Independent Women's Forum Ad Is Full Of Misinformation

August 21, 2009 12:25 pm ET

The Independent Women's Forum released an ad titled "Health Care Reform: Share Your Story."  The ad is narrated by a woman who has fortunately survived breast cancer.  Unfortunately, however, IWF provided her with several faulty talking points to read.

IWF Ad Shares A Personal Story And Misleading Talking Points

IWF Misleads Viewers On Health Insurance Reform

Narrator: "Like 2.5 million American women, I survived breast cancer.  My mother died of cancer, but today, I'm a survivor and I'm worried about what Washington might do now.  Almost everyone agrees we should reform health care, but many want to create a government-run health insurance plan paid for by taxpayers at huge cost."  [Independent Women's Forum ad via YouTube, accessed 8/20/09]

A Public Option Will Be Just That - An OPTION - For Insurance Coverage

"A Public Plan Would Provide An Essential Option" For Americans.  Harold Pollack, public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies, wrote in an op-ed: "A public plan would provide an essential option--and an equally essential backup--for millions of Americans living with chronic illnesses or disabilities." [The New Republic, 3/10/09, emphasis added]

House Democrats Are Committed To A Public Health Care Option Which Will "Spur Competition Within The Insurance Industry." The Hill reported: "[Majority Leader] Hoyer indicated that House Democrats are committed to including a public plan option in their bill. 'We believe that a public option clearly is going to be necessary' to provide consumers with an alternative to private insurance and to spur competition within the insurance industry, Hoyer said." [The Hill, 3/26/09]

  • Speaker Pelosi Is Looking For A Public Option To Make Private Insurers More Competitive. According to Bloomberg: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House this year will consider health-care legislation including an option for a government-run program that would compete with insurers. 'This is a big agenda, and I believe it should have a public option in it for it to be really substantial,' Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi said the Democratic-controlled House will be 'aggressive' in its approach to a health-care overhaul, which is a centerpiece of Obama's agenda. She said a government role in health care will help U.S. companies be more competitive." [Bloomberg, 3/26/09]

IWF Relies On Unreliable "Independent Experts" With Ties To Insurance Giant

Narrator: "Independent experts say tens of millions of Americans could lose their current health insurance and wind up on this public plan." Onscreen is a citation from the Lewin Group, dated April 2009. [Independent Women's Forum ad via YouTube, accessed 8/20/09

The Lewin Group Is Owned By "One Of The Nation's Largest Insurers."  The Washington Post reported that "the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers." [Washington Post, 7/22/09]

Lewin Group Accused Of "Distributing Skewed Data." According to the Washington Post, "the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association, a physician's group, of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the 'usual and customary' doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care." [Washington Post, 7/22/09]

IWF Wrongly Compares British Health System To Democratic Reforms

Narrator: "England already has government-run health care, and their breast cancer survival rate is much lower.  If you find a lump, you could wait months for treatment and potentially life-saving drugs could be restricted.  Government control of health care here could have meant that 300,000 American women with breast cancer might have died.  My odds of surviving cancer were high because my care was the best.  What are your odds if the government takes over your health care?" [Independent Women's Forum ad via YouTube, accessed 8/20/09]

American Democrats Are Not Proposing A British-Style Health Care System.

Health Care Reform Will Be Uniquely American.  Sen. Max Baucus, who is spearheading health care reform from the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, said: "We are not Europe.  We are not Canada...We need a uniquely American solution.  It has to be a partnership of public and private players." [Washington Post, 5/11/09

The House Health Insurance Reform Bill Allows Americans To Keep Their Current Coverage

House Bill Allows For Continuation Of Current Coverage.  According to PolitiFact.com: "The House bill allows for existing policies to be grandfathered in, so that people who currently have individual health insurance policies will not lose coverage." [PolitiFact.com, 7/22/09]

For more information on the Independent Women's Forum, click HERE.

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