Hannity falsely claimed Obama has proposed UK-style nationalized health care
SUMMARY: Sean Hannity claimed that President Obama has proposed "nationalized health care," similar to programs in Great Britain and Canada. In fact, earlier that day, Obama explicitly rejected scrapping the U.S. health-care system in favor of the British or Canadian model.
During the March 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity claimed that President Obama "wants to lay down $634 billion for nationalized health care. Well, we've had nationalized health care in Great Britain, and we've had it in France, and we've had it -- single-payer in Canada." Interviewing European Parliament member Daniel Hannan, Hannity later asserted, "So your advice to America is stay away from nationalized health care." In fact, during an online town hall discussion earlier that day, Obama explicitly rejected scrapping the U.S. health-care system in favor of the British or Canadian model.
During the online event, a participant asked: "Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs, rather than financial resources?" Obama replied in part: "A lot of people think that in order to get universal health care, it means that you have to have what's called a single-payer system of some sort. And so, Canada is the classic example: Basically, everybody pays a lot of taxes into the health-care system, but if you're a Canadian, you're automatically covered. And so you go in -- you know, England has a similar -- a variation on this same type of system. You go in and you just say, 'I'm sick,' and somebody treats you, and that's it." He later added:
OBAMA: [W]hat evolved in America was an employer-based system. It may not be the best system if we were designing it from scratch, but that's what everybody is accustomed to. That's what everybody is used to. It works for a lot of Americans, and so, I don't think the best way to fix our health-care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to and the vast majority of people already have. Rather, what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps.
As Media Matters for America has documented, media figures and outlets have previously advanced the false characterization that Obama's health-care reform proposal constitutes "nationalize[d] health care," "government-run health care" or "socialized medicine."
From Obama's March 26 online town hall:
DR. BERNSTEIN: After the last recession ended in 2001, the unemployment rate went up for another 19 months before it started coming back down.
This next question -- an area close to your heart -- health care reform: From Richard in California: "Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs, rather than financial resources?"
OBAMA: Well, first of all, I was in this room last month in what we called a health-care forum, and we brought all the members of Congress -- Republicans and Democrats -- who were interested in this issue. We brought together various constituency groups, insurance companies, drug companies, you name it. And my message to them was: Now is the time to reform the health care system -- not four years from now, not eight years from now, not 20 years from now. Now.
OBAMA: Now, the question is, if you're going to fix it, why not do a universal health-care system like the European countries? I actually want a universal health-care system. That is our goal. I think we should be able to provide health insurance to every American that they can afford and that provides them high quality.
So I think we can accomplish it. Now, whether we do it exactly the way European countries do or Canada does is a different question, because there are a variety of ways to get to universal health-care coverage.
A lot of people think that in order to get universal health care, it means that you have to have what's called a single-payer system of some sort. And so, Canada is the classic example: Basically, everybody pays a lot of taxes into the health-care system, but if you're a Canadian, you're automatically covered. And so you go in -- you know, England has a similar -- a variation on this same type of system. You go in and you just say, "I'm sick," and somebody treats you, and that's it.
The problem is, is that we have what's called a legacy, a set of institutions that aren't that easily transformed. Let me just see a show of hands: How many people here have health insurance through your employer? OK, so the majority of Americans, sort of -- partly for historical accident -- I won't go into -- FDR had imposed wage controls during war time in World War II. People were -- companies were trying to figure out how to attract workers, and they said, well, maybe we'll provide health care as a benefit.
And so, what evolved in America was an employer-based system. It may not be the best system if we were designing it from scratch, but that's what everybody is accustomed to. That's what everybody is used to. It works for a lot of Americans, and so, I don't think the best way to fix our health-care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to and the vast majority of people already have. Rather, what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps.
And I'm looking to Congress to work with me to find that optimal system. I made some proposals during the campaign about how we can lower costs through information technologies; how we can lower costs through reforms in how we reimburse doctors so that they're not getting paid just for the number of operations they're doing, but for whether they're quality outcomes; investing in prevention so that kids with asthma aren't going to the emergency room, but they're getting regular checkups.
