American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
November 23rd, 2009
05:50 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.

Boehner claims that the Senate health care bill includes an abortion fee

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="House Republican leader John Boehner claims that the Senate health care bill includes an abortion fee."]

Republicans have found another flaw in the health care bill: They say Democrats are trying to impose a monthly abortion fee on anyone enrolled in the public health care option.

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) massive, 2,074-page bill would levy a new 'abortion premium' fee on Americans in the government-run plan," wrote House Republican Leader John Boehner on the GOP's Web site.

The House version of the health care bill included an amendment promoted by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., to prevent abortion from being offered through the public plan, as well as additional restrictions for insurers who sell on the exchange.

But the Senate version of health care reform represents a clean slate and includes a provision similar to one added by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., to the original version of the House legislation that would prevent the government from spending federal dollars on abortion procedures.

The Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: There's no "fee" required by the bill

The public option was not discussed much during the campaign

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Joe Lieberman said the public option was not discussed much during the campaign."]

Democrats hoping to pass health care legislation through the Senate need 60 votes to begin consideration of the bill and, ultimately, to pass it. That means every Democrat and the two independents who generally vote with them need to approve.

One of those independents is Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman favors health care reform but opposes the public option. He told Politico that he was keeping "all my options open" when it comes to votes on health care.

He said the public option has only recently become a key part of Democratic plans for a health care overhaul.

"It's classic politics of our time that if you look at the campaign last year, presidential, you can't find a mention of public option," Lieberman said. "It was added after the election as a part of what we normally consider health insurance reform — insurance market reforms, cover people, cover people who are not covered."

Politico pointed out, correctly, that Lieberman was wrong about the public option being added after the election. It was part of Obama's plans released publicly during the campaign.

But we wanted to check his statement that during the 2008 presidential election, "you can't find a mention of public option."

The Truth-O-Meter says: MOSTLY TRUE

Mostly True

Read more: A few mentions, but not many

Hatch says Senate health care bill is longer than 'War and Peace'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Orrin Hatch says the Senate health care bill is longer than "War and Peace.""]

They are both epic works of literature. One begins like this:

"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist—I really believe he is Antichrist—I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave,' as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you—sit down and tell me all the news."

The other starts like this:

"Part A of title XXVII of the Public Health Service 10 Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg et seq.) is amended (1) by striking the part heading and inserting the following: 13 ‘‘PART A—INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP MARKET REFORMS’’; (2) by redesignating sections 2704 through 2707 as sections 2725 through 2728, respectively (3) by redesignating sections 2711 through 2713 as sections 2731 through 2733, respectively . . . "

The first passage comes from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. The second comes from Harry Reid's health care bill. Republicans have been comparing them to make the point that the Democratic plan is big and will lead to a bloated bureaucracy. In a Nov. 19, 2009, news release, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said that the 2,074-page bill was "longer than Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace."

We decided to see if he was right.

The Truth-O-Meter says: BARELY TRUE

Barely True

Read more: Health bill has more pages but not as many words

Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Don

    Healthcare, deathcare, obamacare, no matter what you call it, it is nothing more than a power grab that will do nothing to improve the health care system that we already have. To save money, stop the graft, fraud etc already existing and don't wait for a power grabbing bill to be passed.

    December 8, 2009 at 12:23 am |
  2. J Grant

    When our Country becomes a 3rd world country, all the extreme
    left wing librals will realize our government debt is serious, and we cannot afford every new program.
    Also, Seniors have paid into Medicare all their lives and
    STEALING in the form of Medicare cuts to start a new program
    is not logical.These Medicare cuts will affect your parents and someday you. I am sure you will have a different point of view
    as you become older and wiser.

    December 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |

    how about some facts im on medicare i like it but it cost 97.50 per month that is deducted from my monthly check of 744.00 i also pay for supplemental ins thru my husbands retiree plan of 313.00 per month so it not free as most young people belive do you know how much is deducted each paycheck for medicare taxes for your future ill bet not would you conside doubleing that figure IF you could have a public option plan for insurance is this too complicated for you I am 67 years old and yes i still work at the same job i been at for 28 years no pension or benfits or insurance small co

    December 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  4. inkdog

    Colonial American and like minded:
    I am making a simple observation and nothing more. It would appear to me that you would trust “the government” to STARTand conduct a VERY costly war. Then explain to me why you seem to be adverse to that same entity running health care. When in truth the government already is running health care, examples abound but a few come to mind. Doctors, dentists, nurses, and anyone that is in contact with a person’s body is licensed, by whom, the government. Have you ever heard of the FDA, or the CDC? How do you square against mandatory vaccinations of school children against a wide range of diseases? Remember when anyone in your or your children’s class had whooping cough, I don’t. I’m afraid your call to “government control of our freedoms” is a red herring feed to you buy a somewhat less than reliable source of information

    December 3, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  5. rober/reb

    This is just too much Government & Goverment Motors now to insurances, Now he wants that ! You people want to live free I don't think you do! We the people are under assult by a crazed socalist!
    I thought people in high places worked for We the people well, it doesn't seem so,!

