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. Glennis

    Anyone who believes it won't create a bigger bureacracy than either the government or CNN tells you it will is pathetically naive.

    September 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Bill

    ENTIRE USA HAS GONE INSANE.

    Health Care Reforms means:
    1. We want to try something new.
    2. We want to try something different.
    3. We want to try something, because current system is not working.

    Now, Our whole Country has gone INSANE.
    WE HAVE AND ENTIRE USA HAS GONE INSANE, because:

    1. Only when we will try the new Health Reforms, we will learn if it works. If it does not work out, we will revert back. There is no harm in trying.
    2. Until we try, we will not know if we will succeed.
    3. We try, new experiments in science everyday.
    4. Last year in Califorina Workers' Comp. Courts they went PAPERLESS. They tried and only then they could know if it was better than the previous system.

    These Republicans are a bunch of Idiots, not letting Obama try. How can we know if it will be good, before even we have tried the new health care reforms. GOP is the JUNK of AMERICA.

    September 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Fair enough, but I don't expect any of those who support this plan to try and make an argument that it doesn't create too many new government bureaucracies. ( ...and somehow this is supposed to be more efficient? )

    September 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Gator

    I also live in Louisiana and have never had a problem with the medical here. have been in the hospital for serious visits several times and the treatment was great. Good doctors, good hospitals and never had a problem with insurance.

    September 11, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Better a bigger bureaucracy than allowing the Republicans to continue to run things into the ground through their greed and stupidity.

    September 11, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Mike in SA

    Very rarely in our government is a bureaucracy only "temporary". In fact most of the time they spawn even more bureaucracies. The number 53 may end up being low.

    September 11, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Burns NH

    my,my, I see where the stimulas has gone,for comments supporting
    "o" my bama. Sorry for the comment,but it is so obvious it makes me
    want to up chuck. Have you no shame for what you are doing to our
    country. It is not just your country, it is of great concerned to all
    of us. I would ask "you" think long and hard,for your family,for your
    country,for all our futures----–and yes, "IN GOD WE TRUST".

    September 11, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. tompain

    Does it matter if it is 53 or 25? Not really. Your verdict of “misleading” must refer to CNN's analysis. The fact is that whenever government raises or reduces taxes for any reason they create more government jobs and spending. The number of new entities may be debatable but we all know that the number will be significant and that means the cost associated with establishing and running those agencies will also be significant. To have a truthful dialog you should just report the facts fairly and let us draw our own conclusions.

    I suggest that if you really are the truth squad that you adopt the mantra of reporting “Just the facts Maaaam” and not offer your opinion.

    September 11, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Michael K, Baltimore MD

    So, the GOP is misleading citizens with sloppy presentation and intentional lies?

    Why is this news? If there is a GOP spokesman speaking, it is axiomatis that he is lying. At least that is the reputation they are building.

    September 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    Why do you call it the "truth" squad? Isn't it really a "propaganda" squad?

    September 11, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Ren from Baltimore

    How did these folks in Louisiana get all of t his bad luck? Why is this all happening to them? Crazy weather, crazy officials, crazy talk from even their elected representatives.

    The Republicans evidently had nothing new to say-even though good arguments could be made both pro and con a health care reform bill. The President himself has been much more eloquent in the limitations of any bill than has the other side. It certainly isn't all Republicans, but it is these folks who have now taken over the mouthpieces of the party. A real shame that the party that gave us Lincoln has to stoop to drivel in their arguments, to game-playing with America's future, and to sticking it to the American people.

    September 11, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Bill

    Joe Wilson Yelled Because:

    1. He could not control his emotions.
    2. It was a Sudden Outburst.
    3. He was very upset.
    4. It was Not Intentional and Not Premeditated.

    Every person who Murders says the same defenses 1 to 4 above.

    Do we exonorate all Murderers based upon the above defenses?
    :|

    September 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Sam Sixpack

    Big government is just a stepping stone to the awaiting bliss of communism.

    September 11, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. KG, MN

    Lord Boustany, er, excuse me, he didn't actually get to buy that title, Rep. Boustany was clearly out of his element in the rebuttal. Did the Repubs figure if they picked a no-name it would get them somewhere?

    September 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Dad of a Diabetic

    Republicans support FDIC for bank deposits. They support government backed homeowner insurance for large mansions on the coast. They support government crop insurance for farmers. Why is it that the Government can insure bank deposits, crops, coastal mansions, but the Government cannot help a child with cancer or diabetes purchase health insurance when they become young adults????? If it is left to the free market, then a young child who survives cancer or has type 1 diabetes will forever be uninsurable. If the Republicans believe that the Government cannot do anything right, then abolish FDIC, Crop insurance, FEMA, Coastal homeowners insurance, medicare, social security, overtime pay, safety standards, and close the interstate highway system. The government is not perfect, but it sometimes is better than the private system. People in rural areas would not have electricity without REA, etc.

    September 11, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Willy

    This guy made his money practicing medicine. He doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone else.

    September 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Amazing

    The government will spend billions to give freedom to other countries and even pour billions more to build thier economy up. You will hear Americans whine and moan about why dont we spend that money here at home? Then when we finally get a President that is trying to take care of the people in the US, Americans throw a fit to the point of near revolt. To me should be the other way around. But my guess its the republicans wanting to keep thier honey pot the way it is. Its funny when you really check into these accusations, most of them end up being total lies or misleading at best. And that has no party tag to it.

    September 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Democrats and their leader LIE!

    September 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Sean

    What? Lies being told by Republicans to try to defeat healthcare reform? Well THAT'S a new tactic....

    Hope that came across as sarcastic enough.

    September 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. i want my finger back

    Fact – Bill does not require proof of citizenship. it will cover illegal immigrants. Barry lied.

    September 11, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    BTW, this fiasco has killed meaningful health care reform for years to come. All we have to look forward to for now are REQUIRED payments to fat, rich, greedy insurance execs for services we will be denied. You got scammed – again.

    September 11, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. sonya

    Joe Wilson yelled because of his lack of respect for the President. I believe it was a calculated move as were so many other actions during the speech.

    September 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Laroue

    Go Charles Go, he speaks the truth. Th heck with the ignorant gimmee liberals.

    September 11, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. john in VA

    CNN is laughable. Okay so there are not 53 new "entities" just maybe 40 or so. That's great people; cheer your freedoms away more and more each day. Let big brother take care of all your problems, but remember a goverment big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.

    September 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Mike in Fairfax

    Okay, not 53 then. So it's misleading. So, how many is it? 52? 51? 10? Either way, it's too many, and that's the point.

    September 11, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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