Watching Fox & Friends can be hazardous to your health reform knowledge

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Fox & Friends continued its pattern of consistently advancing falsehoods about health care reform when Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) -- whom the program hosted to take questions about the reform legislation from viewers and "dispel the myths" -- falsely claimed that under the House proposal, "the greatest number [of uninsured people] that will be picked up is by a substantial expansion of Medicaid." In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, 30 million uninsured people would receive insurance through the health care exchanges set up by the bill, while only 11 million people would receive coverage under Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) combined.

From the August 13 edition of Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Good morning to you. Will more people be insured from what you read from the bill for less money?

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R-TX): More people will be insured, but the less money can't -- is not a promise that can be fulfilled. And the -- of course, the greatest number that will be picked up is by a substantial expansion of Medicaid, which likely is going to put some strain on state budgets as well. So there is some concern there. But the price tag is -- is huge. And that's been the -- that's been the conundrum since the middle of June.

Burgess' claim that the bill covers the uninsured primarily through Medicaid expansion is contradicted by CBO

CBO says 30 million uninsured will be covered through the health care exchanges, compared to 11 million who would be covered by Medicaid and SCHIP. CBO's preliminary analysis of the House tri-committee health care reform bill found that in 2019, 37 million fewer people would be uninsured compared to current law; 30 million people would be covered through the health care exchanges created by the bill, while 11 million people would be added to the rolls of Medicaid or SCHIP under the bill's provisions.

[CBO, 7/17/09]

Fox & Friends brought Burgess on for the purpose of "[g]etting to the truth, dispelling the myths." At the end of the segment with Burgess, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said: "Getting to the truth, dispelling the myths, the man that read it who's actually a doctor and understands this business of health care, Representative Michael Burgess out of Texas, thanks so much for joining us."

Fox & Friends provides regular dose of health reform misinformation

Death panels, rationing, other misinformation finds a home on Fox & Friends. In the last seven days alone, Fox & Friends has advanced a bonanza of health care reform misinformation, including the falsehood that the bill requires the elderly to go before a "death panel," the falsehood that the House bill would force people into "government designed plan," the claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called health care reform opponents "un-American," the suggestion that a section of the bill that would provide Medicare reimbursement to doctors for end-of-life counseling would create "end-of-life consultants" other than doctors consulting with families, and the prediction that the bill would create a system of rationing that would result in the disappearance of medical procedures like dialysis for the elderly.

Transcript

From the August 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

DOOCY: Welcome back. Is there any truth in the saying that free health care actually costs us too much in the end?

KILMEADE: Texas Congressman Michael Burgess, who is also an M.D., is joining us live right now to answer some of your questions regarding the health care overhaul. He's read the entire bill, pretty much the only person I know who can say that, including the president. Congressman, welcome back, and Doctor, I should say. Can we throw a few questions at you?

BURGESS: Please. Good morning to you.

KILMEADE: Good morning to you. Will more people be insured from what you read from the bill for less money?

BURGESS: More people will be insured, but the less money can't -- is not a promise that can be fulfilled. And the -- of course, the greatest number that will be picked up is by a substantial expansion of Medicaid, which likely is going to put some strain on state budgets as well. So there's some concern there. But the price tag is -- is huge. And that's been the -- that's been the conundrum since the middle of June.

DOOCY: All right, Doctor, continuing with our little televised town hall right here.

[...]

KILMEADE: Getting to the truth, dispelling the myths, the man that read it who's actually a doctor and understands this business of health care, Representative Michael Burgess out of Texas, thanks so much for joining us.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brian Kilmeade
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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