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That's a Lie, Mr. President

Shikha Dalmia
September 11, 2009, 10:28am

Obama said during his Wednesday night primte-time speechathon that those who accuse him of engineering a big government takeover of health care are lying. But it is President Obama who is lying. As I point out in a Forbes column:

In the plan he laid out Wednesday night, the government will control every aspect of the medical transaction. It will tell patients when, what and how much coverage they must buy; it will tell sellers when, what and how much coverage they must sell.

How so? He'll mandate "everyone do their part" by buying coverage. He didn't say how, a question he posed repeatedly to Hillary.

But his buddy Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has some rather well-developed ideas on that score. Baucus has proposed a bill that would force the uninsured to pay fines on a sliding scale of income, with those making 300% of the poverty level having to cough up as much as $3,800 a year. In short, Americans would have to pay Uncle Sam for the privilege of remaining uninsured. If there were truth-in-labeling laws for Congress, it would be required to call this bill TonySopranoCare.

And he'll:

ban insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions--tantamount to forcing fire insurance companies to write coverage on a burning building. He would also prohibit insurers from putting any limits on the coverage they offer and cap what they can require patients to pay out-of-pocket.

If this is not a government takeover of health care, then Tony Soprano is just a decent, hard-working businessman.

Read the whole thing here.


Shikha Dalmia is Senior Analyst


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