    December 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  6. amy-nc

    Maybe I'm naive, but I don't get it. I live in NC, I have a child that was born with a heart defect. We didn't live in NC when he was born, but my then-insurance covered every dime of his . After we moved to NC we searched for coverage that would be adequate for him, knowing he would be forced to have surgery again eventually. Through my search I was told that every state is required to establish one insurance company that offers coverage to persons with pre-existing conditions. Without doubt, we have to pay for the coverage, but I don't see the problem with that. Why should I be allowed to pay the same premium for my son as perfectly healthy Joe Blow pays? All the average Republican (and maybe I'm really a libertarian) is asking is that people take responsibility for their own lives. Admit it, we all live way beyond our means. The reason people do not have savings has nothing to do with low wages or high health insurance premiums. It has everything to do with our growing sense of entitlement, we think that because we work, we are entitled to flat screen tvs, high dollar clothes and big houses, nevermind that our incomes do not support our living. I have read every single post thus far, and for all of you who proclaim that health care reform as it stands now is the greatest thing since sliced bread, I ask you this: How many of you have had the time to sit down and read all 2000 pages of the bill? I personally have not, and so have no reason to take a stand one way or the other. But, our legal and political system was founded on the premise that the people would actively participate. I think the problem with a 2000 page bill is not that the oh-so educated people on Capitol Hill don't have time to read it, but that the people that the bill ACTUALLY affects don't have the time to read it, and that is the real travesty. We have become a nation full of fools, willing to let a bunch of idiots (Democrat and Republican alike) make huge decisions without our active input. So, the next time you want to hurl an insult at those few who are willing to protest against this bill, make sure you are willing and prepared to take the time to actively lobby for it and provide the actual facts and statistics to rebut the opposition.

    November 26, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Kelley

    I work with an insurance brokerage company – I'm really a little confused about all the "massive profits" the insurance carriers enjoy, the ones everyone rants about. Their profit margin isn't any bigger than any other industry. Their bigwigs are coportate gluttons as in any other sector of the finance industry, but the actual companies aren't swimming in your premium dollars.

    That said, there's a lot of unfair and corrupt practices that need to be addressed, and a lot of wasteful spending that could be corrected. The problem isn't that we don't have a public option (I hope we do someday, but I think we need a better infrastructure in place to support it), it's that private insurance is too selective and too expensive. What happened to the early stages of the bill, which focused on these issues?

    And for everyone who keeps harping on the fact that "we already have government run healthcare," Pat's right, you're absolutely naive. CMS can't handle the cost seniors (and that number will more than double in the next ten years!) and the truly poverty-stricken, and the VA can't get vital medical necessities to its members within an acceptable timeframe. What on earth makes anyone think the government is, at this time, capable of handling a public option?

    I don't think we're asking to much to have the glaring cracks in the system fixed before building a new giant structure on top of it. I want to see change. I want to be able to afford my monthly premiums, and I want anyone who's working – or trying to find work – able to do the same. But I would rather have us move forward a few baby steps toward real, sustainable change, than leap forward and fall on our butts.

    November 25, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  8. Pat

    Medicare is going bankrupt. I don't think Colonial American will have to worry about any future claim to it.
    And then you brought up the Veteran's benefits. My dad has been dealing with the VA for almost a year now, and it took him 3 months just to get a pair of glasses. Three months!
    You are living in a dream world, Doug. Wake up!

    November 24, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  9. Doug

    Colonial American should drop his current or future claim to Medicare, Veteran's, or government-provided healthcare benefits....but we all know he won't....his advice is for others only

    In the healthcare issue the biggest conservative naysayers won't even remotely walk their own talk- I haven't seen a single conservative publicly destroy their medicare, VA, or government healthcare benefits cards and proclaim their intent to buy private insurance out-of-pocket

    November 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  10. EJ in Metro Houston

    why doesn't the GOP come out and admit that they don't want ANY kind of healthcare reform, no matter what the costs? They only use fear tactics and come up with half truths or total untruths that can put terror into their base and other right wingers because the tea bag bunch and the right wing radio talk show followers don't have enough sense to research things for themselves and find out what the situation is really about. Of course the proposed bill is not perfect, won't agree with what everyone wants, and could be worked out hopefully, but at least this is farther than we've ever gotten I can recall to having some type of healthcare reform. The GOP and some "blue-dawg Democrats" have their hands in the insurance cookie jar elbow deep and don't want to give up that funding. It's all about money, but then again isn't it always?

    November 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  11. Bugl3t

    Funny how many people don't realize that "the public option" is simply a government SPONSORED "group" that can use its large numbers to negotiate a discount on insurance.

    The health care bill is attempting to a) remove Insurance companies' ability to exclude you (or anyone) based on pre-existing conditions or total cost of a particular affliction and b) control the prices of a policy.

    It allows a single person, family or small business to get the SAME price structures for the SAME services as a large corporation or... someone like Congress.

    It's not rocket science, but apparently, the general decline of our population to make a logical assumption based on critical reasoning seems to have disappeared with the skillsets that allow our children to do basic mathematic calculations. Or read comprehensively.