From the March 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: You know, one of the things, Mr. Hannan, that we're debating in America, and -- Barack Obama wants to lay down 634 billion for nationalized health care. Well, we've had nationalized health care in Great Britain, and we've had it in France, and we've had it -- single-payer in Canada.
My question to you is, based on what you said, I would like you to explain to the American people if this is a good idea through this prism: I read in The Daily Mail last week that the -- that your health system, the NHS, literally has a group of people that decided, government bureaucrats, that they weren't going to give drugs to women with breast cancer and a certain rare form of stomach cancer -- the "rationing body" is what they call it.
Is it a good idea for the U.S. to invest in nationalized health care?
HANNAN: Now, first of all, it's important that you understand that that's a true story, and it's a typical story. It's not in the newspapers because it's unusual. We have a rationing body that's called the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. It's known as NICE -- N-I-C-E -- which, coincidentally, there was an adult novel by C.S. Lewis in the 1940s where the NICE was this kind of satanic conspiracy. And in terms of them [unintelligible] effects, you can sort of see the connection.
I mean, it's a terrible thing to put anyone in this situation, any bureaucrat in this situation of having to make those life and death decisions, because they are literally life and death decisions.
HANNITY: So, your --
HANNAN: The worst thing is for you as the recipient of health care because you've got no control over what you get. There's no contractual relationship between you and the suppliers, so, you know, if they treat you today or next week or six weeks from now, or it's too late because your --
HANNITY: So, your advice --
HANNAN: -- condition has already deteriorated, there is nothing you can do about it. You are expected to queue up with a big smile and be grateful for what you have. And, you know, it is -- it's the last survivor of the kind of socialist post-war conspiracy -- sorry -- socialist post-war -- sorry, I'm tired; it's midnight here - the socialist post-war consensus --
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you.
HANNAN: -- in the UK.
HANNITY: So your advice to America is stay away from nationalized health care. I think you're very clear on that.
by Easy to refute wingnuts (March 27, 2009 9:14 am ET)
Of course he didn't. If he had wanted it UK-style, he would have spelled it "nationalised..."Reply Report Abuse
by thejbomb65 (March 27, 2009 10:13 am ET)
the mannity strikes again employing his dishonesty for all the world to see....
by the way is anyone looking into him for inciting treason yet?Reply Report Abuse
by BISHAMON (March 28, 2009 12:42 pm ET)
"Stop the insHannity!"Reply Report Abuse
by eweston8542983 (March 27, 2009 10:14 am ET)Hannity is working hard to repeat as liar of the year. Rush is putting up considerable effort to maintain parity. Savage is a public exhibition of insanity. So much money cycles through these talking freds. What would we do without them?Reply Report Abuse
by MickD (March 27, 2009 10:29 am ET)
Really, is there any rational human being in this country that doesn't think the healthcare system is effed up? Even if you have the most sensational insurance or coverage or whatever it is still a crazy, expensive bureaucratic maze. What exactly is Seannie defending?Reply Report Abuse
by thejbomb65 (March 27, 2009 10:38 am ET)
what his Sith Lord Masters tell him toReply Report Abuse
by pete592 (March 27, 2009 10:59 am ET)
"is there any rational human being in this country that doesn't think the healthcare system is effed up?"
Rational? Not sure.
However, this article has a list of people who think the current healthcare system is just fine the way it is, for reasons all too obvious.Reply Report Abuse
by billnj1444 (March 27, 2009 11:33 am ET)
I agree with your observation :"is there any rational human being in this country that doesn't think the healthcare system is effed up? .... crazy, expensive bureacratic maze"
But also; is there any rational human being that thinks the federal governement will not make it any less of a effed up, crazy, expensive, bureaucratic maze?
You think heathcare is expensive and sucks now? Wait until it is free....Reply Report Abuse
by foghornleghorn (March 27, 2009 12:57 pm ET)
Medicare/medicaid seem to be doing just fine with extremely low administrative costs.Reply Report Abuse
by pete592 (March 27, 2009 1:15 pm ET)
Got any original clichés?
