Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy falsely claimed that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) "found billions of dollars hidden in the health care bill." In fact, The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog found that Bachmann's claim that money was "hidden" in the health care law "does not have credibility."
Doocy Claims Bachmann "Found Billions Of Dollars Hidden" In The Health Care Reform Law
Doocy Claims Bachmann "Found Billions Of Dollars Hidden In The Health Care Bill." From the March 9 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: Meanwhile, ever wonder where all your tax money is going? Well, the federal government certainly can't tell us, there's so much. First, there was a report finding massive amounts of government overlap. Then Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann found billions of dollars hidden in the health care bill. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/9/11]
Wash. Post: Bachmann's Claim "Bordering On Ridiculous," "Does Not Have Credibility"
Washington Post Fact Checker Gives Bachmann's Claim "Four Pinocchios." The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog evaluated Bachmann's claim that "over $105 billion was hidden in the 'Obamacare' legislation" and described the claim as "bordering on ridiculous." The Post gave Bachmann's claim "Four Pinocchios," for claims it describes as "whoppers." From The Washington Post:
While Bachmann in her television appearances echoed Istook's argument that Obama "tied the hands of Congress," her main points have been that "this money was broken up, hidden in various parts of the bill" -- something akin to a "slush fund" -- and that it was done "secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress."
This is bordering on ridiculous. The Congressional Budget Office, the official arbiter of congressional legislation, conducted extensive analyses of the health-care bill. Many of the specific programs identified in the CRS report were listed and examined in the CBO reports that were regularly issued as the legislation made its way through Congress. The CBO reporting also included estimates of the spending for these programs year by year. For complicated reasons, the numbers in the CRS report and the earlier CBO reports are not always exactly the same, but much of it was there in plain sight.
In fact, Bachmann is only talking about half of the ledger. The Obama administration insisted that the health care bill be "paid for" through various revenue raisers and cost cuts in order to not increase the deficit. In the end, CBO declared that the health care bill would reduce the deficit over the next decade.
There is a further problem with Bachman's charge of "hidden" spending. The CRS report refers repeatedly to the many announcements made by the Department of Health and Human Services in recent months that it had spent some of the money authorized by Congress. In other words, the administration has not tried to hide this money at all; instead, it has trumpeted each dollar spent in a press release.
She is correct that Congress already has appropriated some spending in future years, but her claim that this money was "hidden" does not have credibility. The money for these programs was clearly described and analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office before the legislation was voted into law.
She needs to get a new sign. [The Washington Post, 3/9/11]