    As one who has traveled extensively to 4 different continents, I can tell you that so-called "socialist" healthcare in places like Canada or France is far superior to what we have here - and everyone is covered. As one facing the prospect of a liver transplant without health insurance, I can say firmly that I wish we HAD that single-payer system.

    At least then my taxes would be spent on something useful, instead of war, bombs, and killing.

    Just saying....

    November 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  12. jb

    The bill recently passed by the senate proposes to add 21 million recipients to medicaid.

    Did you know that the United States tax payer already funds the healthcare for 100 million Americans now with Medicare / Medicaid / military personnell / and select governement employees.

    Didnt know that did you?

    Did you also know that 38-40% of "working" Americans have a neutral or negative annual tax obligation to the federal government? This means that 38-40% of Americans dont pay any federal income tax and some even get money from the federal government.

    Didnt know that did you?

    These health care bills being pushed are not the answer.

    Here is the answer:

    Tort Reform – Provide liability "tort" reform legislation to eliminate undue costs of frivolous lawsuits and practice of defensive medicine from doctors.

    Entitlement Reform – Federally Investigate and Reform Medicare and Medicaid to root out fraud and waste.

    Eliminate Denials of Coverage – Restrict insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, remove lifetime caps on coverage.

    Access/Choice – Allow all "Americans" access to buy insurance coverage/policies across state lines.

    Affordability / Access – Allow American Consumers to Pool together to create larger buying pools to take advantage of bulk pricing and distributed risk.

    Portability – Make health insurance portable. American consumers can take their insurance with them,
    regardless of employment status.

    Digital Medical Records – Secure Portable Digital Medical records for all Americans. Tie this to the Health Verification system card.

    Citizenship Verification System – Provide a national health verification system to insure that only "Americans" can utilize our non-emergency healthcare system.

    Emergency Services Mandate- Mandate that all Americans must have a basic "Emergency Services" insurance policy that covers Emergency visits.

    Catastrophic Health Insurance – Allow Americans, the "untouchables", the young and healthy, to purchase minimum coverage policies that cover them in the event of a catastrophic injury or illness.

    Freedom of Choice – Do not mandate employers and/or individuals have Full health insurance coverage.

    Prevention and Wellness – Create a mandatory classroom curriculum for all students from K-12 that educates and promotes healthier lifestyle, disease prevention, and self-wellness practices. If we need to bend the curve on cost, then we need to bend the curve on our own citizens state of health. Start younger and the next generation will save billions of dollars on their healthcare costs.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  13. john raucci

    The insurance companies will probably defeat the bill or water it down so much that they will live in the profit zone for decades more. Until the situation becomes so bad we middle class citizens riot, I don't see significant change. There are too many misinformed people too easily led astray by politicians that can lead us to war in 3 months but can't get us health care reform in decades of debate. The only answer is for people to get involved and educate themselves.

    John, TN

    November 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  14. Royce

    RE: Objective Thinking's response of "Either it's true or false, not barely true"

    Read the entire article, and you will see the author's OBJECTIVE THINKING of how there are many ways to measure the length of a book. Using number of pages vs number of words.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  15. Skeptic

    Taking the example of J S, does public education offer more choice? or does it restrict any education but the public to the extremely wealthy.. and yes, the public education system has confiscated schools for its own use.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  16. steve

    Come on Republicans! The Medicare drug bill you rammed down our throats was well over a 1000 pages and all it did was guarentee big profits for for the drug companies. Now you endlessly whine about the 2000 + pages in the health care bill. Hipocrits.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  17. Karen

    Sally Pipes said that if we include a public option, it will not be long before we have a single-payer system. Would Politifact agree this is "barely true."

    November 23, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  18. Jane/Seattle

    If these politicians can't look good with actual truths all they need do is introduce fiction and hope certain percentages of the ignorant will believe them! Socialism:
    1. Taxpayer costs of free healthcare for already rich career politicians and dependants.
    2. Taxpayers being forced to fund wealthy, criminal banks (Sub-Priming even those with good credit) that are defrauding us all.
    3. Tax loopholes for corporations in favor with members of the government-Corporate Welfare for the already rich! (Blackwater, Xe, Halliburton, Carlyle Group (Daddy Bush), Monsanto, GE (Ron Reagan), KBR, and many more. Direct conflicts of Interest (Dick Cheney), Donald Rumsfeld.
    4. Taxpayers forced to fund WARs of Choice as Contractors rake in Billions and engage in massive fraud! And many more.

    Where is the help for Main Street? Where is our representation in government? Why do you not change these laws to truly create EQUALITY AND REAL FREEDOMS! WE are sick of you and your Criminal Enterprise you all call Government! Term Limits would correct this issue, but how to get these leeches to pass what clearly needs done. healthcare Bills: Just more Obfuscation to fool the Masses who have been sold into servitude for the Rich man's Governance! Peace and thanks for Nothing!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  19. Chris D.