Anyway, I'm done listening to people who insist that all we have to do is maintain the profit motive and health care will magically be more affordable and accessible for all. We tried it, and it doesn't work. It's time to try something else.Reply Report Abuse
by captfoster2 (March 27, 2009 3:26 pm ET)
"But also; is there any rational human being that thinks the federal governement will not make it any less of a effed up, crazy, expensive, bureaucratic maze?"
I think you are confusing rightwing conservative type people that get into government just so that they can purposely do a bad job at running it and then turn around after making government run bad by saying idiotic things like "See, government does not work." with those people that get into government because they have a higher calling to do what is right for all of us and who actually do the very best they can so that government does work.
Being that MediCare and MedicAid both work relatively well when run by people that care... I for one can't wait for health care to be available to all of us as we need it.
So I think the question you need to ask yourself BillNJ is this:
What kind of system would you rather have... the one we have now that allows 50 million of us to be forced into the ER for health care (meaning: after it is likely too late), that is run by for-profit insurance companies that will use your pre-existing conditions against you, and is way to expensive for us as a society... or one where you can go to any doctor you want, when you want, where you want, knowing that the gov't will pay the bill and you go home healthier, and where you may pay a little bit more in taxes, but you can be assured that you will have no bills to worry about?Reply Report Abuse
by captfoster2 (March 27, 2009 3:37 pm ET)
My younger sister (36) was diagnosed with a brain tumor last October, she finally went home two weeks ago, as of this post, but is still not over the hump. The tumor is gone but the therapy goes on.
She is lucky. Her husband is a unionized heating and air repair guy, so they have pretty good insurance and may be ok in the end.
However, if he were to lose his job and get new insurance, my sister, now with a history of a brain tumor (pre-existing condition) may never be insurable again or if so, will likely be paying more than they can afford in premiums and deductables.
This is the current system we have... it sucks... and it gets worse...
If this were to happen to me or my wife, not only would we be stuck with 100% of the bills... we have no insurance at this time... consider the movie "John Q" here...
We don't own a house anymore, lost it to the lovely economy the last group left us, we own very little, but make to much to be on MedicAid but no where near enough to be able to afford any health insurance.
To go back to my sister, if their insurance were to decide that any part of her treatments were not coverable (they are a private for-profit company after all) they would be liable for it... and by a quirk of medical fate, DNA, whatever, suddenly my sister could well find herself losing everything and having to declare bankrupcy...
That is why the Canadian system is the direction we need to go in this country! Maybe not each part of it, but the system we have now is completely unsustainable over the long term!
Whether some of you may like it or not... WE ARE ALL IN THIS SOCIETY TOGETHER!!Reply Report Abuse
by commonsenseliberal (March 27, 2009 4:35 pm ET)
My best to you and your sister, Capt.
People might start realizing that this system doesn't work when they begin to understand that health care should be a right, and not a privilege only for those who can afford it. It's a sad day when people like you are stuck in the middle, wealthy enough that MedicAid is out of reach, but not wealthy enough to buy health insurance - coverage which should, IMHO, be a HUMAN RIGHT.Reply Report Abuse
by hurricaneyankee52983 (March 28, 2009 12:19 pm ET)
CAPT, same here, my prayers go out to you and your sister.Reply Report Abuse
by foghornleghorn (March 28, 2009 12:40 pm ET)
WE ARE ALL IN THIS SOCIETY TOGETHER!!
Not according to some of the idiots on this site who would argue that your sister should quit whining and get off her lazy behind and get a job with health benefits.Reply Report Abuse
by BISHAMON (March 28, 2009 12:44 pm ET)
"What exactly is Seannie defending?"
Believe me, he has no idea.Reply Report Abuse
by captfoster2 (March 27, 2009 11:04 am ET)
I'm angry at both Hannity for LYING as usual...
And President Obama for not liking the idea of making our health care system like Canada!
Trust me folks... the Canadian system IS what we want!It may not be perfect, but at least it is not for-profit! Canadians are seen as people up there, where here we are seen as customers and commodities.
