McCaughey returns to CNBC with another false health care attack

On CNBC, serial misinformer Betsy McCaughey again advanced a falsehood about health care reform, claiming that the “legislation that's now in Congress will force everyone under age 65 to buy the same one-size-fits-all government plan” and that “Page 16” of the House bill “says you must be enrolled in a qualified plan.” In fact, McCaughey's claims are false; the provision she referred to does not require anyone to give up their private individual health insurance plan.

McCaughey: Legislation will “force” everyone “to buy the same one-size-fits-all government plan”

From the August 28 edition of CNBC's The Kudlow Report:

McCAUGHEY: The legislation that's now in Congress will force everyone under age 65 to buy the same one-size-fits-all government plan.

JULIE ROGINSKY (Democratic strategist): No, it won't.

McCAUGHEY: You won't have the choice of a high-deductible plan.

ROGINSKY: How is that possible? It's an option.

McCAUGHEY: Because -- no it is not.

ROGINSKY: It's an option. It's a public option.

McCAUGHEY: On Page 16 and 17 of the House Bill 3200, you must be in a qualified plan.

ROGINSKY: Betsy --

McCAUGHEY: It will be defined by the health choices commission --

ROGINSKY: With all -- let me answer that, because with all due -- may I answer your point? With all due respect, this is much like your contention that the government is gonna tell old people to off themselves -- it's just not accurate. It's just not.

McCAUGHEY: They're not going to get the care they need with the $500 billion cut.

ROGINSKY: Actually, it's a public option. The word option means that you have an option. It's not a public mandate, it's a public option.

McCAUGHEY: I'm not talking about the public plan.

LARRY KUDLOW (host): Well let me put a cap --

McCAUGHEY: Page 16 in the bill says you must be enrolled in a qualified plan, whether it's public or private, it's designed by the government. The health choices commissioner is gonna outline --



KUDLOW: Let me cap this.

McCAUGHEY: -- how much leeway your doctor will have.

Page 16 does not “force everyone under age 65 to buy the same one-size-fits-all government plan.” In fact, the provision to which McCaughey referred establishes the conditions under which existing private plans would be exempted from the requirement that they participate in the Health Insurance Exchange. Individual health insurance plans that do not meet the “grandfather” conditions would still be available for purchase, but only through the Exchange and subject to those regulations. According to the House committees' summary of the bill, the Health Insurance Exchange “creates a transparent and functional marketplace for individuals and small employers to comparison shop among private and public insurers.”

McCaughey previously falsely claimed on Kudlow that the Senate bill “pushes Americans into low-budget plans.” On the June 16 edition of The Kudlow Report, McCaughey claimed that the Senate HELP bill “pushes Americans into low-budget plans” and that the bill “restricts the choice that other Americans have. If you have your plan and you like it, you may not be able to keep it unless it's an HMO-style plan. That's Section 3101.” In fact, Section 3101 of the legislation contains a provision explicitly prohibiting compelled enrollment in health benefit gateway programs established in the bill to help qualified individuals purchase qualified health insurance plans. According to the bill, the gateway program is “voluntary” and the legislation specifically states that "[n]o individual shall be compelled to enroll in a qualified health plan or to participate in a Gateway."

McCaughey: serial misinformer on health care

Betsy McCaughey is a serial misinformer who has perpetuated numerous falsehoods about health care reform. McCaughey has on numerous occasions propagated falsehoods about health reform proposals that were subsequently parroted by the conservative media. McCaughey falsely claimed that the House health care reform bill would “absolutely require” end-of-life counseling for seniors on Medicare “that will tell them how to end their life sooner” -- a claim that many in the media subsequently repeated. McCaughey has repeatedly falsely claimed that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's bill “basically” “pushes everyone into an HMO-style plan.” Additionally, McCaughey concocted the false claim, which was nonetheless widely repeated in the media, that a health IT provision in the economic recovery act enabled government bureaucrats to “monitor treatments” or restrict what “your doctor is doing” with regard to patient care.