    These college educated, doctorate holding professionals are being very disingenuous.......Senators act like they've never seen a huge bill before.......To act as if they don't posess the intellect to read this exhaustive bill is pathetic....I bet there are other bills that have passed, in congress throughout history, that were just as big......
    Actually the length of the bill shows that there is much detail in the proposal.......I remember when GWB, wanted to start TARP last winter, and the legislation was only two pages long signing off a trillion dollars to Wall St.
    People looked at that like it was an insult to pass a bill w/ no details, involved. They were forced to rewrite a more elaborate bill....
    So what's the problem now?!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  20. SIDNEY P

    How can we call ourselves a free people when HealthCare is an essential part of being free. What most of the Bone heads who dont want this work cant realize is this is partly the reason why the economy is so bad. Think of all those worker who dont show for work because they have to care for a person who cant seek treatment. Think of how your children are in school with sick kids and love them to the point were contact could cause your child to get sick. Think of that person in your office that keeps choking and caughing getting you sick. THink of the higher ups in your company having to make a decision to let good people go because there are alot of sick people causing premiums to go up. Think of how good your healthcare is until you need it for yourself. Why is this even an issue about a public option, it been there for years and you finally have a problem with it. Medicare ( A. B. C. and Part D) are the largest public options and have been operating for years. Think about it WAR is not the problem is the 82% of GDP that go to Healthcare that needs to be reign in-

    November 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  21. papagoose

    To WA Resident: The reason you hear it over and over is the Repubs are too stupid to think for themselves. They are told "government run" so they are against it. How about "death panels". What a bunch of idiots.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  22. trying to be reasonable in West Virginia

    I'll endorse, a NON-PARTISAN, Pulitzer prize-winning organization. They'll call ANYBODY a "pants-on-fire" liar, from Limbaugh to Obama when the occasion warrants. Good for them.

    But boys and girls, read the articles, not just the headlines. You will actually understand two things better: 1) why they made their decision (paying attention, Objective Thinking??); 2) lots more about the statements they're evaluating. What a concept!

    For the record, while there's plenty of disinformation being circulated about the health care issue coming from all quarters, a majority of the disinformation that responds to is coming from right-wing and/or GOP sources. Hey, I'm a centrist and will tell the partisans from either party to go push a big chain, so don't blame me. Just check out the website.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  23. Mike

    To the "colonial american". Government control of our freedoms? What freedom do we have when we cannot chose the doctor we want to see? I have to chose from a list of acceptable doctors in my "network". If I go to a doctor outside of my network, that costs me extra. Recently, I went in to have blood work done. I haven't heard back from my doctor. I have to make another appointment to go in and get my results. That will cost me extra because I have a co-pay to pay for every visit. Does that sound like freedom to you? My insurance premiums are just under $500 per month this year, guaranteed to go up in 2010 and services will been cut and more restrictions will take place. Does that sound like freedom to you?

    Lastly, everyone wake up and stop listening to all this rhetoric. Ask yourself two easy questions. First, who stands to gain if Universal Health Care is passed. The president? I think not, he will be covered for life no matter if we're covered or not. Second question, who stands to gain if UHC doesn't pass? That's easy, the insurance giants that are fighting tooth and nail to defeat any kind of change.

    We are supposed to be a world leader...thee super power yet we cannot even provide anything more than third world quality health care for our people. As the greatest country on Earth, I think we deserve better....don't you?

    November 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Sandra, Atlanta

    What really amazes is that many people think they have control now of their health care. I am with UHC and they 1) control the doctors I can see, 2) use panels within UHC to determine what the best treatment options are (remember the horror expressed by having an independent panel offer guidance on best health treatments) – this was actually on the UHC's website, 3) that they don't deny treatment.
    You can guarantee that the panel who looks at the most successful treatment has one thought in mind....profits!!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Fighter

    Honestly I am glad to see so many logical responses to this article. I'm so tired of republicans espousing an ancient fear of anything remotely socialist. Let me know when this bill is passed, then maybe they can start talking about whether or not I can marry the man I love.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  26. jg in ce

    You people that are pointing out all of the government run agencies are digging yourself a hole. Are any of these agencies not in financial trouble? Are any of them self sustaining? No, not without your taxes. IF you are content to pay more of your paycheck to support everyone else, go ahead and support this bill. If you are tired of paying into the tax plan so others who do not can mooch off you, dont support it. Its not a dem or repub thing. Its a tax thing. I want to keep my paycheck and spend it on what I want to spend it on. Thats how an economy should work.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  27. DJ in TX

    I would like to see one, just one Republican lawmaker actually quantify what they mean by "government takeover" of health care. The bill states nothing about running the insurance companies. It doesn't tell doctors what they can or can not do. It DOES say if you like your current policy, you keep it. So please tell me GOP, what specific language tells me the "government" is taking over my insurance policy. I"ve asked my congressman, John Carter, for an answer and I've got nothing from him................hmm.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  28. IEK

    It's "Barely True" because by pure page count it is longer. However, if you're actually looking at content, which is what the Republicans are trying to imply, its not longer. Most of the Bill is taken up by gigantic font and a ton of white space. If you really think the comparison is fair, try reading the Bill. I can't understand how people can be so passionate about something and simultaneously so lazy.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  29. On Death Row

    In 6 years I have only one way to ,die as many others will have to prepare for . What does the Truth Meter tell you . Almost fully correct.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  30. CK in SD

    How many trillions of dollars have we spent as a result of 9/11 (war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, etc) All that because terrorists killed some 3000 Americans. Now consider that 45000 Americans die every year due to a lack of insurance (this is based statistically on annual death rates for the uninsured vs death rates of the insured) Thats like 90 9/11's every year.