Have no fear... the Canadian system is NOT socialized medicine... the gov't does NOT control the health care of Canadians... the Gov't pays the bills... that's it! The doctors, non-profit hospitals, and patients determine what is best... NOT THE GOV'T! Period!
The UK model is not the same as Canada's. It was to influenced by Thatherism (Similar to Reaganism)...
Special interests and their little media whores have skewed the reality of the Canadian system that we may never get real decent health care available to all.
How do I know all this... I'm doing a 12 page essay for school on universal healthcare and have learned that our media sucks at telling us the truth...
Of course... FoxNoise is not actually media... it is propaganda... which makes my point for me!Reply Report Abuse
by Appleboy (March 27, 2009 11:26 am ET)
Even the UK system seems better than ours. The World Health Organization ranks Britain 18th and the United States 37th, and the UK spends about 40% less per person than the US (this comes from an article by Paul Krugman).Reply Report Abuse
by captfoster2 (March 27, 2009 11:47 am ET)
Don't get me wrong...
I was not bad mouthing the UK system... I was simply saying that it is different than the Canadian system...
Your spot on though... the UK system IS better than ours... even with the Thather influences on it.
Here's more to think about as American's...
Of the 30 + industrialized nations on Earth... We are the only one that allows its citizens to be in a position to declare bankruptcy for medical bills...
We are 29th out of 30 in the infant mortality rate.
We may have the best health care in the world (As Monkey Boy Bush said)... but it is not about health care being the best or not...
IT IS ABOUT THE ACCESS TO ALL THAT GREAT HEALTHCARE!!!Reply Report Abuse
by fairliberal (March 30, 2009 1:21 am ET)
(As Monkey Boy Bush said ... you stay classy captReply Report Abuse
by markcyst20051409 (March 27, 2009 1:22 pm ET)
As a Canadian I agree wholeheartedly. Our system is not perfect however it does work. Your country has nothing to worry about if you adopt a system similar to ours. No one tells me who I can go to or what is covered.I have heard that claim over and over by the righties and I find it dishonest because as I understand it that is what is going on now in your country. I don't have to clear a medical proceedure with my insurance company nor do I have to dig out my list of doctors who will take my insurance. In my city we have many walk in clinics for people who do not have a family doctor. The care is the same. Just quicker with no appointment. I think the longest I have ever waited is 20 minutes. And that is with no appointment. Just a card with my picture on it. That card is never ever turned down.Sure our taxes are higher but not to the tune of 8000$.The result of shared risk is lower costs all the way across the board.You should fight for the right to import our cheaper drugs as well. Do not beieve the lies about the saftey of our drugs. It is insulting to hear all this crap about bad medical drugs and bad medical service. We would not stand for inferiour service just like your countrymen would not. So why do we have this system? Either we are idiots or it works. You deciedReply Report Abuse
by Old_Benjamin (March 27, 2009 2:46 pm ET)
No one tells me who I can go to or what is covered. - markcyst
Not to nitpick, but I don't think that's entirely accurate. As I understand it, the provinical ministires of health decide what is covered under their provincial health plans. I think the latest medical procedures and drugs can sometimes be delayed in getting approval for coverage under those health plans.
In the end however, it is a great system without the kinds of problems these asshat commentators claim are rampant in the Canadian model. Not to mention some issues in the system are a direct result of the previous liberal government draining money from healthcare to balance the federal budget.Reply Report Abuse
by markcyst20051409 (March 27, 2009 3:56 pm ET)
Sure ,I stand corrected.Reply Report Abuse
by commonsenseliberal (March 27, 2009 4:42 pm ET)
My feeling is that the Canadian system is the way health care should be. In the States we are told that:
(1) If we have nationalized health care, our taxes will skyrocket - and the individual tax burdens will be unbearable (I believe this to be BS).
(2) If we want to see a doctor, we have to go on a waiting list. The doctor will see you in 6 months. (I believe this to be BS).
(3) If we need medical treatment or a specific procedure, the goverment will decide if we get the procedure (I believe this to be BS).
