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September 14th, 2009
06:31 AM ET

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Health care fact vs. fiction

Editor's Note: is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

Obama says preventive care saves money. It doesn't.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress on September 9th, 2009."]

President Barack Obama defended his health care plan in a speech to a joint session of Congress, promoting the benefits of reform for those who already have coverage.

One of those benefits, he said, is that insurers will be required to cover checkups and other preventive care.

"Insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies — because there’s no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse," Obama said. "That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

It may make sense and save lives, but does it save money? Experts say no.

The Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: Covering preventive care for everyone is a net cost

Boehner says abortion access was always a key goal for Obama health plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) speaks on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2009 in Washington, DC. "]

As a candidate, President Obama "declared that everyone deserves access to reproductive health care that includes abortion, and vowed that this 'right' would be at the heart of his health care reform plan if elected president."

-John Boehner on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 in a statement from the Minority Leader's office

The Truth-O-Meter says: TRUE


Read more: Obama's wording was coy, but Boehner's basically right

Boustany and other Republicans say health care plan would create 53 new government bureaucracies

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) on Capitol Hill February 6, 2007 in Washington, DC."]

The Democratic health care bill in the House would "create 53 new government bureaucracies."

-Charles Boustany on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 in response to President Obama's health care address to Congress

The Truth-O-Meter says: BARELY TRUE

Barely True

Read more: Not that many

Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Mark

    abd how much does two war, biridges to no where and everything else cost. Maybe we should spend less on bridges to nowhere and wars in countries that kill our own people and foreingers, and spend some of our money on a health insurance option and take care of sick and dying people here. We need to wake up and get our heads out of the sand, the insurance companies will never insure sick people.

    September 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  2. Mike Armstrong TX.

    How is this going to help the unemployd people that are looking for jobs and get turned down because they cant pass a physical are they going to be able to get help to pass the physical to obtain work.

    September 14, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  3. ronvan

    Health Care: I could go on for hours on how stupid this has gotten, but I will only make a comment on the "truth-o-meter saying that 'EXPERTS" say preventive care will not save money? If this is true?, then why the heck are we spending so much money pushing preventive care? Newspapers, TV, Computer, you find adds everywhere. Buy this, get that, and on & on. I guess this makes the argument for our military to "stop smoking" MUTE, as according to the "EXPERTS" to quit smoking will not save us any money on health care? If anything I am surprised that the tobacco companies haven't taken out major ads on this one, in support of the 'EXPERTS" statements, and the drug companies doing the same, saying this is not true.

    September 14, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  4. Dorothy Inman-Johnson

    Bill Adair's truth o'meter seems to be slanted in favor of the conservative position regularly. For example, he calls the conservative claim that the President's healthcare plan will create 53 new bureaucracies, barely true even though his needle is almost completely on the false side of the meter. He even admits the plan will not require 53, and a previous CNN report states that some of the "new" bureacracies Republicans point to administer the program already exist. So if the claim is not true, how does it get a barely true instead of a false or at least a misleading?! It either creates 53 new administrative agencies or it doesn't! If he was being impartial, that claim should have gotten a "pants on fire", or at a minimum a false.

    President Obama's statement that preventive healthcare saves money and lives was given a false on the truth O'Meter by Adair, referencing unsubstantiated reports making his claim impossible to verify, even though most studies show that preventive measures in health, juvenile justice, homelessness in the long term always saves money and lives because allowing the problems to become more serious costs so much more than treating the problem early. Adair admitted it was true that preventive healthcare saves lives. So, even by his standard used "liberally" to support the Republican view, the result should have been a half true, not false.

    I have no faith in Adair's fairness on the truth O'Meter, based on the favoritism shown by him to Republican view points. With the outrageous claims being made by Republicans and the Right Wing these days, they should be earning "pants on fire" every day. Instead, he goes back to a comment Obama made before he was President to find a way to make his proposal as President that abortion will not be covered by his health proposal false. Wouldn't it have been less blatant partisanship to look at the actual proposals under consideration by Congress now and see if there is justification for the Republican claim? Of course not. That would have made too much sense.

    TV talking heads regularly under-estimate the intelligence of their viewer to actually think and evaluate what they say. You must be comparing yourself to FOX.

    Bill Adair is full of it, and so is CNN if you continue this partsan bull as though it is real fact checking. There's nothing factual about what Adair does!

    September 14, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  5. Kevin

    If you are going to mention any new parts of govt created, you should mention when those thing already exist in the private businesses, or if they don't. Example: Would govt have people dedicated to how to not pay claims? How much energy do private insurance companies put in that effort?

    September 14, 2009 at 6:42 am |