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House Democrats' Health Plan Contains Words of Coercion -- Not Choice -- Text Analysis Shows
Date:7/22/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Democrats use words such as "choice" in stump speeches on behalf of their recently introduced health care legislation, but according to an analysis by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), the actual text of the bill tells a different story. NTUF determined that the words "choice," "options," and "freedom" appear just 85 times in the mammoth 1,018-page legislation, while three restrictive words -- "require," "limit," and "must" (and variations) -- were nine times more prevalent.

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"Words don't always have a lot of meaning inside the Beltway, but if the language of the 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009' is a guide to its true intent, then the bill is really about empowering bureaucracy and limiting freedom, competition, and the marketplace," said NTUF Director of Congressional Analysis Jeff Dircksen. Among his findings:

  • The legislation envisions a very busy bureaucracy. The term "Secretary" -- as in the Secretaries of Health & Human Services, Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs -- appears 1,124 times in the bill. The Secretaries -- along with Commissioners (199 references), Committees (76 references), and Boards (17 references) -- would be "reporting" or making a "report" or "reports" (427 references), developing methodologies, and receiving recommendations as well as administering the plan's provisions.
  • Language suggesting a new patient-centric approach is relatively scarce. The terms "consumer-driven," and "patient-driven" as in consumer-driven and patient-driven choices in health care, do not appear in the bill. And
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SOURCE National Taxpayers Union
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