Obama’s Inconvenient Truths

NRCC - Making her first testimony to Congress in nearly a year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday admitted to a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing that her department had used double-counting to mask Medicare cuts under ObamaCare:

“‘There is an issue here on the budget because your own actuary has said you can’t double-count,’ said Shimkus. ‘You can’t count — they’re attacking Medicare on the CR when their bill, your law, cut $500 billion from Medicare.’

“He continued: ‘Then you’re also using the same $500 billion to what? Say your funding health care. Your own actuary says you can’t do both. […] What’s the $500 billion in cuts for? Preserving Medicare or funding the health-care law?’

“Sebelius’ reply? ‘Both.’” (Amanda Carey, “HHS Secretary Sebelius Admits to Double-Counting in ObamaCare Budget,” The Daily Caller, 3/4/2011)

Sebelius’ admission reflects a new development in the 112th Congress—as Obama Cabinet officials for the first time face real scrutiny from Congress, many of them are being forced to voice unpleasant facts about Obama policies. The result has been the gradual leak of inconvenient truths about Obama policies that the White House and Democrats in Congress kept covered up for two years:

PRESIDENT’S BUDGET IS “UNSUSTAINABLE,” SAYS TREASURY SECRETARY TIM GEITHNER:

GEITHNER: “Sir absolutely, it is a[n] excessively high interest burden, it’s unsustainable.”

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS: “Well it’s your plan, for the ten years. I mean that’s the one the President has submitted. That’s the one he’s asked us to vote on…That’s your numbers, off your budget.”

GEITHNER: “Senator, you’re absolutely right, that with the President’s plan, even if Congress were to enact it, and even if Congress were to hold to it…we would still be left with a very large interest burden and unsustainable obligations over time…I completely agree with you.” (Geithner Remarks to Senate Budget Committee, 2/17/2011)

OBAMACARE WILL COST 800,000 JOBS, SAYS CBO DIRECTOR DOUG ELMENDORF:

(VIDEO AVAILABLE HERE)

“Chairman [Paul] Ryan: “[I]t’s been argued...that the new health care law will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?”

“Director [Douglas] Elmendorf : “Yes.”...

“Rep. [John] Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we'll -- and Dr. Elmendorf -- and we'll continue this conversation right now. First on health care, before I get to -- before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe -- or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there's 160 million full-time people working in '20-'21. That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in '20-'21. Is that correct?

“Director Elmendorf: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that...employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000.” (Jeffrey H. Anderson, “CBO Director Says ObamaCare Would Reduce Employment by 800,000 Workers,” The Weekly Standard, 2/10/2011)

CENTRAL OBAMACARE PROMISES UNTRUE, ACCORDING TO MEDICARE SCOREKEEPER RICHARD FOSTER:

“The landmark legislation probably won't hold costs down, and it won't let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates.…

“Foster was asked by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., 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 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, I would say ‘not true in all cases.’” (“Medicare Official Doubts Health Law Savings,” Associated Press, 1/26/2011)

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