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. carlo

    I knew when I saw the title, that his claim wouldn't be true. Theirs never are.

    September 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Steve in Kentucky

    What a surprise!

    Rep. Charles Boustany, YOU LIE

    September 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Lynne

    As usual from the Republican Party: lies, namecalling and NO policy or ideas!

    September 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. victim of republican greed

    Lord Charles "the liar" Boustany, meet Joe "the liar" Wilson.

    September 11, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Danny

    Once again the GOP sends out incorrect or misleading information concerning Health Care Reform. Why would anyone believe anything they have to say about it?

    September 11, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. victim of republican greed

    Why won't congressional republicans stand up for Americans?

    September 11, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Kate in San Diego

    And yet they always get away with this obfuscation. It is very, very sad.

    September 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. bill

    I believe the congressman. I'll tell you why. This administration has already created many new "tzars" and I am sure there will be more than 53 new bureaucracies. How will we know? They are pretty sneaky.

    September 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Robert Blake

    Has a republican politician made any truthful statement about the current legislation to reform the healthcare system?

    September 11, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    Get real, Truth Squad, Government IS a bureaucracy. No matter the number, it will be a nightmarish quagmire.

    September 11, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. victim of republican greed

    The GOP has never let facts get in the way of their talking points.

    September 11, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. James

    Does it matter wether it is 43 or 53? Adding additional bureaucracies, regardless of how many, is absurd. WE DO NOT NEED BIG GOVERNMENT. The bigger the government gets, the closr Sociallisim becomes. As soon as I hear that Washington is wanting Amtrak to run on time, I am moving to another country.

    September 11, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. A Proud American!

    Good! WE NEED them then because YOU never did YOUR job prior!

    September 11, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Fine.

    So tell me how creating even ONE bureaucracy leads to lower costs or better care? Bueller??? Bueller????

    September 11, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I am not suprised that once again the republicans take something and run with it, without getting the facts straight.

    September 11, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Randy

    They can't seem to voice their opposition without making stuff up. Why do the right wing nuts insist on propogating falsehoods and innuendo? I hope that most Americans are intelligent enough to see through these tactis and vote to increase the democratic majority in 2010.
    I for one tire of the constant attempts to de-legitimize the Obama presidency.

    September 11, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. NH Independent

    Of course this is true.......Liberals want anything that gives them riches and power to control everything......

    September 11, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. PHONY CONTROVERSIES

    Just another example of Republicans twisting reality so much that you are not left with the truth.

    The worst, though, are real leaders like Gov. Pawlenty (R), who see bogus claims about President Obama's citizenship intended to delegitimize Obama's presidency, and do not denounce them because of the political points that Republicans gain from them.

    It's reckless, and violence can erupted as tensions rise.

    Sen McCain & Gov Pawlenty, stand up and call out the Limbaughs, Becks and Palins – THE CRAZIES – of your Party!

    September 11, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Bob in Pa

    Sorry to say Truth squad, even your word can not be taken a face value. You need to obtain the list from republicans and debunk it, we are talking apples to apples comparisons, not just what you see in the bill. And pilot program or temporary commision, it is still created. So it sounds as if you are understating the actual number.

    September 11, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Reagan was wrong

    As far as health care, the GOP is 0 for 3:

    -Death panels – FALSE
    -Insurance for illegals – FALSE
    -Panoply of bureaucracies – FALSE

    However, depressingly, no matter how many facts are used, no matter how clear the reasoning, there is nothing anyone can do to convince GOPers otherwise. Take, for example, these other false claims that GOPers believe are facts:

    -Saddam Hussein has WMDs – FALSE
    -Al Qaeda was involved in 9/11 – FALSE
    -"The foundations of our economy are strong" – FALSE
    -Sarah Palin opposed the Bridge to Nowhere – FALSE

    How can you have a discussion with someone who's version of the truth is completely detached from reality? You can't. The GOP cannot be appeased, and as long as they continue to promote falsehoods, they do not deserve inclusion in the debate.

    September 11, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. shmeckel

    What a bias report. Not that this report matters, but your verdict says "misleading", but the text makes it sound pretty darn close.

    September 11, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Pete S

    So it is only 43 not 53 now that makes all the difference in the world. Unlike the president now saying that there are 30 million uninsured instead of his original 49 million.

    The government has yet to run any program well so of course these new 43 programs should be flawless in their performance.

    Reform yes. Replacement no.

    September 11, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. steve

    President Obama don`t look further from your party to know that Sen Bachus and Sen Conrad are undermining your efforts in this health care debate.
    It is time to change leadership or they would hepl the DEMs loss the senate majority in the near future.

    September 11, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Dont blame me

    CNN may call the number misleading, but it still all adds up to MORE HOOPS to jump thru to get something done. More time wasted.

    Remember 1 thing, ALL government agencies are a DRAG on the economy and on YOUR pocket book and the more of these parasites that you have the worse it will be for the country.

    September 11, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Don

    does it matter if it is 53, 52 or 35?
    this is a way to give all lazy Americans jobs at the government: Europization and centralization of this economy......

    September 11, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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