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Caterpillar, Part Two: Obama Lied About Health Care Industry Meeting

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RUSH: Remember Barack Obama and Caterpillar? If you don't remember that, let me give you the details of the story. Back before the Porkulus bill, the stimulus bill was signed into law, President Obama made a speech, and he had a big meeting with corporate execs in the East Room of the White House, and he made a speech, and he said that the CEO of Caterpillar said, (paraphrasing) "I'm going to start hiring people back. We laid off a lot of people at Caterpillar, but Mr. President, with a responsible stimulus plan we'll hire some people back." Obama said that, and he then said that what the Caterpillar CEO was talking about was his stimulus plan. So everybody believed that when Obama signed his stimulus plan, that the CEO of Caterpillar would start rehiring. They had a big town meeting out there in Peoria where Caterpillar is, and it turns out that the Caterpillar CEO didn't say what Obama said he said. Obama just put him in a position where it would be difficult for the Caterpillar CEO to deny it, but eventually the Caterpillar CEO did deny it. Not only have they not started rehiring, they are laying more people off at Caterpillar, even after it was signed.

So earlier this week, the news was filled with excited reports that the health care industry, after a meeting with President Obama, had agreed to trim $2 trillion in health care costs over the next ten years, 150 basis points. And everybody said, "Whoa, all right, look at Obama. He can bring these people in, and he can hornswoggle 'em, and he can shake his finger at them, and he can make 'em do the right thing." There's only one problem. This is Caterpillar all over again. "Health Care Leaders Say Obama Overstated Their Promise to Control Costs." Shades of the Caterpillar CEO who had words put into his mouth on the Porkulus bill package by Obama.

"'These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,' Mr. Obama said. 'Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year -- an amount that's equal to over $2 trillion.' Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts. 'There's been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members,' said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. 'I've spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it.' Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said 'the president misspoke' on Monday and again on Wednesday when he described the industry's commitment in similar terms. After providing that account, Ms. DeParle called back about an hour later on Thursday and said: 'I don't think the president misspoke. His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry's commitment.' The Washington office of the American Hospital Association sent a bulletin to its state and local affiliates to 'clarify several points' about the White House meeting. In the bulletin, Richard J. Pollack, the executive vice president of the hospital association, said: 'The A.H.A. did not commit to support the "Obama health plan" or budget. No such reform plan exists at this time.'"

Do you hear this? Not only did they not support it, there isn't a plan, and yet we were told after two hours of meetings that Obama had fixed it. "Moreover, Mr. Pollack wrote, 'The groups did not support reducing the rate of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually.'" You know, the next industry that Obama tries to shake down, somebody in there needs to wear a wire, because this is unconscionable, this is outrageous. This is the second time, maybe it's happened more than this number of times, we just don't know about it, bring these people in, have a meeting with them, go out as president, make a speech, totally lying about what they agreed to in the meeting and what you said they said, and when you go out as president and make the speech, you're kind of pressuring them to go along with you, but they're not doing it, some of these people are not. So the White House first said the president misspoke and then later said, no, he didn't misspeak. But he did misspeak.

President Obama, ladies and gentlemen, has a track record of lying. He cannot be trusted. Nancy Pelosi can't be trusted to report honestly as to what happens in meetings, and neither, apparently, can Obama. Is he not obviously just using these people? They're nothing more than props. I'll tell you what's frustrating to me is how eagerly all these people -- I know it's the president calling, I know it's a tough time and a tough invitation to refuse. But you don't have to go in there cowering in fear, but they do, because of the banks and because of the car companies. This administration is showing no regret, no compunction whatsoever about being authoritarian, autocratic. They're governing with fear and everybody that they're coming in contact with is afraid of them. I'm still struck here, Obama making these comments yesterday out in New Mexico, ripping to shreds his own 100-day policy, all this spending, we can't sustain it, all this debt, we can't sustain it. Who gave it to us? He did!

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