Today's Washington Post has an interview with President Obama that doesn't question any of his answers. Take what he says about the health care bill bulldozing towards its Christmas Eve vote:
"Nowhere has there been a bigger gap between the perceptions of compromise and the realities of compromise than in the health-care bill," Obama said. "Every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill."
In listing those priorities, he cited ... estimated savings of more than $1 trillion over the next two decades...
We have been through this before. As the Congressional Budget Office has said, those savings only materialize if Congress goes through with scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, cuts that Congress has suspended year after year. The House has already passed a bill suspending the payments . What would be the "estimated savings" of the health care bill when those Medicare cuts are suspended again? There would be no savings. There would be a loss of $87 Billion .
Since the Washington Post didn't bother to hold the president to his word, Reason editor Matt Welch does it:
The president challenged all of us to comb through his 2008 campaign promises on health care...OK, kids, let's go look for what he said on the campaign about health care reform! Here's a good one:
"I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."
I must have missed that C-SPAN broadcast.
Welch also points out that Obama promised to allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices...and re-import cheaper drugs from countries with price controls, like Canada. Both of those promises were broken in private negotiations (not open to the public -- let alone broadcast on C-SPAN) with the pharmaceutical lobby.
... It's like he doesn't expect us to check, or something...He said that there wasn't any "gap" between his campaign promises and the final result, but it turns out there were several, as detectable by the most cursory Google search. He said "every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill," but it turns out they're not.