CNN's Jessica Yellin identified Conservatives for Patients' Rights chairman Richard Scott as someone who "runs urgent-care clinics" and the leader of "a media campaign to limit government's role in the health-care system." But Yellin did not note that Scott resigned as chairman of the nation's largest for-profit health-care company in 1997 amid a federal investigation into the company's Medicare billing, physician recruiting, and home-care practices.
At a March 5 health-care forum, President Obama said, "The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds." On Special Report, Major Garrett reported that when asked to support that statistic, the White House cited a 2005 op-ed by Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren in which she referred to a Harvard study that supports the statistic. But Garrett did not note this. Instead, he referred to Treasury Department statistics from 2000 and pronounced Obama's assertion "[n]ot even close."
In an article on President Obama's health care plan, The Washington Post reported that Conservatives for Patients' Rights is promising to launch a multimillion-dollar ad campaign "warning that the country is hurtling toward socialized medicine." The Post did not provide any basis for the charge, nor did it note that, in fact, Obama is not proposing "socialized medicine."
On America's Newsroom, Bill Hemmer allowed Richard Scott, whom Hemmer did not note resigned as chairman of HCA, Inc. amid a federal investigation, to falsely claim that a provision in the stimulus bill allows the federal government to "take away" some of patients' health care "choices." In fact, the provision in question allocates funds for the research of "the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies," but in no way does the law empower the council to dictate which treatments may or may not be prescribed.
Discussing President Obama's health-care plan on MSNBC Live, The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly baselessly asserted that "estimates" for the plan put the cost at "$1 trillion each year." However, Connolly wrote in a Post article on the plan that its estimated total -- not yearly -- cost is at least $1 trillion, while other outlets have reported that the plan is expected to cost more than $1 trillion "over 10 years."
In separate reports, Fox News' Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly misrepresented the reported plans of the Obama administration to rescind a December 2008 Bush administration regulation to falsely assert that the Obama administration's decision could result in doctors' being prosecuted or discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions. In fact, federal law -- which the Obama administration cannot "repeal" -- prohibits public officials from requiring recipients of public funds to perform abortions or sterilizations in violation of their religious or moral beliefs.
On Special Report, Molly Henneberg reported that "Democrats control the White House and Congress, and they want government-run health-care programs." In fact, the White House health-care Web page states: "On health care reform, the American people are too often offered two extremes -- government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. President Obama and Vice President Biden believe both of these extremes are wrong."
The Wall Street Journal reported that Richard Scott, "the former chief executive of HCA Inc," had formed the non-profit organization Conservatives for Patients' Rights as part of a "lobbying campaign to derail or modify" President Obama's health care proposals, but failed to note that Scott resigned from HCA in 1997 amid a federal investigation into the company's Medicare billing, physician recruiting, and home-care practices. HCA eventually pleaded guilty to fraud charges and paid approximately $1.7 billion in fines and penalties.
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Reporting on President Obama's selection of Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary, The New York Times and the Politico propagated the baseless conservative charges that the health care reform efforts of Obama and Sebelius amount to "socialized medicine." In fact, as PolitiFact.com has noted, the health care reform plan Obama proposed in 2008 "keeps the free-market health care system intact," while a plan that Sebelius advocated as Kansas governor pointed to expanding access to private health insurance.
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In Fox News' special, Trillion with a T, Bret Baier promoted or repeated several myths and falsehoods about President Obama and the economic recovery bill, including that some of the spending in the bill -- which Obama has now signed into law -- isn't stimulus; that the bill will lead to "the government deciding which procedures you can have and which ones you can't"; that it would prohibit any religious activity in facilities receiving money; that the Obama administration advocated cutting the defense budget by 10 percent; and that Obama admitted "there might be some pork" in the bill.
A Washington Times editorial -- also published on the paper's website alongside a photo of Adolf Hitler -- compared the "spirit of the partisans of efficiency" who support a provision in the economic recovery bill that would attempt to improve "efficiency" of health-care delivery by providing for electronic medical records to the "Nazi version of efficiency" in which "elderly people with incurable diseases, young children who were critically disabled, and others who were deemed non-productive, were euthanized."