These are lies perpetuated by the right-wing in this country. Of course, if the U.S. does nationalize health care, the insurance companies and big pharma might lose a ton of money. Boo f&*%ing hoo. My health isn't about making someone else rich. And why should someone else get rich if I fall ill? How morally bankrupt is that?
I say, let's follow the Canadian model.Reply Report Abuse
by commonsenseliberal (March 27, 2009 4:53 pm ET)
One more thing, Markcyst (love that nick, btw).
I've told this story before, but it is even more apt here:
I live in San Francisco. I have health care coverage through my employer. My employer pays all of my medical and dental insurance. My employer and the State of California also allow me to cover my domestic partner (my employer subsidizes about half of my partner's health care, I pay the rest from my paycheck). My little brother, who lives with me and my partner, has a job where he makes $11/hour. In San Francisco, $11/hour isn't really a living wage. Obviously, my lil' bro cannot afford health care. His employer offers it, but he doesn't make enough to cover living expenses and health care. So, as an added benefit, the City and County of San Francisco initiated a very interesting health care system. If you cannot afford health care (and you're able to document it), you can be placed in a program wherein people who don't have the means are covered by the city and county. My brother requires treatment for depression and is a recovering methamphetemine addict. He is able to go to one of the local clinics, see a psychiatrist there for free and go to the pharmacy for medicine, at no cost to him.
This is a great program. Yes, I pay for this in my taxes - so does everyone who lives/works in the city/county of San Francisco. When we all share the burden, we all reap the rewards. My brother could be out on the street, a drug addict, with no home. Instead, he has turned his life around, works, is now pursuing higher education at a local art academy. We can thank this program for his recovery (although, as for all drug addicts, such a recovery is life-long). But to know that in case anything happens to my employment, my partner and I know that we won't have to worry about the high cost of COBRA. We can turn to the city/county for the help we need. Peace of mind is highly important.
Thanks for indulging me and my long-windedness.Reply Report Abuse
by mary59 (March 27, 2009 1:07 pm ET)
And once we have universal coverage, it would be great to get BETTER health care, that actually promotes health--instead of drugs and surgery.Reply Report Abuse
by pete592 (March 27, 2009 2:14 pm ET)
Must have been a "slow news day" for Hannity. The stock market rallied over the past few days, so he's got nothing to blame Obama for at the moment. Looks like the market is receeding today, however, so he'll have a lead story for tonight's broadcast.Reply Report Abuse
by jlw7717595 (March 27, 2009 2:33 pm ET)Has anyone done any research on who this yahoo is Hannity is talking to? Judging from Hannity he is not objective.Reply Report Abuse
by Don Hussein Fabuloso (March 27, 2009 3:34 pm ET)
This clip of Hannan is at the top of Youtube, links being sent by all the right wing email elves, and I've heard/seen it all over the media. Suddenly, after 8 years of limp obedience to the government, the right wingers have a hero in a guy who's calling out his government.
Good morning, GOP and your media, did you sleep well?Reply Report Abuse
by commonsenseliberal (March 27, 2009 4:53 pm ET)
I hope they had nightmares.Reply Report Abuse
by loonz (March 27, 2009 4:11 pm ET)
I wonder what percentage of Britons or Canadians would trade their healthcare system for our f—ked up system. Have there been any polls?Reply Report Abuse
by Old_Benjamin (March 27, 2009 4:24 pm ET)
From a poll done in 2006...
A new Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions finds that seven in ten (67%) Canadians would prefer "a not-for-profit" model where services are paid for by governments and individuals and delivered by the public sector" over "a for-profit model where services are paid for by governments and individuals and delivered by the private sector" (27%).Reply Report Abuse
by progressiveright (March 27, 2009 4:26 pm ET)
I do not care what we do about health care if it works. The 3 biggest problems with health care are 1 the large number of uninsured or underinsured people in the U.S., 2 that the insurance companies can disqualify you from coverage because of a preexisting condition (some companies include pregancy in this) and 3 that these both lead to more bankruptcies due to medical costs in the U.S. than any other factor by far. The solution to these is ban the practice of preexisting conditions and get some form of 100% universal coverage.Reply Report Abuse
by commonsenseliberal (March 27, 2009 4:56 pm ET)
It would also help if the insurance companies weren't paying their CEO's and other execs millions of dollars in bonuses every year - at the expense of sick people. It's really a disgusting system.
