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. Kevin

    So if the statement was misleading and it isn't "53 new government bureaucracies" then clear the air and show the facts. What do the numbers come to?

    September 11, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Farrell in Houston

    Who in the world would believe anything coming from a Louisiana representative who doesn't give a darn and hasn't done anything for the healthcare system and hospitals in his own state. Boustany is just another GOP obstructionist and one who needs to help his own state.

    September 11, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. some guy in New Hampshire

    Fascintating that Republicans know how many new bureaucracies are in Obama's plan and that he's lying about it before they even know the details. The Republicans, ever eager to critiicize anything not their own, are criticizing details of the bill proposing by Democrats in the House - not proposed by Obama, who has yet to reveal the details of his own plan. Calm down, take a breath, and don't confuse one plan with another.

    September 11, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Jeff, Washington, DC

    "Misleading" is not "false." Rep. Boustany's statement remains technically accurate.

    September 11, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Mississippi Mike

    Just 53? There would be at least one for each state plus whatever the federal government would need to run it. I think 53 is a low-balled number.

    September 11, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Thomas Mercer

    Your headline asks the question: "Does the reform bill create 53 new bureaucracies?" In your verdict you state "the Republican count exaggerates the number of new bureaucracies." Why then don't you call a spade a spade and affirm that the Republican statement is indeed false rather than equivocating with the "misleading" tag?

    There are not always two sides to every argument. Sometimes one is simply a falsehood.

    September 11, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Wonder if Charles cheated on his Med.exam or did his mommy and daddy buy it for him?This hillbilly has no credibility.

    September 11, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Di

    CNN please give US the rest of the story!!! What are the new
    entities and bureaucracies? Finish your JOB and report ALL the FACTS!!

    September 11, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. CitizenAJ

    What else is new. The elected republican officials have been "misleading" for quite some time. Instead of worrying about the size of government, how about worrying about the affectiveness of government. Republicans always clamor about the size of government but none talk about its efficiency. They stir up their supporters and voters with talk of tax increases due to the government expanding. If you formulate a REAL pay-as-you-go plan with a transparent government, then that growth in government is not what the republicans would have you believe.

    September 11, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. MD

    Truth Squad – YOU LIE !!!

    September 11, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Stuffit

    Any number greater than zero is one too many. We should be reducing the number not arbitrarily expanding it at every turn.

    September 11, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    CNN, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE BILL WILL DO? THERE IS NO BILL! If there was a bill, the democrats would actually have to defend the details of it. They want to keep it secret until the last minute hoping they can sneak it through. If the power-hungry democrats get everything they want, there'll be AT LEAST fifty-three new bureacracies. You should rename the "CNN Truth Squad" the "CNN Obama Spin Squad."

    September 11, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Hyprocrite

    Joe Wilson and all of his sons have government sponsored healthcare. It is called Tricare. Joe is a vet, and his sons are serve in the military. So if he is so against gov. health care, why doesn't he cancel his own, and go buy a private plan?

    September 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Audrey Fryer

    CNN Truth Squad – alias Republican Talking Points.

    September 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    GOP just lies about everything

    September 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Republicans are masters at twisting the truth toward their own advantage then adding lies to support their twists. I grow more disgusted with them every day.

    September 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom

    IS anyone surprised by the Republicans? They have a long history of opposing anything that will help Americans.

    What would our grandparents and parents do without Social Security?

    Or Medicare? Or the Disabled do without Medicaid?

    American families whose children are severely handicapped rely on Medicaid for help with EXPENSIVE medical procedures and treatments!

    Where would Americans be without Unemployment Benefits? Or the Minimum Wage?

    ALL these programs and MORE were OPPOSED BY THE GOP!

    Please America do your own research, think for yourself! Do not allow the fear-and-hate-mongers win!

    September 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. pat

    One way to solve the fear that a greater bureaucracy would be created (with people whose jobs and benefits seem to last forever) would be to subcontract the work to private companies, but at government rates and overhead, to avoid Blackwater-type boondoggles.

    September 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Pete S

    Name one, just one, federal government run office that ever ended. These things take on a life of their own.

    Yes the cash for clunkers program ended but did the workers ever leave or will they ever leave. My guess is they will be sucked into that huge blackhole called the federal government.

    BEFORE THE LIBERALS DECEND ON ME IN A RUSH WAVING THE RACE CARD. A BLACKHOLE IS NOT RACIST. IT IS JUST AN EMPTY VOID THAT SUCKS EVERY THING IN. IN THIS CASE WHAT IS BEING SUCKED IN IS AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS.

    September 11, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Libs = Ignorance in action

    Thats all this thing will be if it passes as is.. Ineffectual management, red tape, fraud and less qualified medical people.

    September 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Melissa

    I live in Louisiana. I'll tell you now that Boustany needs to shut his trap. The state of health care in this state is despicably bad. How do I know? Because I have family in the medical industry in this state, thats how.

    I'd rather go to another state to get treated even if it means I might die, than get treated in Louisiana. I'm scared of the medical care here. You have no idea how bad they are until you see them for yourselves.

    September 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Operation Crush Rush

    53?Who cares,im just waiting for Rush to blow a fuse and fall off his chair and to the floor.hahaha

    September 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    Maybe they could outsource everything to India. That's not our government, but it seems OK for them to have all our jobs.

    OOPS – My ex-republican wacko brain cell came back to life for a minute. I'll kill it.

    September 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. ccc

    Once again GOP lies

    September 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Andy and Barney

    The government option would be a disaster. When has the government ever managed anything without waste and misuse by dishonest people.

    September 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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