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The Lie of the Year: Health Reform is a “Government Takeover of Health Care”

Politifact calls the claim that the Affordable Care Act is a government takeover of the health care system the "Lie of the Year."

As we’ve worked to implement the Affordable Care Act and give the American people the security of knowing that their health care will be there when they need it most, opponents of reform haven't been shy about making claims that are at odds with the facts. But one piece of misinformation always stood out: the bogus claim that health reform amounts to a government takeover of health care.  Today, Politifact, a respected nonpartisan watchdog, said that this claim is the “Lie of the Year.”

In their analysis of the claim, Politifact reiterates that:

“[T]he law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market:   

  • Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies.
  • Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up "exchanges" where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don't have it.
  • The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.
  • The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.
  • The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.

So, as we’ve been saying all along, the Affordable Care Act brings unprecedented transparency, consumer protections, and benefits that empower Americans to have better control over their health care decisions--bearing no resemblance with “a government takeover” of our health care system.

It is also worth noting that this is the second year in a row that Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” revolves around the Affordable Care Act—last year it was “Death Panels.”

Read the full Politifact story here.