February 2017 Porker of the Month: U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
During a CNN town hall on January 31, 2017, Leader Pelosi made a startling claim about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): “It’s three purposes were to increase coverage, expand those who got healthcare; to improve benefits, and to lower costs, and it has succeeded in every way.”
This whopper is in desperate need of a fact-check. A January 2017 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projection found that Obamacare covers less than half of the original estimate of 30 million. While 14 million Americans have enrolled since the law was fully implemented, 11.8 million, or 84 percent, are covered under Medicaid, not private insurance. Like all Medicaid recipients, the new enrollees’ access to quality care is sparse. A 2014 Merritt Hawkins study found that 55 percent of doctors reject Medicaid beneficiaries, which is a 10 percent jump since 2009.
Many Obamacare enrollees who did receive new private health insurance are finding that their high-deductible plans leave them just as vulnerable when they become ill. David Reines, a 60 year-old former hardware salesman from Jefferson Township, New Jersey with chronic knee pain, told The New York Times on November 14, 2015, that, “The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor. We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.”
The skyrocketing cost of Obamacare has caused insurers to either drastically increase premiums or withdraw from the marketplaces altogether as Humana and Aetna announced within the last year. In 2017, insurers plan to triple the premium prices in 38 states, and 70 percent of U.S. counties only offer one or two health insurance choices.
Leader Pelosi, who famously quipped that Congress would have to pass the healthcare bill so that Americans could see what was in it, is clearly wrong when she says the law “has succeeded in every way.” She parroted former President Obama’s patently false claim in 2009 that if Americans liked their healthcare plan and doctor that they would be able to keep them. She described Obamacare as “Affordable, affordable, affordable, affordable,” in 2014. She outrageously said that attempts to reform the broken law were acts of “cowardice,” and fear-mongered that Obamacare repeal would lead to “grandma living in the guest room.”
For repeatedly peddling false claims to the American people about Obamacare, CAGW names House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi its February 2017 Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
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