September 11th, 2009
12:16 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Truth Squad: Does the reform bill create 53 new bureaucracies?

The Statement:

U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Louisana, said in his response to President Barack Obama's address that he "read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July" and it "creates 53 new government bureaucracies."

The Facts:

Rep. Boustany is referring to a list also cited by his Republican colleagues. That list comprises "all the new boards, bureaucracies, commissions and programs created" in the health reform bill H.R. 3200. A look at his claim does show that many of the entities would be new.

But it would be misleading to characterize some of them as governmental bodies, which is what many people think of when they define the word bureaucracy. Some of them are modifications to existing programs in the Social Security Act. One of those programs is entitled

"Standardizing Electronic Administrative Transactions," designed to reduce paperwork. A single proposal to widen existing responsibilities of "Nursing Facilities" and "Skilled Nursing Facilities" was counted as two programs.

Boustany's statement could give the impression that all the entities would be long-term. But one, the Reinsurance Program for Retirees, would be a temporary entity under the bill. Another, the Optional Operation of State-Based Health Insurance Exchanges, would only be created if states pursued the program.

In a couple of cases, a commission is formed and then the ombudsman assigned to it is counted separately. Four of the new "bureaucracies" are pilot programs.

The Verdict:

Misleading. While there are many new entities, the Republican count exaggerates the number of new bureaucracies.


Filed under: Health care fact check
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Dale

    The current system is broken. My mother was dying of curable cancer, even though she was insured. The Insurance company said her treatment wasn't worth it, and basically told her to go die. She fought them in court and won and is alive and well today.

    So to those that are defending the status quo I have a problem. This isn't just about politics, money or how to count beauracracies. It is about people's lives. So let's have a respectful debate about how to fix the system, but not about whether to fix the system. Beware the "go slow" delaying tactics too– that is a standard procedure for insurance companies to draw out the fight until the insured person gives up or dies.

    September 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Peter, Texas

    What is so wrong about government bureaucracies? Shouldn't we then privatize the FBI, CIA, Army, Navy, Police, etc?

    People forget the private sector got the entire economy into the mess it is in and government, yes! the government that rethugs so loathe is cleaning up the mess.

    The GOP is a party of NO. It does not matter what is being proposed, the GOP will always scream NO! This debate is not about what is in the best interest of America. It is plain politics and an orchestrated effort to Pull President Obama down.....at any cost.

    September 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Justine

    To me, health care reform and the public option are a no brainer for one simple reason: whatever the Republicans oppose, it is in our best interest to fight for. They opposed Medicare, Medicare, Unemployment, any raise in the minimum wage, I could go on, but I think my point has been made. Thank you.

    September 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Republicans LIE to America

    Can the Republicans not choose anyone to make their responses that is not from Louisiana and who is not an idiot?

    Fact-checking Boustany's speech shows almost everything he said was a misrepresentation of the facts or outright lies. Medicare will NOT be cut, although Republicans tried to get it totally eliminated earlier this year.

    Boustany is a doctor who has lost his medical license before, has been sued for malpractice and has been cited for poor medical care and practices – what a great example of Republican honesty and integrity.

    We WILL get healthcare reform despite Republicans trying to kill it completely. They have no bill. They have no solutions. All my Senator keeps talking about is tax credits- same old failed Republican policy is their answer for everything.

    We need to remember in 2010 who worked for the People who elected them and who voted NO on EVERY piece of legislation and tried to obstruct anything and everything that would help the average American. Republicans care nothing about Americans. They are bought and paid for by their rich corporate buddies. You should see the long list (over 90) of Republicans who have been given more than $300M dollars by the insurance companies to kill healthcare reform. They are completely unAmerican and unpatriotic. Not deserving the honor to serve in any government seat!

    September 11, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    and yet more GOP lies.....

    September 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Exasperated

    Can anyone be impartial and tell the truth? Look at the true facts about health insurance or any other topic. if you disagree with some or all of the points – fine. But don't lie about it. What a role model for our children!

    September 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Chris - Denver

    Yeah, Republicans lying to advance their agenda. Now there's a shock.

    September 11, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Josh

    Is anyone surprised that rebublicans are cought lying? they do it all the time.

    September 11, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. jfs Memhis, Tn

    There are a lot of unemployed americans who would love to have a chance at a job with a bereau.

    September 11, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. PO'd if we lose the PO

    Why do people insist that the government does everything wrong? Why are they so afraid of it? Society has created government to address common issues and problems–which is what they are attempting to do here. If we let corporations decide which roads were built they would only lead to their office buildings and the wealthy suburbs; if we let private companies run the police and fire departments, houses in low income neighborhoods would be left to burn or be burglarized.

    The reason a public option is necessary is because insurance companies spend 30% of every dollar YOU PAY in premiums on administrative overhead and self-aggrandizing advertising. Whether you like government or not, this proposal will create jobs for normal Americans to manage the effort, and more of the money spent will go to paying hospital bills. New quality jobs, lower cost to the average citizen under the plan (which is why insurance companies know they can't compete), rules guaranteeing coverage–like Medicare which most people seem to like.

    It's not sufficient to say "bureaucracy" and "socialism" in the same sentence as proof that something is bad.

    September 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Did Boustany write his speech BEFORE he heard President Obama's?
    It sure sounds like it. I die in the gutter before I'd let him operate on me.

    September 11, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Sue

    It just amazes me that everything is about Dem or Rep. parties. Americians, don't you get it? This is about what both parties are doing to our country. It is obvious that they are not listening to us and neither is the President. If you want socialism we are headed in that direction. Our countries are telling us that we are losing our freedom. I don't need Czars that are not held accountable except by the President. When you have to many who don't have to account to anyone it is hard to keep them in rein. Wake up America and don't let Government become the big monster that it is growing into currently. Keep going the way we are going and we will be extinct which is what the enviourmentalist want. God Bless America (What use to be the Land of the Free)

    September 11, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Deborah Black

    Do they EVER get tired of lying and exaggerating everyting? No they don't. Now I am convinced that everything Republicans say is a lie. Shame to feel that way, but they are just so unreasonable and angry. They all remind me of the way John McCain acted during the election. He couldn't make his mind up from one day to the next what to do, so he just threw out outrageous statements to see if anyone would agree. BOMB BOMB BOMB whatever.

    September 11, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Kathy

    Of course the idiot lied about the reform because he is a doctor and it would take money out of his pockets!!! GOP are ALL in the pockets of the insurance companies and they get free health insurance for the rest of their lives on the tax payer's dime!!

    September 11, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Another republican lying to the American people and a whole lot of republicans believing the lies? Suprise, suprise . . .

    September 11, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Bewildered

    Tompain, the GOP claimed a specific number (53), which CNN investigated and refuted. If the GOP made a general claim, then your argument may make some sense.

    Republicans are just making up facts at this point, and would rather spread their lies then be truthful. It's shameful.

    September 11, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    To James @ 12:23 -

    Then by all means, MOVE! In fact, get the hell out of my country, and take your racist, inbred right-wing cousins with you, you whiney little sissy!!!

    September 11, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. John Galt

    Did Rep Wilson murder anyone? I hadn't heard that, but if that's true, he was way out of line. Murder has no place in this debate.

    September 11, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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