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  • Guest Blogger: Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) Obama's Health Care Promises

    When President Obama spoke to Congress on his health care plan, I was thinking about the 16-day stretch in July during which his bill was being assembled on Capitol Hill. That’s because so much of what he told us, whether about deficits, illegal aliens or abortions, seemed at odds with what the Congress is doing in his name.

    “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future,” the president said. He was unequivocal, and I applaud his promise, but the Congressional Budget Office reports that the Obama health care bill making its way through the House, H.R. 3200, will add $220 billion to the U.S. budget deficits over 10 years. A new report issued on Sept. 9 by the Peterson Foundation found that it will create an additional $1 trillion in deficit spending between 2020 and 2029.

    The conclusion? The president says he won’t sign anything with a deficit, but record-breaking federal budget deficits form a prominent, permanent part of his party’s health care plan, so we’ll see.

    The president also said that “not a dollar of the Medicare Trust Fund will be used to pay for this proposal.” What the House is doing is rather different. H.R. 3200 cuts $400 billion from the Medicare program to finance this new proposal. A Republican amendment directing that any savings to the Medicare program be used solely to improve the access and affordability within Medicare was defeated with just one Democrat voting for it.

    So it’s hard not to conclude that contrary to what the president said he wants, many Medicare dollars will be used to pay for the Obama health care program.

    Similarly, the president promised straightforwardly that “if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or doctor you have.”

    Analysts at the Lewin Group, however, estimate that 80 million people would lose their employer-sponsored health insurance under the House bill. The amendment ensuring that existing health plans continue to provide coverage to their enrollees was defeated along party lines, with only three Democrats voting to make certain that people can keep their existing coverage.

    Again, the president’s comforting words are unsupported by his party’s actions in Congress. If their bill passed today, the only thing saying you won’t see a doctor you like or insurance coverage you want to keep is a line in a speech.

    Much the same is true with illegal aliens: “The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” President Obama says. Yes, the House bill contains no provision where people would have to demonstrate whether they were here legally in order to sign up for government-run health care. And yes, the president’s party voted down the amendment to require that applicants for the welfare program, Medicaid, actually verify their citizenship.

    The statements of any politician, no matter how prominent, have no force of law their own and, once again, this statement by the president is unsupported by any provision of his health care legislation.

    Finally, the president told us that, “under our bill, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” In fact, the bipartisan amendment to his bill which would have barred taxpayer dollars from subsidizing abortions failed when every Republican, but too few Democrats, supported it. The inescapable conclusion is that taxpayer-funded abortions are not disallowed.

    President Obama has made some forthright and specific promises about what his health care package will and will not do, but simply saying so doesn’t make it so. He has a big job ahead convincing his congressional supporters to match their actions to his stirring words. I hope he succeeds, and I’m ready to help him.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Guest Blogger: Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) Obama's Health Care Promises

    1. J C Garner says:

      What's wrong with all the proposals is exactly what's wrong with the majority's perception and understanding in general. A president or any elected official can only promote proposals that have some hope of being supported by the electorate. Sad but true, fundamental shifts in the country's understanding of the underlying issues is necessary before we can possibly get any enlightened proposals or legislation.

    2. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      The secret is the white rabbit! To understand an Obama action there is a very clear line. Hear the words and think the opposite. He promises, "a transparent government" that translates to: everything will be done in the backroom. He says no abortions, no illegals, no pulling the plug on granny and that means: "Abortions Are Us" clinics being built on your corners, "Bienvenido Amigo" signs at every hospital, and well, "thanks for everything granny!"

      Have I mentioned that for the first time in my adult life I am no longer proud to be a citizen of this government?

    3. John M. Dyess Sr. says:

      President Obama promised the voters, during his campaign that "no bill would be written behind closed doors" The Health Care bill is curently being written behind closed doors; and likely not be seen by the voters until it is a done deal. Why do the "political elete" think they have monopoly on intellect? They are wrong; the collective wisdom of millions of voters is superior to President Obama, Harry Reid and all of Congress combined. The voters don't want socialized health care, higher taxes, more government control, and limited choice.

    4. Millie says:

      The USA needs a sabbatical from Congress. Congress should be sent home for about three years. No legislation. No nothing. Just the people living their lives and conducting their business. Obama can remain up there in the White House making speeches, jetting around the world accomplishing nothing, etc. He's harmless that way, and it would provide a source of amusement.

      This proposal will not make liberals happy, since they want more and more govt. programs, more and legislation, more and more regulation, more and more strangulation of the people by its government.

    5. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      When on a used car lot it's buyer beware. When presented with the congressional leadership's sales job via their hook, Obama, it's voter beware. Unfortunately, the American electorate was easily bamboozled Chicago style. It was a sad day then and it's certainly not getting any better.

