post column from earlier this week gives a different look at the health care issue.
The president’s budget repeats the popular claim that 45.7 million Americans are uninsured. The figure is taken as proof positive that the current system is failing – and that the government must step in to provide a remedy.
But that misleading number includes millions we can hardly call uninsured. About 18 million of the uninsured make more $50,000 a year – and almost 10 million have yearly incomes over $75,000. More than 10 million aren’t US citizens. And as many as 14 million are already eligible for government programs like Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP – but haven’t signed up.
For most folks, health insurance is simply too expensive. And ramping up funding for government health programs, as Obama proposes, won’t make insurance cheaper. In fact, it could cause private insurance to become more expensive.
Facts and figures can be disturbing. Thus the bottom line here is Obamacare will not reduce costs … just what you may pay. How much care you get for that money … well that will be up to the government. No brag Mr President, just fact.
Oh … and this one’s for you.