Saturday, May 5, 2012
A 20-page PowerPoint presentation drafted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which was leaked Wednesday on the website Buzzfeed, displays a simplified, bullet-point tool to educate the American public on how President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act will reform the U.S. healthcare system. The document contains a rubric of helpful hints on how to teach public speakers how to hawk ObamaCare’s alleged benefits.
“Hello, my name is XXX,” the document begins, “and I’m glad to be with you today to talk about the health care law, the Affordable Care Act — and what it means for you, your family, and your community.”
“The first question most people have is why did we need the health care law?” it continues. “The answer is that we had a health insurance market that worked very well for big insurance companies, but no so well for American families.”
In fact, the health insurance market worked tolerably well for people who obtained group health insurance through work (not so well for people who didn’t have insurance through work, because the government only offered tax breaks for group insurance), it worked fairly well for hospitals and doctors to collect reimbursement, and it worked great for government (because it allowed politicians to blame health insurance premium price increases caused by Medicaid, Medicare, and EMTALA on insurance companies — Medicare often only pays a fraction of the actual cost of doctors’ care, so doctors charge more to people with insurance to make up for the loss). The presentation not only conveniently omits that government actions largely caused skyrocketing care rates, causing people to not be able to afford care, but it ignores some of the law’s most controversial — and blatantly unconstitutional — provisions, including tax penalties, Medicare cuts, and the often-debated individual mandate.