Sorry, but if you enrich yourself through someone else's illness, pain or misery, you're a sick bastid with a real need for a hard-learned lesson in morality.Reply Report Abuse
by njguy93 (March 27, 2009 6:56 pm ET)
We already know that Sean Hannity is a fraud and a liar and something beyond a joke. Sean Hannity knows that as well. There was however, something that showed truly how much of a fraud Sean Hannity is. He was talking about the jet that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi uses. The one that the Republican Bush Administration began giving to House Speakers to use after 9/11 for security reasons, since the Speaker is second in line to be President. The one that Dennis Hastert, a Republican Speaker, used for 5 and a half years after 9/11. He was whining about Nancy Pelosi using a plane, and then said "Newt Gingrich didn't have a plane" without even thinking twice about it.
He deliberately and dishonestly skips over Dennis Hastert, and goes straight to Newt Gingrich, who was Speaker BEFORE 9/11, so of course he didn't have a plane. He knew the policy was done after 9/11 so Gingrich could not have used a private plane, he knew Dennis Hastert used one after 9/11 for over 5 years, and he knew the Bush Administration started the policy and Nancy Pelosi had nothing to do with it. Yet he still savagely said, just skipping right over Dennis Hastert and going straight to Newt Gingrich. This is one of the most blatant examples of how much of a WEASEL AND LYING FRAUD this sad excuse for a many truly is. There are many other examples, but this one is one of the most outrageous.
THANK YOU.Reply Report Abuse
by hurricaneyankee52983 (March 28, 2009 12:21 pm ET)
Agreed, i've said it before, HANNITY belongs in a gulag.Reply Report Abuse
by thumpburgh (March 27, 2009 10:15 pm ET)Per your own print, copied directly, this makes no sense. In summary, it says that Obama likes the socialist health care system in Europe. In addition, I would love Nancy Pelosi to give me a prostate exam, and bill it to Obama. Here is your own website quote: Hannity falsely claimed Obama has proposed UK-style nationalized health care Summary: Sean Hannity claimed that President Obama has proposed "nationalized health care," similar to programs in Great Britain and Canada. In fact, earlier that day, Obama explicitly rejected scrapping the U.S. health-care system in favor of the British or Canadian model.Reply Report Abuse
by thumpburgh (March 27, 2009 10:17 pm ET)Daniel Hannan is the coolest Europian EVER!! Check him out on YouTube!!!Reply Report Abuse
by nativeofsf (March 28, 2009 2:17 am ET)
Straight from "Horse's-ass" Hannity!Reply Report Abuse
by PhillyRich1955 (March 28, 2009 12:25 pm ET)
And here's another Hannity hypocrisy. He likes to say that we have to renegotiate down the U.S. Auto Workers' Union contracts because the Big 3 are building new plants in Canada, Mexico and overseas, while never mentioning that these countries have government paid healthcare!Reply Report Abuse
by bt449041794 (March 28, 2009 2:54 am ET)
Sean Hannity has always been a liar, but the stuff he's been saying since Obama got elected is becoming more and more desperate. Of course this goes for Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. This is a guy who is proud to have Karl Rove & Oliver North as regular guests! It's beyond belief this person has his own TV show, much less one considered by some to be a real news broadcast. Something needs to be done. Just imagine what they'll be saying after a few years if this is what they're doing after only two months! I honestly think they're dangerous given the mentality of their devoted dittoheads. Anybody agree?Reply Report Abuse
by imablondok (March 28, 2009 6:45 am ET)"You think heathcare is expensive and sucks now? Wait until it is free...." My 75 year old dad keeps saying this. Of course, he and my mom are on Medicare. Of his 5 children, 2 are laid off and uninsured, one is on Medicaid. Of his grandchildren, 4 that I can think of are on CHIP and at least 2 are uninsured. But since he watches Fox News all day long, this load of crap is what comes out of his mouth.Reply Report Abuse