Medicare Chief Actuary confirms Obamacare a tissue of lies

Absolutely devastating testimony yesterday from Medicare's independent economic expert Richard Foster before the House Budget Committee. In essence, in response to direct questions, Foster blew up the rationale for Obamacare and placed the president and his party in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why they lied to the American people about the two main selling points for the program.

Peter Wehner:

Mr. Foster was asked by Republican Tom McClintock for a simple true or false response on two of the main assertions made by supporters of the law: that it will bring down unsustainable medical costs and it will let people keep their current health insurance if they like it.

On the costs issue, "I would say false, more so than true," Foster responded. As for people getting to keep their coverage, "not true in all cases."

Foster also sided with those who argue that moving toward a defined contribution model is much more likely to keep health-care costs down than the kind of centralized, top-down price controls that are in ObamaCare.

Finally, in an exchange with Representative John Campbell of California, Foster blew up the claim that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Medicare provisions could both reduce the deficit and extend the solvency of Medicare, as President Obama has claimed. Mr. Foster pointed out the obvious: this isn't possible unless you double-count the savings.

"Is it legitimate to say," Campbell asked, "that you can add a dozen years to the solvency of Medicare or that you can reduce the deficit, but it is not correct to say both simultaneously?"

"Both will happen as a result of the same one set of savings, under Medicare," Foster said. "But it takes two sets of money to make it happen. It happens directly for the budget deficit, from the Medicare savings, and then when we need the money to extend the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, we have a promissory note - it's an IOU, not a worthless IOU, but it is an IOU - and Treasury has to pay that money back. But they have to get it from somewhere. That's the missing link."

Recall that Obamacare opponents were not told they were wrong about these two assertions; they were not told they misunderstood what was in the bill; they were not told to go back and reread the sections in question.

The Democrats have been saying that Republicans are lying about these two assertions being wrong.

If a Democrat lies in the forest and the media doesn't report it, is it still a lie?

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

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