Friday, September 5, 2008

McCain Lies About Obama Health Care Plan

Here's a good post by hilzoy about the McCain speech. One piece:

There's no way to make this out to be anything but a lie:
"His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor." [from McCain's speech]
Here's a link to Obama's health plan. If anyone can find the part about forcing anyone into a government-run health care system, I'll eat my hat. (Remember the controversy from the primaries about mandates, and how Obama didn't have them?)
George Lakoff taught me that it's very hard to accuse a politician of lying, because there are so many possible excuses for a lie. The speaker can say that the statement was partially true or that he/she had incorrect information or was telling a white lie for the audience's own good.

In this case, however, I think McCain's lie is as pure as they come. It's absolutely false, McCain must know that it is false, and he is telling the lie to deceive the American public so that they will make him president. Why can't a journalist ask "How do you expect people to have any trust in you when you are lying about Obama's health care program?"

UPDATE: Dean Baker makes the same point and asks why the press hasn't reported this.

1 comment:

Howard Yeh said...

I didn't see McCain's speech, but if this is a verbatim quote:

"His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor." [from McCain's speech]

I will second that it is not supported by any fact. It was likely made to rile up his base and sway undecideds. Obama's plan provides a federal plan only as a backstop to provide coverage. If you can otherwise afford it, you will continue on with your current private-market insurance. McCain's statement is exactly the kind of partisan, populist rhetoric that candidates make on the complex issue of health care reform. (Obama is guilty of that too. When he says "universal health care", his plan offers universal access to care, but not universal, free coverage - a misconception among many voters.)

This is exactly why I decided to launch HealthDecision '08 (http://decision.healthcare.com/obama-mccain/). People need a clear understanding of the facts for a functioning democracy to work. We've tried to do our part, at least on the topic of health care. As much as I we can serve as an arbiter of truth on this topic, we absolutely will.