‘That’s a Lie!’ Claim Leveled at Inslee Examined

During the health care conversation we’ve been having I’ve been delighted with the work done by the St. Petersburg Times on its PolitiFact site.

I’d love to take the live stream videos we’re doing on the town halls and fact check them. Seriously, I have fun injecting reason into the debate. The trouble is it takes an awful lot of time to check everything. I’m not saying I won’t do it still, but I can’t promise I’ll get to it over new developments in the Bremerton boardwalk and vacation.

Nonetheless, I thought I’d at least address one of the first moments of the town hall. If you go to the 9 minute mark of the live steam you’ll see Inslee discussing why the conversation is happening.

He said during the past two years 87 million people were without insurance at some point.

“That’s a lie,” yelled someone in the audience. Scott Park, who was interviewed for an earlier story on health care, has taken credit for the outburst, saying Inslee immediately corrected himself and went back to the 46 million figure most often cited. I didn’t think his memory was quite accurate, so I went back to the video.

On the issue itself, I had recalled Inslee saying that sometime “during the last year” that 87 million had been without insurance, so I was wrong on that. He clearly said during the last “two years.” Then the comment about that being a lie.

My brief amount of checking on the 87 million figure led me to this news story referring to a study that backs up what Inslee said.

After the “lie” was called, Inslee said 46 million are the most chronic cases, not having insurance ever. That number is based on a census study. He wasn’t correcting himself, he was referring to the more commonly used number.

If you go specifically to the PolitiFact entry on the 46 million, even the 46 million can be considered both an undercount and overcount.

I haven’t looked very hard at the study, but so far haven’t found outright criticism of it yet. I’m sure there is some.

So, in my opinion, because studies can reach incorrect conclusions, what Inslee said might have been wrong, but it wasn’t a lie.

Park emphasized that he wasn’t calling Inslee a liar, but said the information itself was a lie. The reason, he said, is that 87 million figure will be the one used to justify the kind of health care reform that’s being proposed, when in reality even the real number could be in dispute.

8 thoughts on “‘That’s a Lie!’ Claim Leveled at Inslee Examined

  1. If 46 million (or 87 million) Americans didn’t have roads, public schools, fire departments or police protection, we would quickly move to fix that.

    How we can let our fellow citizens suffer and die due to lack of medical coverage I will never understand.

    We should be better than that.

  2. Studies show that figures can lie and liars can figure. It is easy to make a study show whatever conclusions are needed by the organization that comissioned the study

  3. Well, let’s see…Yes, we need to ‘fix’ our health care system…but hiring our government to run health care as a single entity alongside the almost bankrupt government run Social Security, mismanaged Medicare and Medicaid seems the height of asininity.

    Worse… we give up private enterprise and individual choice.

    Why doesn’t the government pull SS out of failure? Could it be that they’re not competent to turn it around? If so, how could they possibly run a health care system?

    I’m sorry Senator Kennedy died but his death should not be a reason to pass a foolish government run health care system in the haste of emotion and ignorance pushed by a carefully run well organized political machine.

    No.

    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  4. I’m also sorry Senator Kennedy died. But if healthcare reform is passed it won’t be because of his death. It will because of the constant work he did in his lifetime.

    The emotion, ignorance you speak of is that of the American people who elected this administration in part because of it’s promise to address this crisis. So many people don’t even understand that the government does not intend to “run” the healthcare system any more that insurance companies “run” healthcare already.

    Perhaps we could afford to “pull SS out of failure” if the government hadn’t made a habit from stealing it’s funds for so many years…remember Al Gore’s “lock-box”that so many ridiculed? There would be plenty of funds to help all the citizens of the US if we were to free up the money spent on overseas military adventures, glutonous contractors, propping up financial institutions that are bound to fail and the pork barrel spending we are all sick of.

  5. The “pork barrel spending we are all sick of” is the spending in another district.
    “We’ want the pork here at home…otherwise Norm Dicks would be only a memory by now. He does the job he was hired to do and I don’t hear anyone complaining or voting him out of office. Do you?

    Immigrants legally flooded here once, leaving their homelands for the promise of a new life in America…a new life of freedom to work, to save… the free enterprise system we held dear was the carrot that made America the magic land where a person was only limited by their own imagination and willingness to work.
    Coming to America through Ellis Island gave immigrants a glimpse of their new land the first time they visited the shiny tiled walls of the Eilis Island men’s room, according to my dad, then a 17 year old.

    He and the other boy’s stared around the huge tiled men’s room in awe.
    Dads story never wavered over his lifetime of telling it…he never forgot the older man who stuck his thumbs under his suspenders and proudly proclaimed in Norwegian, “Well, fellas, you are in America now!”

    Our free enterprise system is something to fight for, not against. NO to a government controlled and run health care system!

    Sharon O’Hara

  6. This is so funny that this blog writer is so focused on the “lie” aspect, which appears to be a desperate attempt to discredit people who attended the townhall meeting. So we’re supposed to believe that Politifact’s numbers, which are based on various government statistics and assumptions, are “true” or “right.”

    The “true” number is just like the government’s numbers on unemployment and GDP, both of which have been so manipulated over the years for political purposes that they are worthless. [Research that, blog writer–for example, see shadowstastics website.]

    And while we’re on the subject of lies, what about all the braying the last approximate 5 years about how Bush “lied” regarding WMD, which if I recall correctly, was based on intelligence that was thought to be accurate at the time?

    Let me see if I understand this correctly…So something is considered a “lie” only if it doesn’t jive with what you want to achieve?

  7. How about sticking to the subject? Stop ‘braying’ old news and bringing up presidents no longer in office.
    Goodness, we have a new president now.
    His name is Obama. O b a m a. President Obama.

    Maybe he will join our fight against government controlled health care and socialism.

    Sharon O’Hara

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