August 22nd, 2009
03:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama slams 'outrageous myths' about health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" President Obama talks about health care reform Thursday in Washington."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Facing a recent erosion of public support for health-care overhaul, President Obama lashed out at his opponents Saturday for spreading "outrageous myths" on the Internet, television, and at town hall forums.

Republican leaders, in turn, said it was Obama who is guilty of playing "fast and loose with the facts."

They repeated their assertion that the president's proposed government-funded public health insurance option would destroy the current private insurance-based system.

"I'm glad that so many are engaged," Obama said in his weekly radio address. But it should "be an honest debate, not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions, spread by the very folks who would benefit the most by keeping things exactly as they are."

Obama emphasized that, contrary to the assertions of many, illegal immigrants will not get health insurance under a reform plan.

"That idea has never even been on the table," he said.

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Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. laurie carlo

    Wouldn't it just make more sense to have our President do a town hall with a small room of birthers, nay sayers and myth makers who are in our government or media? I would love to see Obama in front of Hannity, Beck, Lou Dobbs, Palin or any of our elected officials, dancing Delay etc. He could squash anything that comes out of their mouths easily, hands down. One question each. All of the stupid stuff would be out in the open and it could be said in front of our Presidents face, which of course, would never happen. Get Rove in there too... such an honest guy.

    August 22, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Amanda

    The problem is that the people who spread these malicious lies are not interested in health care. They are just interested in bringing down this presidency, and us with it I suppose. They are plain criminals.

    August 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. wagon

    Nothing like getting lectured by Canada. Must be always nice to sit on sidelines. Canada is a third stringer in this world.

    August 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Amanda

    Enough: Making health care available and affordable and reforming the health care insurance companies is EXACTLY what President Obama is trying to do. I am glad you are on board!

    August 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. BLembergMD

    To all those who believe Canadian system working so well,please read what Canadian Medical Association just said about their system. It is said to be broken and in need of private insurance. Furthermore, listen to discussion on BBC regarding terrible shape of British economy and statements by both major political parties of need to revamp their National Health Service since it will require draconian cuts in funding. We need reform ,but, not wholesale restructure which would bankrupt our economy and destroy what we have. Where would all the doctors come from if their income drop and there is need for them to work longer hours with no help in malpractice reform.

    August 22, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Brian

    Republicans have never been interested in health care reform, otherwise they would have done it over the past eight years, when they had the chance.

    Democrats need to come up with a plan without any Republican input, pass it, then let the Republicans see what happens when they try to stonewall progress instead of contribute to the whole.

    August 22, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. outsider

    I am a Canadian and I am proud of our health care system which is equal to every body, whether you have a precondition (diabetes, high blood pressure etc.) or not you pay the same premium.
    Why do some Americans criticize it? Because they never experience the convenience of public health care.
    I just wonder what will they think when they turn out to be seniors and depend on their pension for living.

    August 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. ib

    Obama couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it; why? Because he doesn't know the truth himself. What a joke for a president.

    August 22, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. willful misrepresentations and outright distortions

    our country was built on willful misrepresentations and outright distortions, how did they lure the Europeans over hear to kill off the native Americans with their diseases?

    willful misrepresentations and outright distortions about how great it was to live hear with blatant false advertising

    America has always been like this

    August 22, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. JP

    Both sides are telling lies. How about some reality. Currently the government funds health care for some through medicare and medicade, the reimbursement rates are low and don't cover costs of providing care. Health care providers make this up by charging insurance companies more for the same services. Only fools could truely believe that a government option that pays less for services will be able to also charge less for premiums which in turn will destroy private insurance. I am concerned that fewer of the best and the brightest will go into the field of medicine. We will all lose when this happens. Regarding illegals it doesn't really matter that the new entitlement doesn't cover them because he wants to make them citizens. Look up what he has said about immigration reform. If Obama wanted true reform and not just another entitlement how come none of the proposals has any medical malpractice reform now thats true reform . Defensive medicine costs the country 150 billion a year. Who is more important taxpayers or trial lawyers. All of Obama proposals so far have shown that its not you the taxpayer.

    August 22, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. John in WV

    I have yet to hear one republican explain why they did not pass their version of health care reform when they could have 8 years ago.

    August 22, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. San Antonio

    I've read many parts of the bill and the fact is, much of what the conservatives are howling about SIMPLY ISN'T THERE. It takes an awful big stretch of imagination (and deceit) to go from Medicare paying for VOLUNTARY end-of-life counseling (at which a patient may decide he or she wants full intervention) to mandatory "death-panels." Much of what we hear at the town hall meetings is simply BS spin created by the insurance companies and anti-Americans who hate our democratically-elected president. PLEASE don't believe the hype, and look at the bill yourselves.

