More Integrity And Trustworthiness Litmus Test Results: Jarrett, Hoyer, Tavener Flunk


We’re making progress!

Our government after the liars are gone?

Our government after the liars are gone?

Now we know that White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, are cynical liars who cannot be trusted. [Update: Ranking House Way and Means Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan has joined the list, adopting the Orwellian “It’s not that people are losing their healthcare plans, they are being transitioned” double-talk trotted out on “Meet the Press” by an insurance company executive.The integrity and trustworthiness test provided by the revelation that the President’s three year, oft-repeated promise that

“If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance. This law will only make it more secure and more affordable.”

…was a calculated lie is already working like a charm!

These three were nicely outed, in addition to the proof of their own words, by Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto. First let’s visit Jarrett, reportedly President Obama’s closest confidante who is known in Capital Hill circles as “Rasputin.” Yesterday, she tweeted: “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

This is classic and obvious deceit, Washington’s favorite kind of lie, and, of course, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s native tongue, which is why Taranto properly labels the statement “Clintonian.” Obama didn’t say “Obamacare won’t force people out of their health plan.” What he said was, again, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.” Here’s that video again…

Playing the administration’s favorite game of treating the public like uneducated fools, Jarrett (unless she is herself an uneducated fool) intentionally speaks as if transitive logical principles don’t exist. If I rob you and your house is foreclosed upon because you have no money to pay your mortgage, it is true that I didn’t take your house: the bank did that. But I created the conditions that led to the bank taking your house, and am responsible for that result. Insurance companies are changing existing plans—those plans that the President promised  that we could keep—“Period”—because of the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, which is exactly what the President said would not be the case.

Valerie Jarrett, therefore, is a liar, and we should not trust her. The fact that she advises the President may explain a lot.

Next is Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, who is second in power behind Nancy Pelosi among House Democrats. For someone (like me) who has watched Hoyer be the epitome of a slippery pol in Maryland for decades, the fact that he flunks the integrity test is hardly a revelation. Still, he signals his essential dishonesty clearly for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention.

Hoyer said regarding Obama’s promise: “I don’t think the message was wrong. I think the message was accurate. It was not precise enough. . . . [It] should have been caveated with–‘assuming you have a policy that in fact does do what the bill is designed to do. “ Hoyer is a dim bulb, so this dumb statement isn’t even deceit. It’s insulting. Yes, Congressman, and if a visiting space alien says, “Have no fear! We mean you no harm! We come in peace! Period,”  then vaporizes me when I start to speak, you would doubtlessly argue that the alien’s message was “accurate,” , it just wasn’t precise enough, ending with “Period” rather than, “unless you speak without permission, in which case we’ll kill you.”

Steny Hower is a liar, and we should not trust him. He’s the #2 Democrat in the House, remember.

That also explains a lot.

Then, finally, we come to Ms. Tavenner, head of the division of HHS responsible for the disgraceful ACA website, who testified today before the House Ways and Means Committee. Tavenner ratioanalized President Obama’s lie by saying…

“Half of the people in the individual market prior to 2010 didn’t stay on their policies.They were either kicked off for pre-existing conditions, they saw their premiums go up at least 20 percent a year, and there were no protections for them. And sometimes they were in plans that they thought were fine until they actually needed to hospitalization, and they found out it didn’t cover hospitalization [sic] or it didn’t cover cancer.”

Thus her incredible argument was that since premium increases occurred before Obamacare, it was wrong to blame any of the sudden wave of cancellations after the law kicked in on the ACA. Correctly labeling Tavenner’s spin “obviously nonsensical,” Taranto notes that “it  is actually more reasonable to count all post-ObamaCare cancellations, even those that didn’t result from changes in the law, against the President, whose promise that ‘you can keep it’ was unqualified.”

Marilyn Tavenner is a liar, and we should not trust her...unless she is an idiot, and really reasons like her absurd statement would suggest. In either case, dishonest or dim, she is untrustworthy, and Tavenner is the individual the administration placed in charge of one of the key components of the new law’s operation.

That explains a lot too.

See how valuable this test is? Maybe we’ll be able to identify all the Democrats who are liars and untrustworthy!

Then we can move on to testing the Republicans. The problem is, after we’ve identified all the liars in the government, politics and the media, what will be left?



Source: James Taranto

Graphic: Romeo Tango

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at

34 thoughts on “More Integrity And Trustworthiness Litmus Test Results: Jarrett, Hoyer, Tavener Flunk

  1. Still reading, but wanted to say that Jarrett’s lie is even more complete because the ACA is forcing people out of their plans. The ACA makes any plan that does not have the mandated coverages (like my policy would – despite all logic – require I have coverage for gyno visits, and unless I missed a really important day in biology class I have no use for those) illegal. This is why Major Medical plans are going away – they don’t cover the things the laws says plans have to.

