Shortly after Barack Obama finished his healthcare press conference Wednesday evening, the New York Times posted an article at its website refuting some of the President's arguments.
Not only that, the Times chastized Obama for "claiming credit for not spending money that, under the policy he inherited from Mr. Bush, would never have been spent in the first place."
Entitled "Experts Dispute Some Points in Obama Health Care Talk," the piece went after the President in a fashion that is sure to make many readers check and re-check that link to make sure this really was a Times article:
Mr. Obama said doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug companies and AARP had supported efforts to overhaul health care.
While it is true the American Medical Association has endorsed a bill drafted by House Democratic leaders, a half-dozen state medical societies have sharply criticized provisions that would establish a new government-run health insurance plan.
Likewise, Mr. Obama said Medicare could save large amounts of money by creating "an independent group of doctors and medical experts who are empowered to eliminate waste and inefficiency" and hold down the annual increases in payments to health care providers.
Far from supporting this proposal, the American Hospital Association is urging hospital executives to lobby against it.
Checking that link? I don't blame you:
Of the proposed new cost-control agency, Mr. Obama said: “It’s not going to reduce Medicare benefits. What it’s going to do is to change how those benefits are delivered so that they’re more efficient.”
Hospitals say the cuts could indeed cut services in some rural areas and from teaching hospitals, which receive extra payments because of higher costs.
But here was the most shocking part:
The president continued to take credit for deficit reduction by making a claim that has been challenged by many experts.
“If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made,” the deficit over the next 10 years would be $2.2 trillion greater, the president said.
In fact, $1.5 trillion of those “savings” are mainly based on an assumption that the United States would have had as many troops in Iraq in 10 years as it did when Mr. Obama took office. But before leaving office, President George W. Bush signed an agreement with Baghdad mandating the withdrawal of all American forces within three years.
So Mr. Obama is claiming credit for not spending money that, under the policy he inherited from Mr. Bush, would never have been spent in the first place.
What's gotten into the folks at the Gray Lady?