    Just because they die without the media watching doesn't make their deaths less tragic.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  31. James

    I love the hypocrisy of these so called conservatives. They cry "freedom" when it suites them but when it comes to social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, etc- they want complete federal government control to ban issues that offend them. For conservatives, big governmant is ok in your bedroom but not for anything else. If governmant can be made to force you to follow their religious beliefs- then its ok. If I don't want government in my business life, why would I need them in my private life? You can't have it both ways! Also, they would hand their free agency to a corporation or a talk show host rather than think for themselves- that is not freedom!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  32. TM_NC

    'War and Peace" has more words ?!?!??!?! Really??? THAT is what you got out of Sen Hatch’s comment? Let me introduce you to hyperbole. He was making a point that the bill is a MONSEROUS piece of legislation which few lawmakers have or will read in its entirety before voting on it.

    Please, at least argue points worth arguing. Gotta love CNN.

    BTW: Anyone hear how Palin’s visit to Ft. Bragg is going. Can’t seem to find it here.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  33. Jane Darby

    So, Colonial American, I guess you'll be opting out of Medicare...?

    November 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  34. Blake

    Please don't deny me the choice of a public option. If you don't want it, don't take it, but don't tread on my freedom to make up my own mind.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  35. Literate

    It can be barely true because Tolstoy's works were written in a dense fashion, with lots of words in a small space and the bill is written with far fewer words in the same space. The pages might be the same, but the amount of actual writing is not the same. Try reading before criticizing.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  36. Carl

    I think it's silly people are so against public options since I think both Medicare and Medicaid are government run programs and no one complains about them or even talk about expanding them at times. By having a public option run by people who are not driven by profit, the care we deserve will be more affordable and accessible and with this new competition, private insurers will have to lower premiums to compete while keeping the same privileges that the public option includes. Why do we want our health to be a profitable business?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  37. Seriously

    Who cares how long the piece of legislation is? Don't these senators have a staff to help them read the different bills. "There are just too many words" is a silly reason to dislike a bill. Something as important as this should be quite detailed, don't ya think? If not, then we could have just two words and be done with it...Single Payer.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  38. Johnathan

    Public option all the way. Don't let these dinosaur GOP'ers that would have us back in the stone ages if they had their way fool you.

    If no public option, then do away with socialistic fire and police service.

    I want to be able to choose when my house is on fire if I should use Harry's fire company... or Precision Dousing... whomever has rhe best deal at that moment.

    Get real folks
    Everyone that thinks that a public option is the death of america should:

    Refuse their social security checks
    Drop medicare coverage immediately.

    Otherwise, you are taking out of your rear ends.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  39. Subjective Thinker

    I recant my previous comment. I wasn't able to read the longer version (or see that there was one) because of my work firewall. CNN did their work. I'll still offer a suggestion though. 'Sort-of True' might be more appropriate?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  40. MW in Iowa

    To Colonial American:
    "We don't stand for governmental control of our freedoms"??? What country do you live in? There are governmental controls all over the place...most are good, some are bloated by bureacracy but all of them prevent this country from anarachy...

    Let's pull the politics out of health care reform and put the people first. If the government was run with some COMMON SENSE instead of all this ideological garbage, we'd be better for it!

    November 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  41. Shirley

    I can't understand why the Republicans continue to complain that they don't know what's in the bill, but yet they are opposing it. I do know that until you have dealt with the system the way it is, and have lost a loved one because of the many flaws in it, there are some serious situations in many families because of the current system in place. I know because my family and I have had to deal my sister who once was a working citizen who became very ill due to a massive heart attack, and who eventually lost her health insurance coverage through her job, but was unable financially to buy her own insurance. She ended up on on a spin-down Medicaid program that required that she requalify every 3 months; with one of the requirements being that she accumulate at least $3000 worth of doctor bills every 3 months. We all know that when you are dealing with a government run facility, you can barely get in to see the doctor in six months; so how are you expected to make these types of bills every 3 months? Yes, we need healthcare reform and instead of our elected officials busying themselves trying to see who will be elected come election time, they should be busy trying to come up with options to help the people who elected them in the first place. Trying to make sure that Presidnet Obama fails is just awful, because in the first place, President Obama does not have a healthcare problem; millions of Americans do. I plead with both parties to stop the bickering and come together for the good of the American people.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  42. IndyVoter

    to Objective Thinking:

    You are obviously NOT thinking objectively, if at all. If you were born at 11:59 pm and I was born at 12:00 midnight , then yes, you would be older than me...but BARELY. Who cares anyway? I have never heard the Republicans complaining about bills being too long like this in the past, especially when it was one of their pet legislations on the table.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  43. Subjective Thinker

