Fact Check: Health Care Reform Speech and "You Lie"

By Neetal Parekh on September 10, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last night's health care reform speech was much-anticipated by liberals, conservatives, and middle-of-the-roaders alike.  And the public may have left with either a better understanding or more questions, but it did also witness a live example of the deep divisiveness associated with this subject.  

During the President's review of who would be covered by the proposed health care plan, he asserted to legislators and the public that the proposed legislation would not insure illegal immigrants residing in U.S.   It was at that time that the online and video-viewing audiences heard a muffled comment made from the live audience.  To the vocal interruption, President Obama took a moment to respond with "It's not true" before proceeding with his speech.

Who said what became the quick topic for legal pundits during the speech's post-op.  It turns out it was South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, who yelled "you lie" to the President.

In the New York Times' fact check of President Obama's speech, it found that the President's comments regarding coverage of non-citizens was in line with legislation approved by three House committees specifically stating that nothing in the proposed legislation "shall allow federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

On other aspects of the speech, the President may have been more liberal in asserting strong positions.  For example, when he stated that tax dollars would not be used to fund abortions, he left the door ajar on insurance-covered abortions that could be subsidized by federal spending.

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