Still cooking the ObamaCare books

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from New York Post,

The ObamaCare lies keep coming. In two highly publicized announcements last week, top Obama health officials claimed the Affordable Care Act is slowing health care spending and improving hospital safety.

The media parroted these boasts, but the evidence shows they’re bogus.

Even as administration figures — from President Obama down — distance themselves from Jonathan Gruber, the ObamaCare adviser caught calling the public stupid, they’re still relying on his playbook: They assume we’re not going to check their facts.

On Dec. 3, federal actuaries released data showing that health spending inched up only 3.6 percent in 2013.

Marilyn Tavenner, the head of Medicare and Medicaid, boasted that it’s “evidence that our efforts to reform the health-care-delivery system are working.” Sorry, not true.

That 3.6 percent figure is an improvement only by a hair.

The real slowing of health care spending started way back in 2009, in the wake of the Great Recession, long before ObamaCare even passed. Health spending slowed to a comfortable 3.8 percent rise that year, and stayed at that slow pace in 2010.

Not that the president acknowledged that health spending was growing at the slowest rate in a half-century.

To pass his health bill, he needed a crisis. So he and then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius repeatedly lied, warning that costs were “skyrocketing,” spending was “spiraling” out of control and health needs would gobble up ever more GDP unless Congress quickly passed the Affordable Care Act.

Fast-forward to today. There’s nothing remarkable about the 3.6 percent rate in 2013. But there is bad news ahead, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Federal actuaries predict that health spending increases will nearly double soon, averaging 6 percent a year through 2023, pushing total health spending to a staggering 19.3 percent of GDP, up from 16.6 percent pre-ObamaCare.

So much for ObamaCare controlling costs.

What of the boast that the president’s health law is making it safer to go to the hospital? Don’t bet on that, either.

On Dec. 2, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced “demonstrable progress” in making hospital care safer.

Her report claims that some 50,000 fewer patients died from bed sores, infections, medication errors, falls and other mishaps from 2010 to 2013, largely due to new payment incentives and a patient safety program in ObamaCare.

That happy claim was repeated verbatim by many media outlets.

Not so fast, say patient safety experts who actually read the report.

Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard School of Public Health had already taken to the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine to caution about the patient safety program’s cherry-picking methodology, lack of data transparency and unsubstantiated claims.

The administration bragged about reducing infections, but didn’t count the type of infection that kills the most patients — Clostridium difficile or C. diff.

That’s like a kid’s report card that leaves out reading and math. It doesn’t tell the whole story.

Truth is, C. diff is raging through hospitals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Thomas Frieden calls it one of the “nightmare bacteria.”

It kills 14,000 patients a year, and increases your risk of dying while in the hospital by 75 percent.

Finagling data is nothing new for the Obama team. Just weeks ago, it was caught red-handed inflating ObamaCare enrollment numbers by counting dental-only plans as health insurance.

Truth is, four years after its passage, the ACA has managed to cover only one out of four previously uninsured people, spending $57 billion to do it.

And it’s forced millions to give up plans they liked and pushed employers to cut hours and jobs — as well as inciting voters to retire dozens of Democratic members of Congress.

Instead of lying about ObamaCare, some top Democrats are taking another tack, distancing themselves from this increasingly toxic issue. Shrewd politicians like Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) can spot a loser.

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