September 11th, 2009
12:16 PM ET
9 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. Jason

    Never met a fact they couldn't obfuscate, tear apart or just plain lie through their teeth about
    That's our Republican Party!!!
    To be fair Democrats are Truth challenged too, but not to the point of encouraging stupid the way repubs do

    September 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Kjamt

    does fact check give a number of new bureaucracies. If so why did u post it.

    September 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. gumba

    Honestly, I would love to blame "Republicans" or "conservatives" or the "religious right" for all this nonsense, but the unspoken truth is that the majority of Americans are poorly educated, ill-informed, motivated by beliefs rather than facts, and have no desire to broaden their perspective.

    When I hear assertions that the country is primarily center-right politically, I always think back to the 60's when I thought that in time all the narrow minded dinosaurs would eventually go extinct. Sadly, I find that they have continued procreating.

    September 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Kate in SW Fla

    More of the same. I see these dudes are still "staying the course." How mean and disingenuous. They oppose just to oppose.

    September 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Merle

    For those that keep blaming Republicans; the fight for health care reform is within the democratic party you idiots. It is getting really old using the Repubs as scapegoats for the mess Democrats have made of America.

    Repubs want: tort reform, insurance accross state lines, less government influence on choices.

    Dems want: control of health care, public option, non-political panels to decide health coverage, the end to the insurance industry. illegal immigrants covered (i know i will hear it for this one, but it IS in the bill). Dems also have the majority for now- you don;t need a single repub vote to finish this, it is the dems own party that cant add up the figures that they are getting from party leadership about the cost.

    September 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Cat

    It is disgraceful that on 9/11 you (still!) have Joe Wilson in the headlines!!
    Disgraceful!! Someone who obviously has no respect for the President or the Country he leads, trumps any reporting about the commemoration of this day.
    I have switched from CNN to another news website because of my disgust with CNN reporting in the past, and this just confirms I have made a good decision. (my husband informed me of the Wilson headline)
    I do hope you post this, and that possibly enough people have commented on this to make some difference in how you make your decisions as to what news is truly important, and what to headline.
    I somehow doubt it, but can only hope for everyone's sake that CNN and other media outlets get back to reporting with some integrity and wisdom. Good Luck America!!

    September 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Grrr-awful-o

    It depends on what your meaning of the word "is" is, I guess. But the point is that there will be more, confusing entities to have to deal with and navigate through. A veritable gauntlet of obtuse agencies (or whatever you want to call them). The end result, however you term it, will be a nightmare to deal with for average citizens. That's the point.

    September 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Rural Michigan 4 Obama

    For all those lies with the sole goal of scaring people, president Obama put it best: "There are not leader to fear the future, but to shape the future".

    If republicans cannot handle the responsabilities of shaping that future, but only fear it. They should let their place to those who can.

    September 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. i want my finger back

    Mellissa, Lacrossemom and Sniffit – don't you guys having anything better to do that repeat the same old garbage lines?

    Why don't you do something more productive with your time – like get a paper route and pay some taxes? Even better for you, go to ACCORN and they can help you start something more lucrative and criminal and avoid paying taxes.

    This is the beginning of the end for line of political thinking.

    September 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Evolve

    Again, another Republican caught misleading the people and lying to protect the insurance companies.

    September 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. JDD

    Tellingly, the article does not then give what is believed to be the accurate number. The closest we get is: "A look at his [Rep. Boustany's] claim does show that many of the entities would be new." So that means it's pretty darn accurate, right?

    Presumably, if the number were significant;y lower, it would have been included in the article, and the self-appointed "verdict" would be "false."

    I'd also echo the previous comment: How often has a "temporary" govenment office ever closed down. Can anyone name one? One of this size and scope?

    September 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Kate in SW Fla

    Let's see, here's some "government"
    Military, police, firemen, 911, Coast Guard, roads, parks, schools, libraries, and CDC, just to mention some of it. Republicans, what would you like to eliminate?

    September 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    And Pres Bush did NOT add more during his tenure?

    September 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    OK CNN, if not 53 then how many new ones? You haven't answered the question. Is it 20, 30, 40? Whatever the answer it's too many.

    September 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Kathy

    I live in Louisiana, and I agree with Rep Boustany. This plan is a joke. We don't need more government. Unlike Melissa, I believe our medical care in Louisiana is wonderful I have only had good experiences here. Maybe you went to a charity hospital or something.I work, I pay my insurance and my coverage is good.

    September 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Jg

    Maybe it's time to stand on pinciple. If you want to stop Obama's crazy Liberal, Communist, Fascist, Socialist, whatever you think he is and save the country for real Americans, whoever they are since clearly I'm not one of them, then maybe you should get rid of gains brought to us by crazy Liberal, Communist, Fascist, Socialists like social security, medicare, and the weekend. Give those up show us Nazi Commy Socialists where we can stick our whacky ideas.

    September 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Ron In California

    The real question you want the Government running your health care.
    Government run entitires to name a few include
    Postal Service-Broke
    Fannie mae-Broke
    Freddie Mac-Broke
    Social Security-Broke
    The Gvo't itself-broke
    Where did the money come from-You
    you're next to go btoke

    September 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. center left

    Let me guest? Rep. "Lord" Boustany got his fact from the Lewin Group, which is hack for republicans. What a joke!

    September 11, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Kate in SW Fla

    Republicans think that being rich is the most important thing to people. They have encouraged them to shop, shop, shop – sending all our money overseas,AFTER they sent all our jobs. Do not listen to them. They may pretend to be Christians and have all these "family values,", but they are phonies. Real Christians love one another – you think these guys do that? I don't know about you, but I am not feelin' it!

    September 11, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. kd

    Doing nothing on health care means the biggest financial disaster our country and its citizens will ever face. There is no rational argument against that reality. Health care MUST be reformed. Republicans make no sense in their opposition. They are not participating and they certainly are not offering anything constructive.

    It's to the point where the Republicans are the white noise in the background that everyone knows is there but that everyone also ignores.
    (no pun intended on the use of 'white' – but funny how that is unfortunately true as well).

    September 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Ex-Repug

    I would love to know how many of these public plan hating Republicans have affordable health insurance.

    September 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Bxgrrl

    People are suffering and dying because of the health care "system". What does the GOP have to offer but fear mongering, stonewalling and LIES? NOTHING.

    September 11, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. David Newport, OR

    There you go...but will the "truth" be heard by those not wanting to hear it? Nope. Not a chance. Republicans do not want the truth because with it, they would never get elected ever again. Better to tell lies and let the ignorant believe them.

    September 11, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Stephanie of St. Louis

    I give up. Seriously, you can not watch CNN for news anymore. Not saying we should all run to Fox or ABC or any other affilitate. These sorts of statements made by the media is the reason I started turning to international news to learn about my own country. Its sad when countries like Britian and France can give more actual information about American problems than any American news station can. I wish someone would just post the bill that has been circulated, and continue updating it with every change that's been decided in Congress. (Without summarizing it.)

    September 11, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Tre'

    I love the peaceful and pleasant language from all of the liberals posting. It is so heartwarming.

    September 11, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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