    6. Brian King, Missouri says:

      The main question on my mind is where is all of this data coming from?

      Analysts at the Lewin Group, however, estimate that 80 million people would lose their employer-sponsored health insurance under the House bill…

      Anyone can say this, but what is the basis for this claim? As a working member of the scientific community, I am trained to review data, or to prove something with supporting data. Am I, a marginally intelligent man, to simply accept this to be true without some basis to support this claim or any of the claims? Someone please point me to a link so I might validate these claims for myself and truly embrace and believe what I am being told.

    7. R. Fred, Midlothian, says:

      Obama care is just one more straw that will eventually bankrupt our country. Along with it will be a weakened Military, frustrated work force, and an educational system geared to indoctrinate not educate. I just sent a letter to the Heritage Foundation that suggest we look at the definition of the word "Heritage". To understand Obama, understand his Heritage.

      Joe Barton is but one voice. It will take a united voice in Washington to rescue our Nation. I'm afraid that voice will no longer be heard. If I want you to vote my way I will simply "convince" your 12 year old son or daughter that's the way you should vote. Remember 9/11? Look for more.

    8. Karen says:

      Welcome to collectivism!

      “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

      Karl Marx

      · For individuals making $34,140 (three times the Federal Poverty Level) the Baucus health care proposal could mandate up to $4,097 in annual premiums, a sum which could have been spent on over nine months of food, almost four months of housing or well over a year of utilities.

      · For a family of four making $69,480 (300 percent above poverty) the Baucus bill mandates annual health insurance premiums of $8,338, which would be worth the equivalent of over 10 months of food, four months of housing or almost two years of utilities.

      · For individuals earning $45,520 (400 percent above poverty) Baucus mandates $5,462 for health insurance, or over a year of food, four months of rent or a year and a half of utilities.

      · For families earning $92,640 (400 percent above poverty) Baucus mandates $11,117 in health premiums, the equivalent of over a year of food, five months of housing or two years of utilities.”

      Source: Report, “Potential Impact of Health Reform on the Cost of Private Health Insurance Coverage,” PricewaterhouseCoopers, October 2009.

    9. vicki crawford, iowa says:

      It is easy to blame politicians(and I do) as they ought to be principle-driven in all their decisions, regardless of the cost, but when we, the voters are not actively becoming informed, and balk at the 90% of pork that doesn't personally profit us, yet excuse the 10%, or worse make the phone calls demanding the 10% that would(unconstitutionally) profit us, we should be ashamed! I'm thinking ethanol, farm subsidies, disaster assistance, all unconstitutional, soft-headed gov't "compassion"- all antithetical to the real purpose of gov't, and the reason we are on this road to our national doom. Read the founders, get a vision consistent with our founding, better yet, read the bible on which all conservative thinking is based, and we will have hope in healthcare, education, and all other battles as well. God will bless America when we bless Him and do things His way.

    10. Tricia, Arizona says:

      I would like to recall everyone in Congress and the Senate and the White House and start all over again. Our government is totally untrustworthy. There should be a limit of 2 terms for Congress and one for the Senate. No more career Congressmen or career Senators.. The Presidency already has a term limit. It's time to clean up Washington. What a mess!!!

    11. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I do believe that the members of Congress and our President speak with forked tonques. He promised an open administration yet brought all these czars in who don't have to be approved by Congress, he said he would not have lobbiest, see above, most czars are, he said he would be transparent and all bills would be on internet 72 hours before a vote so we could read and contact our congressmen, now we are told we are TOO STUPID to understand, better yet they must be as they don't even read the bills before voting, they say "it takes too long" another congress Rep. said he knew better what his constituients needed than they did, Arrogance plus. Is anyone out there a lawyer who can file for us to prevent our freedoms from being taken from us??

    12. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      I've noticed that the Left always accuses the Right of exactly what they are doing. Then, the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" (which doesn't exist) is some proof to me that there is a vast Left Wing conspiracy. Well, gosh this has gone on since Karl Marx penned his plan to bring America into the Socialist fold. (12 steps, the last step was to bring down the American economy). It has been over a hundred years and finally the Left has success. Abortion is certainly one issue, and it has never made sense in light of how difficult it is to adopt in America. The issue is the sanctity of human life and Christians do not want to fund it with their taxes. "We are just animals" says the Left, and why? That makes it okay to herd us around like animals (which is what the Socialist/Communists do).

      If God was paying attention, Obama would already be gone. Abortion is mass murder, that's how Christians commonly see it. You cannot make them fund abortion! It is an anathema! "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is now as vacant as the vapor Bill.

