Debating health policy…

Tonight’s presidential debate was dominated by talk about health care: Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and even IPAB.

But while it was good that health care was debated in depth, much of the debate was misleading. Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic details many of the misleading statements and arguments. Ezra Klein at The Washington Post writes about what was left out. Here’s a NPR clip that summarizes the findings of many fact checkers.

Here’s a statement from Ethan Rome, of Health Care for America Now, that makes the point more forcefully:

“Virtually every single thing Mitt Romney said about health care tonight was a lie, except the fact that he plans to eliminate Medicare as we know it and replace it with voucher care. He said he’d repeal Obamacare but offered nothing in its place. He said Obamacare has killed jobs when he knows it has created jobs and cut taxes for the middle class. He misrepresented President Obama’s health care law, which is making a huge difference in the lives of millions of seniors and families. 
“Romney repeated the deceptive GOP claim that the President cut $716 billion from Medicare when the truth is that the Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare and provides billions in prescription drug savings to seniors. Romney promised to protect people from being discriminated against for having pre-existing conditions, but the truth is that he wants to put insurance companies back in charge of our health care. 
“What Romney didn’t say was that he’d raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, blow open the prescription drug donut hole and force seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for their pills. He also didn’t mention that he would take away free contraception and preventive health care services from every woman in this country. 

UPDATED: The New York Times goes into the details on the health care responses in this article. Their editorial page was more blunt: “Virtually every time Mr. Romney spoke, he misrepresented the platform on which he and Paul Ryan are actually running.”

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.