Health Care Bill: Separating Fact from Fiction
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Most Americans as well as members of Congress have not read the massive health care bill, which has led to speculation as to what it actually contains.
There are a number of widely held beliefs about this sweeping health care overhaul, everything from death panels to higher taxes linked to this bill so NEWS 9 decided to go in search of the truth.
Since the Democratic push for health care reform began more than a year ago, it has been difficult to separate truth from fiction as the noise from the public and the politicians reached a fever pitch.
"I think we've posted 100 articles or more on the health care debate alone," said Brooks Jackson, Director of FactCheck.org.
FactCheck.org spent months researching dozens of claims made against the health care bill. This is one of the most common ones: Taxes will increase for all Americans because of health care bill. That, according to FactCheck.org is false.
"The vast majority of people will see no increase in taxes at all. One of the big taxes will come on people making 200k a year or 250k a year if you're married and filing jointly," said the FactCheck.org Director.
There were also concerns that Americans won't be able to choose their own doctors if this bill passes. That too, is false.
"Essentially, there will be 32 million people who are not insured and they will have a choice of a doctor where right now they will have a choice of visiting an emergency room or paying for a doctor out of pocket," Jackson said.
And what about the claim that it will take longer to see a doctor? Well, there is some truth to that, according to Jackson.
"Eventually, those people will be seeing a doctor more often or wanting to," the FactCheck.org Director said.
Jackson went on to say that the bill does provide subsidies specifically designed to address the expected surge.
"We'll just have to see whether the number of new doctors equals the number of new patients," Jackson said.
And then there's the matter of malpractice reform, which is a push to cap the amount patients can get if they sue a doctor for malpractice. According to numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, that would only save about half of one percent, which is not a lot of money at all.