    13. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Dear Rep. Barton — Your comments reflect surprise that Mr. Obama's words are different from his actions. Duh!

      His actions belie every promise he has made so far. In fact, if you assumed the opposite of everything he has said so far, you would know exactly what he intends to do.

      This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

    14. Slick in Nebraska says:

      I find it interesting that Secy of State Hillary Clinton says that the United States must be as "transparent" as possible in reference to letting Russia come here, see the locations of our weapons and count our warheads.

      And yet, American citizens are being shut out of not only the debate but the writing and passing of health care which will effect them the rest of their lives. Perhaps our perception of what the constitution says and that of our administration is two totally different things.

      If I were anyone in Russia I wouldn't be holding my breath on that "transparency" state that Hilliary made . . . actions speak louder than words so watch out!!! Russia better be smart enough to ask to see our defense program before we get to see theirs!!!!!

    15. Slick in Nebraska says:

      I find it interesting that Secy of State Hillary Clinton says that the United States must be as "transparent" as possible in reference to letting Russia come here, see the locations of our weapons and count our warheads.

      And yet, American citizens are being shut out of not only the debate but the writing and passing of health care reform bill which will effect them the rest of their lives. Perhaps our perception of what the constitution says and that of our administration is two totally different things.

      If I were anyone in Russia I wouldn't be holding my breath on that "transparency" state that Hilliary made . . . actions speak louder than words so watch out!!! Russia better be smart enough to ask to see our defense program before we get to see theirs!!!!!

    16. Sandy in CT says:

      As willing as you were to believe that there would be no new taxes, that you could keep your Dr. and your Health Care provider, that Obamacare would not fund abortions and no illegals could get free Health Care. Did you believe that with no data?

    17. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Brian of Missouri. The data you request is often politically skewed. Verification of such is a fruitless effort given today's highly charged ideological power grab. Like our Constitution, science itself is being ignored, manipulated and/or trampled upon by the current congressional leadership and their pitch man, Obama. In addition, this whole damned debate goes far beyond having accurate figures as it doesn't belong in the federal arena to begin with.

    18. Black Saint Ok says:

      Meantime, with 15 million Americans without jobs, the invasion continues, no Liberal Politician will address the 500 pound gorilla in the room, and millions of invading, plundering, welfare loving, prolific breeding, Illegal Aliens taking millions of jobs that should be American jobs and 100,s billions of dollars in social services that should be for American citizens!

      One cannot be political correct and admit that Illegal Aliens are an large part of the problems in this Nation.

      Their negative impact extends to every area from Sub-par loans & defaults, Underground economy, Massive document fraud, Lower standard of living, Crime, Overflowing prisons , Bankrupted hospitals, Failing schools, Property Taxes, Insurance costs, Environment, Culture, Welfare costs, Welfare fraud, SS fraud, Voter fraud, Disrespect for our laws & country, our Constitution against invasion and even Balance of payments occurring from oil and other imports to support the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens in this country!

      One has to only look at Calif. which is basically mostly an Spanish speaking, Bankrupt state that cannot afford to provide Welfare, Schooling, Medical, Prison cells etc. for millions of MS-13 Gang bangers, Drug dealers, Rapist and other assorted Criminals and uneducated, Prolific breeding, third world rejects from Mexico!

      In a very few years it will be impossible to see where Mexico ends and Calif. begins as both will be an third world cesspool!

      Failure to secure our borders and reward the Invading horde for their invasion and their relatives in an never ending chain with American Citizenship is nothing less than committing National Suicide & will assure our future is an over populated Spanish speaking third world Nation that is an Cesspool of Corruption, Crime, Poverty and Misery modeled on Mexico!

    19. Daver Ft. Worth says:


      Businesses are in business to make $. Most businesses are having a harder time than ever doing that, because the uncertainty in the economy is causing people to spend less. Therefore cost reduction is the next best way to maintain the necessary income to remain in business. If they can offload their health care costs at a lower cost, that is what many will choose to do. (The mere administration of any healthcare program is bad and distracting, before you even have to start paying.)

      So whether it is 8 million or 80 million or 120 million, it is way too many!

      The numbers will change as the true nature of what the government passed plan really is, costs employers, etc.. but significant minefields exist that the government is highly unlikely to be able to navigate through without raising taxes or rationing services to those it already "controls" (Medicare.)

      And perhaps most tragically as the population demographics in this country shift toward even a higher percent than the 50 million retired people already in this country represent, the obligation placed on the remaining workers will become completely unsustainable and the rationing will become an ever tightening circle.


    20. Niki Raapana, Alaska says:

      Thanks for this piece and all your comments. I'm doing an interview with George Butler via live webcam from College Station tonight, and he wants to talk about Obama's Health Care. Since Obama's administration has been openly identified as communitarian (not socialist or communist) I haven't paid much attention to anything he says, because communitarianism is based in the lie that there's a "perfect middle ground" between the right and the left. Communism married capitalism, we've been in the synthesis between them for over a century, and now we're all even more confused about who we are.

      Here's a ton of overly referenced information about communitarianism from an old-fashioned American perspective: http://nord.twu.net/acl

      Here's a rudetube video I just made that introduces America to their father of communitarianism, Dr. Amitai Etzioni:

    21. Brittancus, Indianap says:

      E-Verify should be on the national agenda to countermand any illegal alien infiltration into the working environment. Whatever needs to done should take priority to remove the unauthorized labor in our jobless nation. More funding, more modifications until the illegal immigrant fraudulent use of documentation becomes a thing of the past. Using whatever technical programming that is available, to make it's operation inadvisable? Any database including state criminal, FBI, Social Security, Homeland Security, and any other means possible. Ultimately the final version would contribute photo verification, national ID system with biometric data which has been recommended by the Brooking's Institute and Duke University MIT. Supposedly small employers who don't operate computers should have common access in such locations as Post Offices or other approachable government building to identify the workers they are hiring.

      There should be no excuse to not install a nationwide mandatory system of worker identification. My suggestion is that–ALL-I-9's should be copied and a duplicates sent to a Homeland Security Clearing House? Creating such an office would be a simple affair, if our state and federal government would be more beneficial to the working American male and female. If our government is sincere in securing our borders, and introducing new immigration enforcement tools, then E-Verify will become the final deterrent and not be weakened by Sen Harry Reid and his administration. I have made a point of speaking to a few business human resources departments, and found most are enthusiastic about the use of Verify. Only 1 of the 6 companies that I investigated determined some false negatives" and "false positives. But they always have a backup system of contacting the Social Security agency nearest to them, until the irregularities are resolved. Most immigration enforcement laws that have survived, such as 287 (g), is under attack, including the ICE raids. They have already silently rescinded the No-Match-Letter and other indicators show that the parties have many pro-illegal immigrant legislators amongst them?

      All that remains is citizens and legal residents to stop the Obama people from throwing a wrench in the cogs and stopping any technological advancement with E-Verify. E-Verify can be used on a universal level in checking bogus drivers license applications, auto insurance, home purchase, health care and other personal data. It would certainly alleviate the kidnapping of social service programs by the 20 to 30 illegal immigrants in America. It would displace foreign nationals so down-trodden legal single mums with children, homeless vets, senior citizens and even students could get employment. It all depends on all of us to contact our Representative in Washington at 202-224-3121. Tell them you don't want half measures by full permanent implementation? NO MORE DRAGGING THEIR FEET? Tell them your remember them on next election day. YOU ALSO WANT TO COMMAND THEM. NO MORE AMNESTIES.

      Don't let them distract you, but repeat your demands without hesitation to these open border jerks. Invest a little time and check what your politicians are doing to our immigration enforcement safeguard at NUMBERSUSA. Read about the consequences of future OVERPOPULATION at CAPSWEB and our collapsing infrastructure, that has been ignored for decades nationwide. Last read factual information at JUDICIAL WATCH that discloses the lawmakers, that are running the country for themselves, friends and business associates. ITS ALL FREE. Read that some of the White House Czars are not true Democrats, but are shadowed by their past Liberal Marxist backgrounds.

    22. Micki-Tamarac, FL says:

      We can't work on securing our borders and making illegals go home, we are to busy trying to get healthcare for them!

      This bunch of thieves in the senate and conress need to GO.

      2010 can't get here soon enough for me.

    23. philip says:

      Face it america the Demicrat party has sold out the vary people they claim to represent with their backdoor partism politics. Harry Reid,speaker Nancy Polosi out right bold lieing slandering and false statements made by her about the american people who question her socialist stand on health care, and the poeple choise ect.along with Harry Reid it's ashame that congress has be come the yes men and women when the Dem have to resort to tricky though Harry Reid sneaking opposed legislation with back door means on the people of the united states of america and disregard of the constitution of the unite states. IT's time to vote these people out of office DEM. or REP.who don't stand for freedom and We the people. it is not We the goverment GOD BLESS AMERICA

    24. Gordon says:

      I'm surprised that no one, to my knowledge, has pointed out that whether the legislation requires applicants for government subsidies to provide proof of citizenship or not is irrelevant.

      That's because after this Democratic Congress is finished, all the current illegals will be given citizenship! And it will dump another 12 million people into the Medicaid or the pubic option as well as into the healthcare delivery system!!

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