Republican state Senator Nancy Barto is the chairman of the Senate Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform Committee, which would make you think Barto knows a thing or two about how health care works.
After taking a look at her comments on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- "Obamacare" -- it looks like she may know only one thing or two about how health care works.
When we noticed she used the phrase "government takeover of health care" -- dubbed "Lie of the Year" by the fact-checkers at PolitiFact -- we checked out some of the other claims she made about the law, and it's not too factual for the chair of a health care committee.
You can read her entire statement at the bottom of this post, but we'll list out the not-so-true statements she made about the law that have already been debunked by PolitiFact:
- "Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a President and Congress who understand the answer to rising health care costs is not, and never will be, Bigger Government and more government control."
As we noted, the law's label of being a "government takeover of health care" was already given the gold medal of political lies by PolitiFact. The fact-checkers labeled it so outlandish that its readers found it to be a bigger lie than Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's claim that President Obama was spending $200 million a day on a trip to India.
- "A $500 billion tax increase."
That claim earned a "half true" rating, which would also imply that it's half false. According to the fact-checkers' analysis, some of the taxes in calculating that $500 billion aren't new -- thus, not contributing toward the "increase" -- and the total tax bill is expected to hit as high as $465 billion, which is close anyway.
- "In fact, this is the largest tax increase imposed on America in our nation's history."
"False," PolitiFact says, with a nice comparison based on the estimates.
"The health care-related tax increases are smaller than the tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson," the ruling says. "And they are significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase passed in 1961."
- "It makes it harder for small businesses to hire workers and expand."
This exact claim wasn't checked by PolitiFact, but it did check a claim that the law "has hampered hiring by driving up business costs." Sounds similar, and it's "mostly false." It may have "some elements of truth," the fact-checkers rule, but there are "too few actual lost jobs or slowdowns attributable to health reform" to claim that's a fact.
- "It limits Americans' choice in healthcare and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship and it creates trillions in new government spending we cannot afford, while slashing Medicare."
The line about intruding on the doctor-patient relationship is questionable, according to one of PolitiFact's checks, but the line about "slashing Medicare" earns Barto another "false" from the fact-checkers.
Medicare spending is projected to go up by more than $400 billion from 2009 to 2020 under the Affordable Care Act.
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Not exactly what you'd hope for from the chair of a health care committee, huh?
Barto's statement -- which we'll reproduce below -- does have at least one truth ("it was sold to us expressly as NOT being a tax"), but the rest is mostly rhetoric:
Stopping Obamacare is now up to the American people. The Court's decision to uphold the mandate forcing Americans to purchase government-approved insurance based on its being a tax is disappointing to say the least, as it was sold to us expressly as NOT being a tax. In fact, this is the largest tax increase imposed on America in our nation's history. A $500 billion tax increase. And it's only the beginning.
Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a President and Congress who understand the answer to rising health care costs is not, and never will be, Bigger Government and more government control.
ObamaCare is hurting the economy and must be repealed. Even though it has been held constitutional, it is still bad law. Healthcare costs continue to increase exponentially - despite the web of new government rules and regulations. It makes it harder for small businesses to hire workers and expand. It limits Americans' choice in healthcare and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship and it creates trillions in new government spending we cannot afford, while slashing Medicare.
Only full repeal can end this damage and stop things from getting worse.
America needs real health care reform, and that means repealing ObamaCare.
We must enact commonsense, step-by-step reforms based on the free market and not dictated by the government. We must protect Americans' access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. This is possible and Americans know it.