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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Obama Goes Negative and Lies

After months of preaching against negative campaigning, Senator Obama has decided to go negative, running an attack ad misrepresenting Senator Clinton's health care plan. The negative spot is currently airing throughout Pennsylvania. From the Clinton Campaign:


1. The Obama ad claims that Hillary’s “plan forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it.” Health policy expert Ken Thorpe reviewed this claim and found it to be false. Under Hillary's plan, everyone will be able to afford coverage.


"Ken Thorpe, a health-policy expert at Emory University who has advised all three major Democrats, said he ran cost estimates for the Clinton plan at the Clinton campaign's request, and found there should be enough money to make insurance affordable for all." [Wall Street Journal, 12/5/07]


2. The advertisement also claims that that Hillary's plan would make people who fail to enroll "pay a penalty." Sen. Obama's own plan would fine parents who fail to enroll their children and he has said he will consider imposing penalties on people who don't enroll.



Hillary would consider a range of ideas, including automatic enrollment, to ensure everyone is covered. Sen. Obama's plan, would, experts agree, leave 15 million people out.


3. The ad also claims that Sen. Obama's plan reduces costs more than Hillary's plan. There is no citation for this claim because it is false. Hillary's plan has more aggressive cost cutting measures and has more generous subsides. Because Sen. Obama's plan leaves 15 million people out, it would drive costs up, because everyone would have to subsidize emergency care for the uninsured.

7 comments:

tom dresslar said...

Bosnia Bullet Lady's plan will leave much more than 15 million folks out of luck because it will never pass Congress. Plus, the 15 million figure is bogus, an invention of "experts" on Clinton's side of the debate. Her plan, by definition, would require people to get slapped with some kind of penalty. Otherwise, what's the point of saying it's a mandate. Being Hillary, she just doesn't want to own up to that part of her plan. And if anyone really believes every uninsured person in the country will be able to afford health care under her plan, I've got some stock in McCain Ethical Enterprises for sale.

Speaking of lies, how about Clinton's ad that castigates Obama for taking more than $200,000 from oil and energy industry sources, without mentioning she has taken more than $300,000?

On an unrelated note, do we really want someone answering the phone at 3 a.m. who's prepared to obliterate Iran?

On a more immediate note, I see another Ohio coming on in PA.

redstateblue said...

N8,

I must say that the title of this post is quite perplexing - "Obama Goes Negative and Lies."

It clearly leaves no room for interpretation. Obama went negative. Obama lied. Yet, reading the post, I see no evidence of either.

First, what rational person would consider highlighting the negative aspects of a candidate's health care plan, "going negative".

Now, you may not agree with his assessments, but to say it's "going negative" is plainly ludicrous. Pick yourself up off the fainting couch and let's engage in some substantive policy discussions.

As an aside, your claim takes on ever more ridiculous and partisan tone, considering HRC's ads in Pennsylvania, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAXucMY7Dvk

On to the fisking of your post:

First ...

1. The Obama ad claims that Hillary’s “plan forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it.” Health policy expert Ken Thorpe reviewed this claim and found it to be false. Under Hillary's plan, everyone will be able to afford coverage.

"Ken Thorpe, a health-policy expert at Emory University who has advised all three major Democrats, said he ran cost estimates for the Clinton plan at the Clinton campaign's request, and found there should be enough money to make insurance affordable for all." [Wall Street Journal, 12/5/07]

--

I really don't even see any merit to the evidence that you present to refute it.

"...there should be enough money to make insurance affordable for all."

That's behind your assertion that Obama lied when he said that Hillary’s “plan forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it.”

It doesn't refute the claim at all. In any way. It just says that insurance "should be" affordable. Well, what if Thorpe's vague claim/wish doesn't work out? You still have to buy insurance don't you? That's what a mandate is, and that's her plan.

Next ...

2. The advertisement also claims that that Hillary's plan would make people who fail to enroll "pay a penalty." Sen. Obama's own plan would fine parents who fail to enroll their children and he has said he will consider imposing penalties on people who don't enroll.

Hillary would consider a range of ideas, including automatic enrollment, to ensure everyone is covered. Sen. Obama's plan, would, experts agree, leave 15 million people out.

--

"Hillary would consider a range of ideas."

Let's stick to the actual plan, OK? Can we agree on that?

The fact is, Obama said that under her current plan, if you fail to enroll, you will pay a penalty.

Are you saying that is a lie? Probably not, right?

Look, you can wish and dream and consider all you want, but for the people of America who are uninsured or under-insured, only the facts matter.

And last ...

3. The ad also claims that Sen. Obama's plan reduces costs more than Hillary's plan. There is no citation for this claim because it is false. Hillary's plan has more aggressive cost cutting measures and has more generous subsides.
Because Sen. Obama's plan leaves 15 million people out, it would drive costs up, because everyone would have to subsidize emergency care for the uninsured.

