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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clinton Campaign Responds to Obama Health Care Ad & False Claims on Conference Call

New Obama TV ad in South Dakota falsely claims his plan covers everyone, but independent experts disagree, Campaign also claimed in conference call today that its plan cuts costs more than Clinton’s, which is also false
In response to Sen. Obama's TV ad claiming his health care plan covers everyone – and his campaign's subsequent claim on a conference call with reporters that his plan cuts costs more than Hillary Clinton’s does – the Clinton campaign released the following response:
"It's unfortunate that Senator Obama didn’t have the courage to produce a universal health care plan and instead wrote a plan that leaves 15 million Americans without coverage. That is unacceptable and Senator Obama should explain why he chose to leave so many people uninsured," Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said. "When it comes to cutting costs, Senator Clinton's plan is just as aggressive, if not more so. The real difference is that her plan covers every American and Senator Obama's leaves 15 million without insurance."
ON COVERING EVERY AMERICAN: While Sen. Obama claims that his health care plan covers every American like Sen Clinton’s does, experts really believe his plan, which lacks an individual mandate, would actually leave 15 million people uninsured. For example:
Concord Monitor: 'Gruber estimated that 15 million people would remain uninsured under Obama's plan.' "Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who worked on the Massachusetts plan, said a mandate means "the difference between universal or near-universal coverage. Obama would have a large expansion, better than anything the Republicans have, but not universal coverage," Gruber said. "You can't get it without a mandate; it's just not possible." Gruber estimated that 15 million people would remain uninsured under Obama's plan.” [Concord Monitor, 12/26/07]
Len Nichols, Jonathan Gruber and Mark Pauly: 'even with other cost saving measures and a child mandate, we think that it is very likely that a least 15 million American would remain uninsured.' "Recent estimates suggest that a plan with uniform generous subsidies but without a mandate would cover no more than one-half of the uninsured in the U.S. Even with other cost-saving measures and a child mandate, we think that it is very likely that at least 15 million Americans would remain uninsured." [New America Foundation Policy Brief, 12/06/07]
Jonathan Holohan of the Urban Institute: 'Obama would still leave about 22 million, 23 million, but he has a mandate for children, about 9 million uninsured kids, so assuming you get most of them, you get pretty close to 15 million.' [New Republic, 12/03/07]
Wall Street Journal: 'Mrs. Clinton charges that Mr. Obama's plan would leave 15 million people without insurance. Outside experts agree that number is in the ballpark.' [Wall Street Journal, 12/04/07]
Washington Post: 'The Obama plan could leave a third of those currently uninsured lacking coverage.' [Washington Post, 6/9/07]
ON CUTTING COSTS: Today on a conference call, the Obama campaign claimed that his plan does more to cut costs than any other plan. That's not true either. Both plans take the following steps to cut costs:
1. Require chronic care disease management in federal programs
2. Support care management teams and medical homes to improve care coordination
3. Require providers to collect and publicly report measures of cost and quality
4. Develop and disseminate best practices and value-based purchasing in federal programs
5. Medical malpractice reform
6. Invest in comparative effectiveness research
7. Promote adoption of health information technology
8. Administrative savings through group purchasing
9. Allow reimportation of prescription drugs
10. Remove barriers to generic competition
11. Allow Secretary to negotiate Rx drug prices in Medicare
12. Eliminate Medicare overpayments in managed care
13. Promote prevention and invest in public health and safety-net providers
14. Eliminate health disparities
15. Invest in health care workforce non-physician providers
16. Federal reinsurance for catastrophic health expenses
Moreover, Hillary's plan takes several additional steps to reduce costs not found in Sen. Obama's plan:
1. Hard limits on excess profit and administrative costs in insurance company premiums
2. Prohibit payment for medical errors in all federal programs
3. Create a pathway for biogeneric competition
4. Provide more oversight of drug advertising, marketing excesses and inappropriate financial relationships with providers.
5. Require e-prescribing in federal programs.
In adidtion, Hillary's plan contains more subsidies than Sen. Obama's plan --
"Outside experts note that the Clinton and Obama plans propose spending about the same amount of money, while Mr. Obama uses some of his to pay for the reinsurance plan -- an initiative that could cost tens of billions of dollars. That should help lower premiums across the board, but it means there would be less available for direct subsidies." [Wall Street Journal, 12/5/07]
Read more about Hillary's universal health care plan here.

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