    The length of a piece is objective - to a certain degree. But we really don't know the parameters which you're using to make the 'barely true' assertion. Is there a particular version you're using? Translation? Did you even bother to standardize the fonts and margins? What exactly constitutes barely? Did you count words in the original language or the english version? As a democrat who voted for Obama, I'm not going to cry foul about this being anti-republican, but 'barely true' for something which 'can' and 'should' be made scientifically objective? You're a major news corporation, be more transparent in your methodology. Then get it right. Or don't print it.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  44. William

    Gov't Runs medicare- Failing
    Gov't runs medicaid -Failing
    Gov't runs Post Office -EPIC failure
    Gov't runs Social Security- Failing
    Gov't gave us the Stimulus – LOL Money went to cities,towns and districts that didn't exist.
    Gov't gave us Cash for Clunkers- which drew sales from future months into July and August- In ept at best.

    The programs that Waresident mentioned are State run programs. With the exception of USPS which is entirely Gov't run .

    Can we rely on a Gov't that fails at all social programs to be responsible for the biggest social program yet ( 1/6 of our GDP)?? I say NO WAY.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  45. Sandi Adams

    To: Bryan STL comments:

    Very well put!! Why is it so difficult for people to understand the word "option". I've never seen such fear mongering in my entire life. The Rep's have half the country scared to death about "government controlled health care" and the other half about ready to jump off a bridge. There are some "good old people" in that government who have become very, very comfortable and it's been that way for years. "Don't rock the boat". "Don't shake up the status quo". President Obama is dragging these people kicking and screaming into a new dawn. One that has been long, long overdue.
    The American people need to conduct their own research and actually find out for themselves what this bill encompasses and how it affects them. Don't take the Dem's or Rep's word for it. Check it out for yourself. Make yourself part of this process instead of relying on thrid-hand information.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  46. MP-VA

    New GOP Slogan: "Hear no alternatives, see no alternatives, speak no alternatives."

    November 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  47. MP-VA

    New GOP Slogan: "NO!"

    November 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  48. MP-VA

    New GOP Slogan: "Stop the Sanity!!"

    November 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  49. Vinny

    I love how when conservatives write a comment it is logical with some independent thought behind what the writer is conveying. However, when a dem or liberal adds a comment it is abrasive, hostile, erroneous, and usually full of spelling and/or punctuation errors. Pretty sad coming from the self-professed intelligencia these people claim to be. These are also the same people who clamor about how "brilliant" the President is. I've got news for you: the man is not that bright. Of course relatively speaking he is a genius because the people who support him are complete morons.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  50. MP-VA

    New GOP Slogan: "The buck stops here (but if you're a Republican, it stops WAY over yonder.)!"

    November 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  51. MichaelK

    No government control of freedoms? Setting aside for the moment exactly what freedoms would be controlled by this bill (reproductive rights, anyone?) I wonder if you are OK with Corporations restricting your rights. That is what is happening now and I guess you must be ok with tha that.

    I wonder why that is, that you would let a private company steal our rights in the pursuit of private profit but you would oppose the government doing the very same in the interests of, say, public health.

    Perhaps you are ok with the government seizing property without due process – you supported Reagan. Maybe you're just fine with the elimination of habeas corpus and the legalization of torture – you supported Bush.

    But now, that a government action might actually help out fellow citizens who are being, literally, put down by insurance companies, that type of action you will stand to oppose.

    There are only two types of people that would advocate that type of action: one of them gets a big payoff from the insurance companies, either stock holders or office holders. The other believes that private corporations have a function other than maximizing profits.

    Which one are you?

    November 23, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  52. Ehsanul Haque

    I enjoy the debates and public opinions about American Health Care reform. I wonder being the richest and powerful country in the world Americans do not have a health care plan that covers every citizen. I wonder, issue like health care is to be debated to cover all!! Whether it is funded by government or at affordable prices by private organizations, I think all people shall have the access to health care to the extent of necessity.

    Ehsanul Haque
    Montreal, Canada

    November 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  53. Tarheel

    Why would anybody be against free health care for everybody? It's not like the Democrats are going to tax people or cut medicare advantage benefits or force people to buy insurance whether they want it or not. According to the Democratic Party, these are just scare tactics the Republicans are useing. This Health Care plan is so great for everybody involved that it's a wonder it's took this long for it to have been made law. Next on the list should be free houses for everyone and then we'll take a look at free cars.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  54. Mike

    Land of the free, not land you can live for free. If you can work and dont, you get nothing. If you are illegal and not supposed to be here, get out. If you cant afford yourself, dont have kids. My tax dollars are not supposed to be for lazy people. If everyone does what they are supposed to be doing, there would be no issues. Dont be embarrased to go sweep the floors of a restraurant, your an American. Honest work for honest pay. Go work out in the fields, its what this great nation was built on. Nothing to be ashamed of. The derelicts of the country are the problem. Then we try and figure ways to support them. I say hell no. Give to the people that need it and the hell with the rest.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  55. Don Bobbitt

    The biggest point of all this, is that the Republicans have never been able to argue against this bill based on the actual facts of the bill. Instead they've had to mislead, offiscate, and outright lie about it. And that, to me, says something.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  56. ZF

    The link directly below the meter points out that it has more pages, but fewer words. It's only "longer" because it's more spread out. Not exactly a conspiracy.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  57. JS in CT

    We have public schools and private schools.. it simply offers more choice. Why not public and private options for health insurance?