--

"Because Sen. Obama's plan leaves 15 million people out, it would drive costs up, because everyone would have to subsidize emergency care for the uninsured."

First of all, where's your citation here? Or, even a cursory explanation of your theory?

Now, I disagree rather strongly with your assertion, because I am strongly in favor of a national health care system as the most efficient and humane way of dealing with this problem, but I would not call it a lie. And, I think it rather absurd for you to pin that word on Obama just because he doesn't agree with your learned assessment.

In the future, if you're going to call someone a liar, you really should make a reasonable case. This evidence presented in this post doesn't even rise to the level of "spin", much less prevarication.

redstateblue said...

One more thing that might be helpful to you in future assessments, N8.

http://tinyurl.com/5z4wot

This is a what a lie looks and sounds like.

solidarity said...

I suppose the lie is one of omission or intentional confusion, or maybe of accusing his opponent of doing something wrong when his own plan does the same thing, without disclosing that extremely relevant fact. Maybe that doesn't technically qualify as a lie in your book, RedStateBlue, but it does in mine.

1. It is not disputable that BO's plan leaves out millions and millions of Americans because it will not mandate coverage for all of us. Those least able or unable to afford the cost of insurance under his plan would not seek or get insurance. Who do you think will pay for their health care in an emergency situation or even in those non-emergency cases where care is necessary? Well, if the current system offers any indication, you and I will through increased health care costs and increased taxes, local and otherwise.

We have the perfect example of that here in Austin where we have a public hospital funded in large part by local taxes. By law it is required to offer care and aid to anyone who walks through the emergency room door, whether there is an emergency or not. And, when that person cannot pay, the tax payers wind up paying through higher taxes.

Those who elect not to be be covered , or who cannot afford to be covered, under BO's plan will get sick and will need health care; and we all will pay for it one way or another just as we do now. To argue otherwise is pure folly. You know, sometimes the truth is the truth without a golden citation to the mass media.

2. BO's ad casts aspersion upon and denigrates Clinton's plan because it mandates coverage and payment for that coverage. However, it is not in dispute that his plan mandates coverage and payment for that coverage for all children. Who would BO want us to believe is least able to afford health care insurance, the wealthy yuppies of the world with no children. No, it is the middle class (and below) families of our country.

So, in the end, BO's plan will mandate payments from families who currently cannot afford health care, and allow those who are adults who can afford it opt out of the system. Does that make sense to anyone? BO's plan mandates coverage and payment from American's least able to pay for it; and how will he enforce that? He will make them pay for it even if they cannot afford it; the same as Clinton's Plan.

Then, is BO's ad on this point a "lie" or just supremely "deceptive?" You decide, either way, he reveals himself as just another typical Washington politician playing the same games with the truth as any other Washington politician.

redstateblue said...

solidarity,

Seriously, you need to read the original post and BO's quote.

You make reasonable arguments on the merits of his health care plan, as opposed to HRC's. Points that I agree with, I might add. Unfortunately, that's not what the post claimed. It said, very plainly, that he lied (about her plan).

Now, when someone uses these tactics themselves (as N8 clearly did), in an attempt to highlight a perceived lie, that, I think is worthy of mention. And, that's all I did.

It wasn't a post about policy, it was a post about ethics and honesty.

As for this:

"Then, is BO's ad on this point a "lie" or just supremely "deceptive?" You decide, either way, he reveals himself as just another typical Washington politician playing the same games with the truth as any other Washington politician."

My reply is simple. He, clearly, did not lie, nor was he deceptive (at least in the remark that N8 posted. I'll have to go watch the entire ad later). He merely highlighted the fact that she is for mandatory coverage, while he isn't. Pretty simple man. Don't really understand why you and N8 can't process that.

It's a simple policy difference.

Personally, I think that they're both bad plans. It's obvious to any sentient human being that we need a national health care plan.

redstateblue said...

One more thing, solidarity. When you say this:

"Those who elect not to be be covered , or who cannot afford to be covered, under BO's plan will get sick and will need health care; and we all will pay for it one way or another just as we do now. To argue otherwise is pure folly. You know, sometimes the truth is the truth without a golden citation to the mass media."

Are you saying that, even without knowing what the real costs/payments will be for EITHER plan, you KNOW that HRC's will be cheaper for the country?

THAT seems like the "folly" you confer upon my statement.

solidarity said...

redstateblue

I looked at some of the Obama ads from PA on health care again. The ad is deceptive.

He is attacking Clinton's plan by saying that Clinton forces people to pay for participating in the plan even if they can't afford it, and fines them if they don't. He then immediately follows that by saying that he believes that the point is not that people don't want health care but that they can't afford it. He then speaks briefly about his plan cutting costs.

Clearly, he is attacking Clinton's plan for something that his own plan does, without mentioning that his own plan forces people who don't want or can't afford insurance to pay for it under his plan, that is families who don't want it or can't afford it for their children.

I believe that is deceptive.