    August 22, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. John

    England, Canada, Germany, France all have Excellent Health Care Systems.

    USA has Health Care Mafia.

    USA Health Care Mafia consists of GOP.

    USA Health Care Mafia wants the US healthcare to remain in private control, rather than Government control, so that:

    1. They can Earn Unscruplous Profits and Embezzle Money.

    2. They can become Rich by Plunder and Extortion of the Middle Class.

    3. They can Defaud the Public to deprive them of the Services.

    4. They can Contrul and Deny the Doctors Independent Judgment.

    HEALTHCARE MAFIA consists of People like MADOFF.

    FBI should investigate into this.

    August 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Maria - Proud Democrat

    The questions I have yet to get straight answers to are the following....

    By the way these questions aren't myths.....they are valid considering President Obama himself had said various times during his campaign that his new plan meant that anyone who didn't have health insurance would be fined while in the emergency room.

    That was then this is now.......So what I would like President Obama to answer and give a SOLID and STRAIGHT answer




    August 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Tbone85

    It's laughable to declare that the Constitution forbids mandating health insurance. It's not in the Constitution to mandate service in the armed services, but we had a draft for decades. It's not in the Constitution to have to contribute to Social Security or pay taxes, but we have for decades. It's up to the Congress to draft legislation, for the President to sign legislation into law, and the Supreme Court to determine if legislation is Constitutional. That's the process in the Constitution to create subsequent laws.

    The Constitution does not literally say that abortion should be legal or that individuals have an absolute right to bear arms (does that mean an AK-47 or a thermo-nuclear device?). The founding fathers were wise enough to know that they couldn't anticipate all future changes in society, so they left it to future generations to figure it out for themselves. Every time I see someone falsely hiding their argument behind the Constitution I just think they lack the courage that the founders required of future generations. Grow up! It's our responsibility now to lead.

    August 22, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Watch Out for President Obama and the Left wings "Lawyer Truth" (LIES) that their eventual goal is a single payer system which they have the power to tax, say in procedures allowed, payments to health care providers, and to buy your vote. The government option is the first step for Obama's goal form his Senate Campaign in 2004. I trust an insurance company more than a government beaurocrat (flunky)!

    August 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    If illegal immigrants and abortions will not be provided then why do the democrats not let them be specifically stated as so in the Bill instead of voting the amendments down? Obama should demand they be part of the Bill or he is lying, which is it?

    August 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Jason

    There is some interesting circular logic here. On one hand, a public option would destroy the private system, implying that people would flock to it and away from the private system. But at the same time we're told that a majority of people don't want a public option... which, if that's the case, then the private system will be just fine.

    August 22, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Joshua

    Let only those who have read the whole document (1018 pages) be allowed to attend the meetings and discuss/debate the issue. Those who have not read the whole document (1018 pages) should buy a one-way ticket to Alaska and join Sarah in her crusade of fear and ignorance.

    August 22, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. Allison

    This country is full of stupid people....afterall most of them voted for George W., not only once, but twice. That says alot about the mentally of most Americans. We woke up way too late. Now, the GOP are leading the gullible lambs to slaughter. President Obama is our only hope of turning this messed up country around. Wake up people!!

    August 22, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Lynne

    Enough: If the Insurance Companies were going to lower premiums, don't you think they would be doing that on their own right now to counter PRESIDENT OBAMA'S public option proposal?

    How much credit does the media take for the confusion in health care reform? Every day there is a new rumor, an anonymous source, or a parsing of words.

    Sadly, journalism is no longer objective as the real newspeople slowly pass away and America is stuck with prima donnas who think they are more important than the story, huge corporation owning the media and and real investigation and truth replaced with parisan pundits and selected comments on twitter or face book.

    August 22, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Illinoistom

    When Dear Leader has less guarded moments, he refers to his plan as "the bill." Since the only bill is HR3200 and it is 1000 pages of bailouts for the insurance companies, big pharma, and big business, we can safely conclude we should reject "the bill."

    August 22, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. JAXSON

    It's amazing how Republicans can throw the most obsurd comments out into the public and we lick it up like a stick of candy. A fool and his money are soon parted. . . Republicans have proven that. Thing is, they're doing it again.

    August 22, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. Susan

    99% of the people protesting Healthcare Reform admit they have never read the bill, nor have they investigated any part of it on their own. They are relying on preachings from the Republican Party. How soon we forget just how and why we have economically fallen. . . .we are proven fools for believing and listening to anything a Republican has to say. i

    August 22, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. fat man

    Drink the Kool Aid and Sing Along

    Obama the logo president ....

    Has big problem on his hands...

    People are asking tough questions....

    That he's not able to comprehend...

    He blames the Republicans for all his troubles and woe....

    He forget that the Democrats...

    Control the White House and the Congress oh no...

    August 22, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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