    November 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  58. Chas

    The GOP wants laws to require everyone to buy insurance, they want tort reform, but the y venamitly appose a public option.

    So we are going to require everyone to but insurance, take away their right to sue for damages and do nothing to control the costs levied by insurance companies. In essence making it impossible for anyone that is sick to keep their health insurance.

    If you have insurance and get seriously ill you cannot work. So you have to buy a COBRA policy. Of course you can't afford to buy it if you aren't working so you loss your coverage. The GOP seems to think we all have a big bank account like them and can just buy insurance until we get better. News flash,....many,many Americans are living day to day with no savings. This gives big insurance the oppotunity to take our money for insurance while we are healthy and drop us like a rock once we get sick.

    If you are going to get sick,...die quickly (new GOP montra).

    November 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  59. TR

    The Health Care Bill contains reference to sections of the United States Code. Have you been to law school? Guess not. But hopefully you elected officials who have been. These items are typical of any type of legislation and should be manageable for anyone involved in the sphere of making laws. Quit whining, Repubs, you have only yourselves (and constituents) to blame for not being qualified to do the job.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  60. WA Resident

    And don't forget...

    Most Universities are government run.
    National parks are government run.
    Our roads, bridges & highways are government run.
    The USPS is (mostly) government run.

    The health insurance industry is not even subject to anti-trust laws and they continue to rape the American taxpayer every single day!

    So many good, hard working American are suffering, like they did during the Katrina aftermath. It is time we did something about it.

    I'm volunteering at Free Clinics, I have watched people I care about DIE when their health insurance could have saved their life. They must be held accountable, and they must be regulated.

    They must also face COMPETITION. And a not for profit, government run insurance option (not mandate) will help to drive down costs if it is allowed to cover anyone that wants to purchase it.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  61. alberto

    The Republicans are simply anti everything Obama with no meaningful solutions. Disingenuous partisan politics as they said nothing as Bush tripled the national debt and passed the highest entitlement since the new deal . The prescription drug benefit is on track to cost a trillion dollars. They also sat on their hands as Bush trampled the constitution.
    Torture is cruel and unusual punishment as all men are created equal. Wire taps are illegal search and seizure when no warrant is present.
    The Republicans are for the corporations by the lobbyists. Pro oil corporations, drill baby drill. Pro war, military industrial complex corporations and now pro insurance corporation.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  62. BryanSTL

    Why do Republicans keep complaining about the size of the bill as if that's why we're all supposed to hate health care reform? Do they hate reading so much? Oh my God, so it's thicker than War and Peace, and you know how many Americans (3) hated reading THAT book! When you are doing comprehensive reform, it SHOULD be a thick bill! It's called getting all your i's dotted and your t's crossed. Republicans are very clever at finding things Americans detest (like reading long novels not written by John Grisham, Tom Clancy, or Stephen King) and getting them to vote for them based on mutual disdain and not GOOD IDEAS!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  63. Rick McDaniel

    The bill is obviously overloaded with unnecessary stuff, including pork barrel projects, and other totally unrelated matters.

    The reason bills are not written to be easily understood, is that congress is mostly made of lawyers, and they prefer to use terminology that the common man finds difficult to wade through, so that the common man has no idea what congress is talking about.

    That is precisely how you keep the "elite", the elite, and the "common people" in the dark.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  64. WA Resident

    Over & over I hear people complain about government run health care and it makes me wonder if they know that....

    The police department is run by the government.
    The fire department is run by the government.
    Public schools are run by the government.
    Social Security IS government run health care.
    The Veterans Association IS government run health care.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  65. Oklahoma Skunk

    Objective Thinking –
    Did you actually read the link provided on why it is 'barely true'? If you do a page count, the bill is longer. If you do a word count, the bill is shorter. So while it's barely true, or technically true, it would all depend on how you wish to objectively compare the sizes of the two pieces. I think barely true is a fair remark for that statement as they gave him the benefit of the doubt and took it in the context of page count, in which the bill is bigger. If you do an actual word count, the bill is smaller.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  66. Not Afraid Or Intimidated

    To "Colonial American": Our education system for children is government-sponsored. Is this a bad thing? Should the nation's health be considered less important than the nation's education? If so, why? Maybe we should follow your logic and have children's education only available for the rich. It doesn't sound very American, does it?

