Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 21, 2010

March 22, 2010 10:58 am ET

On yesterday's political talk shows, Reps. John Boehner and Paul Ryan, Sen. John Cornyn, and RNC Chairman Michael Steele repeated worn out obstructionist talking points. Despite the GOP's slanderous attempts to derail health care reform, the bill will stop insurance company abuses, cut the deficit, create jobs, and provide millions of Americans with affordable health care coverage.

Fox News Sunday

CLAIM: Rep. Ryan Wrongly Asserted The Health Care Reform Bill Provides Funding For Abortion

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): I would simply say I couldn't disagree with Debbie [Wasserman-Schultz] more. It does fund abortions.

FACT: Health care reform legislation does NOT fund elective abortions.

Pro-Life Groups: "Longstanding Restrictions On Federal Funding Of Abortion Have Been Maintained." Twenty five pro-life Christian leaders wrote a letter to members of Congress, saying, "We are writing because of our concern about the lack of clear and accurate information regarding abortion provisions in the health care reform bill passed by the Senate on December 24, 2009. Reforming our health care system is necessarily complex, and the provisions related to abortion, or any other issue, require careful examination of the facts as they exist in the legislative language. We believe that the provisions below provide extensive evidence that longstanding restrictions on federal funding of abortion have been maintained. Furthermore, this bill provides new and important supports for vulnerable pregnant women." [National Catholic Reporter, 3/12/10]

59,000 Catholic Nuns: "The Senate Bill Will Not Provide Taxpayer Funding For Elective Abortions." On March 17, 2010, the Associated Press reported, "Catholic nuns are urging Congress to pass President Barack Obama's health care plan, in an unusual public break with bishops who say it would subsidize abortion. Some 60 leaders of religious orders representing 59,000 Catholic nuns Wednesday sent lawmakers a letter urging them to pass the Senate health care bill. It contains restrictions on abortion funding that the bishops say don't go far enough. The letter says that 'despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions.' The letter says the legislation also will help support pregnant women and 'this is the real pro-life stance.'" [Associated Press, 3/17/10]

PolitiFact: "No Federal Funds - Whether Through Tax Credits Or Cost-Sharing Credits - Could Be Used To Pay For Abortions." According to Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact.com:

The Baucus plan explicitly states that no federal funds - whether through tax credits or cost-sharing credits - could be used to pay for abortions (again, unless the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger). Insurers participating in any state-based exchange that offers coverage for abortion "must segregate from any premium and cost-sharing credits an amount of each enrollee's private premium dollars that is determined to be sufficient to cover the provision of those services."


[I]f the government isn't paying any more to an insurance company to pay for abortion coverage, it means that insurance companies that offer such coverage are. So essentially that cost will be passed on to the insured people who select plans that cover abortions. Perhaps a federal court would view this differently, but we think the court of common sense says that if someone claims abortion would be subsidized with federal funds, it suggests more federal tax dollars would pour into plans that cover abortion. But they won't. The added cost will be borne by the people who select plans that include abortion coverage. Those premiums will pay for abortions. [PolitiFact.com, 9/21/09]

CLAIM: Sen. Cornyn Falsely Stated Health Care Reform Would Kill Jobs And "Run Up Deficits"

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): States like New Hampshire, known for their fiscal responsibility, where Paul Hodes, who's a congressman there, said he's gonna vote for this two and a half trillion dollar bill that's a job killer, that's gonna run up deficits...

FACT: Health care reform would reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years and create up to 4 million American jobs.

Health Care Reform Will Create Up To 4 Million American Jobs In The Next Decade. According to the Center for American Progress, "Relative to baseline employment forecasts from the Employment Projections Program at the U.S. Department of Labor, we estimate that moderate medical savings from health care modernization as envisioned under the legislation now before Congress would lead to an average of 250,000 additional jobs created annually. Under the larger assumption about savings due to health care reform, 400,000 new jobs a year would be created on average." [Center for American Progress, New Jobs Through Better Health Care, January 2010]

CBO: Health Care Reform Package Would Reduce The Deficit By $138 Billion By 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office: "The reconciliation proposal includes provisions related to health care and revenues, many of which would amend H.R. 3590. It also includes amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, which authorizes most federal programs involving postsecondary education. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation-H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal- would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010-2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenue." [CBO, 3/18/10]

Health Care Reform Will Cut The Deficit By $1.3 TRILLION Over 20 Years.  According to the Huffington Post:

Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $130 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.

The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least 9 years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication. The CBO also estimated it would extend coverage to 32 million additional people. [Huffington Post, 3/18/10]

Meet the Press

CLAIM: Rep. Boehner Falsely Claimed Democrats' Health Care Reform Is A "Government Takeover"

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): It is a government takeover.

FACT: Democrats' health care reform package is NOT a government takeover of anything.

PolitiFact: Republicans Are "Wrong That Obama's Plan Offers Government-Run Health Care." Analyzing Sen. Tom Coburn's claim that President Obama's health care reform plan amounted to a government takeover of health care, PolitiFact.com wrote:

[H]e's wrong that Obama's plan offers government-run health care.

In fact, Obama's plan leaves in place the private health care system, but seeks to expand it to the uninsured. It increases eligibility for the poor and children to enroll in initiatives like Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and creates pools for individuals to buy their own cheaper insurance. It also outlines strategies to rein in costs for everyone, such as electronic medical records and preventive care.


That may be Sen. Coburn's opinion on what could happen, but it's definitely not part of Obama's plan. And Coburn was very specific in saying that "under the Obama plan, all the health care in this country is eventually going to be run by the government." That gives the incorrect impression that Obama is promoting a government-run health care system. He's not. We rate Coburn's statement False. [PolitiFact.com, 3/4/10]

CLAIM: RNC Chairman Michael Steele Falsely Claimed The Recovery Act Is "Not Creating Jobs"

RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE: You're not creating jobs, Governor.


The reality of it is that people are still being laid off, jobs are not being created.

FACT: The Recovery Act created up to 2.4 million American jobs and put America on the road to recovery.

CBO: The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Has Created Up To 2.4 Million American Jobs. According to CNN: "The Congressional Budget Office attributes between 800,000 to 2.4 million jobs and 1.2 to 3.1 percentage points of economic growth to stimulus." [CNN, 1/13/10]

  • Top Economic Research Firms Agree That The Recovery Act Created Jobs. As reported by the New York Times, "Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative." [New York Times, 2/16/10; emphasis added]

One Year After The Recovery Act, America Is On The Road To Recovery.  Below is a graph prepared by the Speaker's office showing job losses per month:

[Office of the Speaker, accessed 2/17/10]