• Guest column: Facts took a beating in debate

  • Now that the first presidential debate is somewhat behind us and people are taking sides as to who won and who lost, who did really win?

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  • Now that the first presidential debate is somewhat behind us and people are taking sides as to who won and who lost, who did really win? Many pollsters have been asking that question of viewers, and most have come away with Mitt Romney as the winner. But did he really win? What determines a winner or a loser in a debate such as this? Is it substance and how it is brought forth? Is it style and forcefulness and how one projects himself? And, more importantly, doses the truth matter or is it of any concern? In my opinion, the truth always matters and it is always a concern. The truth is a measure of one’s character.
    Let’s look at some of Mitt Romney’s comments. First, he said his health plan would include pre-existing conditions. The very next day, his advisors said that Romney’s health plan does not include pre-existing conditions. Not exactly the truth is it?
    Second, for at least the last 18 months, Romney has said over and over again, that he would cut taxes across the board by 20 percent. When the arithmetic of this 20 percent is applied over 10 years, it adds up to $4.8 trillion ($5 trillion). Yet, in the debate, he said he never said this. Not exactly the truth is it?
    Third, Romney said President Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare. The Affordable Health Care Act does not literally cut funding from the Medicare program’s budget. Rather, the health-care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. The spending reductions were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law made significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers.
    Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But the plans have actually cost more than traditional Medicare. So the health-care law scales back the payments to private insurers. Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care. The law tries to limit the program’s growth, though, making it less than it would have been without the law, but not reducing its overall budget. Once again, not exactly the truth is it?
    Fourth, Mitt Romney says he will cast away “Obamacare.” Just a few weeks ago, he told an NBC audience, that he even likes part of the Affordable Care Act and would retain what he likes about it. Yet, once again, not exactly the truth is it?
    Throughout this entire presidential campaign, Mitt Romney has been all over the map with the truth and his disingenuous comments to the American people. He has flip-flopped on every major issue and has been much less than candid with most of his comments. And his remarks concerning the 47 percent is a low blow to all hard working Americans, especially the poor. In addition, he has been much less than specific on how he will conduct his various programs.
    Page 2 of 2 - Mitt Romney is a desperate man on a desperate mission and will say and do anything to win. The thing is, these kinds of people seldom do and that’s a good thing, especially for the American people.
    So did Mitt Romney really win this debate? Not if the truth matters.

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