    To "Objective Thinking": You are obviously an idiot. Maybe you should read the article before you open your mouth.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  67. Rick

    If we won't stand for government control of our freedoms, how did the Patriot Act get passed?? I get it, the GOP wanted to slip that one by us. What we need is to regulate health insurance companies similarly to public utilities.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  68. Simple Words

    It is understandable that some people are more comfortable in a world that is either "this" or "that," with no shades of gray, much less color and dimension. This is the essence of primitive thinking, and is the root of the appeal that put President Bush in office and which undermines Sarah Palin's current popularity. Conservatives (in the words of George Bush) "Don't do nuance," and don't trust anyone who can or does. Pandering to this preference is a great way to convince the primitive mind to vote against its best interests. The length of 'War and Peace" can be measured one of two ways, word count or page count. Either is equally 'true,' but neither is necessarily accurate. This is the same thing as saying "5 1$ bills is the same amount of money as 5 $20 bills..." It's only "fact" if it supports your agenda; a scam if it doesn't.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  69. Melissa

    Give us a public option. Every other first world country has it and every other first world country has a healthier population. There must be something that they are doing right and thats the only thing they seem to have in common. We cannot live by ideals. Thats not the way the world works. Idealism is for children.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  70. KLDCT

    Why don't people understand that an option is JUST an option and only an option and not government control because IT'S ONLY AN OPTION? Because it's an OPTION people DON'T HAVE to choose it, because it's just an option. If they want to have government involved in their healthcare, then they can choose to enroll in the public option. But, if they don't want "government control of our freedoms" then they can purchase healthcare like the rest of us through a private insurer.

    And additionally, this public option included a State Opt Out, so if a state doesn't want or doesn't think its citizens would want the public option, then they can opt out. Again, another choice.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  71. Hank

    What the heck does a public option have to do with our freedoms? You are a brainwashed lemming.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  72. KLDCT

    Why don't people understand that an option is JUST an option and only an option and not government control because IT'S ONLY AN OPTION? Because it's an OPTION people DON'T HAVE

    November 23, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  73. BryanSTL

    That's right little Johnny, that's not blood coming out of your nose, it's FREEDOM. All that extra money that we "freely" spend on health insurance does nothing except translate into record profits for insurance companies and lower the amount of care we receive. Let's lower insurance company profits and decrease what average Americans pay for health care. The public option doesn't "control" anything. It just offers an AFFORDABLE plan to people such as myself who have been forced to decline more expensive coverage that gives me higher deductibles! Oh, I've sampled the FREEDOM of CHOICE that we currently have in this great country. I went through a private insurer (not through my work)this year and paid my premiums until I went to the doctor three times this year and had all my claims denied due to "pre-existing" conditions. Yeah, I've had a sinus infection in the past 5 years...I'd hardly call that a pre-existing condition. So in addition to the premiums I'd paid my AWESOME insurance company, I now owe the doctor $1600 directly. I got ripped off for $1200 by my insurance company. How is that right? Why do we have people in this country actually DEFENDING these companies???? Oh, by the way, I'm a healthy 28 year old male–SUCH a risk to these poor insurance companies just out to make a buck! WAKE UP AMERICANS! STOP VOTING AGAINST YOUR OWN INTERESTS JUST BECAUSE TALK RADIO TELLS YOU IT'S PATRIOTIC!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  74. Margaret Alfoni

    I'm not quite sure how a public option would be infringing on your would allow millions of Americans a choice to purchase health insurance at a competitive cost, and would give a reason for insurance companies to reign in their costs.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  75. Ryan

    @Objective Thinking

    Did you read the paragraph or just the verdict? Do you just objectively think or do you consider evidence?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  76. Guest

    Objective Thinking,

    It depends on how you measure "longer." If you measure it by number of pages, then yes it is longer. But if you measure it by number of words, it isn't.

    I can write a 500 word essay that is longer than "War and Peace" in terms of the number of pages if I use a font size that is large enough.

    If PolitiFact were to say it was absolutely true, that would be misleading.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  77. Mitchell 2

    The should do a word count intead of a page count. I can make "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" 2000 pages if I get to format it first.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  78. OldUncleTom

    I personally volunteer to assist Sen Hatch with any of the big words that give him trouble.

    As for Boehner, I think the tanning bed has damaged his poor brain too much for mere tutoring to aid. Maybe he can find someone in his district, where they apparently love a good tan... unless you were born with it.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  79. Justin

    It's should be true or it should be false.

    What's with this 'barely' and 'mostly' stuff? Either it is or it isn't.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  80. Guest

    Colonial American,

    You don't stand for "government control of freedom" when that control is inconvenient for you.

    Do you voice this same sentiment about legislation that bans gay marriage? That limits the freedom of many people in the country.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  81. James Lampert

    Hmm. No "government control of our freedoms."

    But corporate control of our freedoms is fine? Or maybe corporate freedoms have some sort of seniority over individual freedoms. Hmm. "We the Corporations of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish High Management Salaries, insure domestic Profitability, provide for the defense against consumer lawsuits, promote the Welfare of our stockholders, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Boards of Directors, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    November 23, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  82. David

    What about all the new Taxes.....

    November 23, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  83. Objective Thinking

    Either the health care bill is longer than "War and Peace" or it isn't. How can it be "barely true" ? It seems to me that when PolitiFact finds that the facts actually support a Republican point, they can't bring themselves to just say it's true. They have to add something to make it sound misleading, like "Barely."

    November 23, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  84. Colonial American

    No Public Option! We will not be able to pass any health care bill with a public option so stop including it! This is America and we don't stand for government control of our freedoms!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |