msnbc.com news services
updated 9/9/2009 10:23:58 PM ET 2009-09-10T02:23:58

Msnbc.com national affairs writer Tom Curry and NBC News' political director Chuck Todd tweeted along as President Obama outlined his vision for health care reform before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9. This is a chronology of that Twitter stream — the president's statements followed by instant analysis and fact-checking by msnbc.com.

Send health care claims you’d like investigated to doseofreality@msnbc.com. Tweet claims @msnbc_health and tag them #doseofreality. Check back daily at http://www.dosofreality.msnbc.com for the facts on what a health care overhaul would mean to you and your family.

President Obama: Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Some can't get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed, and can't afford it, since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or expensive to cover.

@msnbc_health: The president is not mentioning the healthy uninsured who choose to go without coverage. Tom Curry #doseofreality39 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: Then there's the problem of rising costs. We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it. This is one of the reasons that insurance premiums have gone up three times faster than wages. It's why so many employers - especially small businesses - are forcing their employees to pay more for insurance, or are dropping their coverage entirely. It's why so many aspiring entrepreneurs cannot afford to open a business in the first place, and why American businesses that compete internationally - like our automakers - are at a huge disadvantage. And it's why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it - about $1000 per year that pays for somebody else's emergency room and charitable care.

@msnbc_health: We spend more on health care, “but aren’t any healthier for it.” How much due to high homicide rates, car accidents? Tom Curry #doseofreality37 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies - because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.

@msnbc_health: Preventive care saves $$ he says. But Congressional Budget Office refutes that in Aug. 7 letter to Rep. Deal, R- Ga. Curry #doseofreality28 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance - just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements.

@msnbc_health: ‘Individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance’ but he doesn't mention the fine, as much as $3800 Tom Curry #doseofreality25 minutes ago from TweetDeck

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***

Obama: There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.

@nbcnightlynews: Chuck Todd: Member of Congress sitting on GOP side just shouted "lie" when Prez says no illegal immigrants will be covered. Wow. about 20 minutes ago from web

***

Obama: But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Let me be clear - it would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5% of Americans would sign up.

@msnbc_health: Public option: ‘less than 5% of Americans would sign up.' So how could it effectively make policies affordable? Tom Curry #doseofreality16 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end - and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal. And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.

@nbcnightlynews: Chuck Todd: "we should remain open to other ideas" that accomplish the bigger goal; Prez NOT drawing line in the sand. about 1 hour ago from web

***

Obama: The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies - subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care. And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.

@msnbc_health: Cut Medicare costs without diminishing the quality of anyone’s care – but specifics, please, on how to do that? Tom Curry #doseofreality14 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years - less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.

@msnbc_health: Cost of reform “less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.” Latter war is unpopular with many Dems Tom Curry #doseofreality9 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: The plan will not add to our deficit. The middle-class will realize greater security, not higher taxes. And if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of one percent each year, it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term.

@msnbc_health: 'Middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.' At what income level will tax increases be imposed? Tom Curry #doseofreality7 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: For some of Ted Kennedy's critics, his brand of liberalism represented an affront to American liberty. In their mind, his passion for universal health care was nothing more than a passion for big government.

But those of us who knew Teddy and worked with him here - people of both parties - know that what drove him was something more. His friend, Orrin Hatch, knows that. They worked together to provide children with health insurance. His friend John McCain knows that. They worked together on a Patient's Bill of Rights. His friend Chuck Grassley knows that. They worked together to provide health care to children with disabilities.

@msnbc_health: A bit of presidential flattery just now for Sen. Grassley, R-Iowa, a chief opponent, so far, of Dems' proposals. Tom Curry #doseofreality4 minutes ago from TweetDeck

***

Obama: On issues like these, Ted Kennedy's passion was born not of some rigid ideology, but of his own experience. It was the experience of having two children stricken with cancer. He never forgot the sheer terror and helplessness that any parent feels when a child is badly sick; and he was able to imagine what it must be like for those without insurance; what it would be like to have to say to a wife or a child or an aging parent - there is something that could make you better, but I just can't afford it.

@msnbc_health: ‘Something that could make you better, but I just can’t afford it’ Can society afford all care needed for everyone? Tom Curry #doseofreality1 minute ago from TweetDeck

Follow @msnbc_health, @nbcnightlynews and more @ twitter.msnbc.com.

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