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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Debunking Health Care Reform Myths - 11

MYTH 11: Obama is pushing a system like the U.K. and Canada

CLAIM: Obama is pushing a single-payer system like Canada's or a nationalized health care system like the United Kingdom's.

  • BRET BAIER: "President Obama spent a good deal of time at that news conference [on June 23] talking about health care reform, and Canada's medical system has been cited as a possible model." [Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, 6/29/09]
  • Hannity said, "I think Obama certainly" wants a Canadian-style "single-payer system." [Hannity, 7/20/09]
  • CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: "[Obama]'s a man who's expressed ... a radical domestic agenda, which involves, as he puts it every time, a holy trinity of health care reform, by which he means nationalizing health care. ... And this is all in the service of leveling the differences between rich and poor and leveling the differences between classes." [Special Report, 4/29/09]
  • JOE SCARBOROUGH: "Of course -- of course it's -- not only is it na├»ve, it's reckless to suggest that in the midst of a banking crisis that may have a $2 trillion price tag that you are going to choose this time to nationalize health care with a $635 billion down payment." [Morning Joe, 3/9/09]

REALITY: Obama has rejected Canadian-style single-payer system and U.K.-style nationalized health care. During a March 26 online town hall discussion, Obama was asked: "Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources?"

He replied, in part, "I actually want a universal health care system," adding that rather than adopting a "single-payer system" like Canada's, "what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps." Indeed, Obama has embraced the creation of a federally funded "public plan" as one of many insurance options available in the health care market, not the sole option, as in "single payer" systems such as Canada. And as PolitiFact.com noted in a March 5 post, "Obama's plan leaves in place the private health care system, but seeks to expand it to the uninsured" and "the plan is very different from some European-style health systems where the government owns health clinics and employs doctors," as in the United Kingdom.

source: MediaMatters.org








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