    So yes, the ACA is forcing people out of their plans.

  2. This is why I hate the ACA – it presumes that the free market will act nobly. I’m not against money, I LOVE money, but nothing in the ACA forces insurance companies to not change plans or premiums. Similarly, employers can change or limit plans for a variety of reasons (mergers, bad years, etc.). It was a stupid thing for anyone to say — and a good example of why I would never make a good politician. I would have said that the “intent behind the bill is that everyone will stay on their current plan if they want to, but of course this involves decisions by employers and insurance companies and the government has no say in that.” No one would like that answer.

    “Insurance” for health care just doesn’t make sense to me, because everyone needs health care. Insurance is for something that “might” happen — like being robbed, your house burning down, a car accident, a flood, etc. But just about everybody in the US is born in a doctor’s hands and dies the same way, with varying visits required in between ranging from minor to serious. I realize that everybody has different ideologies and that’s fine, but in my opinion we either need to go to a single payer system OR we have to get rid of health insurance altogether. This in between system (which adds a layer of profit to people whose jobs it is to do nothing but evaluate claims and ration care) makes no sense and hurts everybody — rich and poor.

    • 1) If the law creates condition that make it necessary for companies to drop policy-holders, then the government does have a say in it.
      2) Eliminating insurance would at least have the immediate result of bringing health care costs down and making saving for health care like saving for college. It would also create the missing incentives to economize. Single payer in the US would essentially make this a welfare state, and a bad one at that.

      I remember I was teaching a course for retirees, and one of the oldsters fell. She seemed OK, but one of the class members said–“You should go to the emergency room, just to be sure, and get an X-ray. Insurance covers it!” And she did…and nothing was wrong. That’s why health care costs are so high. People think as long as they don’t pay for it, it doesn’t cost anything.

      • I don’t like using anecdotes in this debate, because there are just as many that go the other way. As an example, my father died prematurely from a heart attack at a very young age. A few weeks before this event, he asked his doctor for a stress test that would have detected the problem because he knew something was wrong. The HMO refused — he died. Although this is an awful story, it shouldn’t dictate policy.

        As for saving up for college, that makes sense to me. I can figure out for my children what college will cost and, if I’m doing my job right, they will want to go. But I can’t save up for possible illnesses or medical problems. My friend’s premature baby (born at 27 weeks), came with a $1 M medical bill. How could she save for that unexpected event? Even if costs were driven down and let’s say that the premature baby only cost $500,000, few families can afford that bill. Do I save for cancer or a stroke or long-term care for dementia? Until we are in the awful world of Minority Report, there is no way to know what terrible disease(s) we need to plan for. We only know one thing for certain — we will need access to medical care for SOMETHING. That’s why single payer makes more sense to me.

          • Under a single payer system, there is no way that $1 M would be the actual cost of the treatment. Right now, a small retailer cannot beat Walmart’s prices because of economies of scale. Walmart flat out controls the market. Same would be true under a single payer system. I don’t believe in the death panels hype, but I do believe — as you articulated earlier — that you would have to have some sort of controls re the freeloader problem. You shouldn’t get to see a doctor for every little ache or groan — there needs to be some standard of reasonableness. I don’t pretend that I know the answer to that though.

            • Why doesn’t anyone just look at why health care is so expensive and work back from that? Health insurance is the problem, it actually caused the high prices and got us into the mess we are in.

              Q: What causes high prices?
              A: High salaries of physicians and heath care workers do, which drives up costs and allows other costs to rise to insane levels.
              Q: Why can they charge such high prices?
              A: Because insurance is paying and they have a government mandated and AMA regulated monopoly.
              Q: Why don’t we have more physicians to bring competition to the system and drive down prices?
              A: Because the AMA determines how many are allowed to be trained and they want a shortage to keep salaries high.
              Q: Why should physicians make so much money?
              A: Good question.
              Q: What other country spends over 1/5 of its GDP on healthcare?
              A: None
              Q: How will spending more on healthcare solve the problem?
              A: Has this actually been answered, even with a lie, anywhere?

              Looking at mandatory health insurance is just looking for a way to prolong the problem. We need to solve the problem. We could ban health insurance and go back to the system we had before the 1970’s where healthcare had to charge what people could afford. We also could take a page from education. We fixed the price of college by having state colleges that were subsidized. That price fixed what the private sector could charge. This fixes the salaries of the faculty. If a private college paid their employees the way health care workers were paid, college would cost over $500,000/year. No one would go there because the public colleges are too much cheaper.

              The only way to make healthcare affordable will result in all the physicians in this country defaulting on their mortgages.

                • You’re not wrong. If we are going to really fix the costs of health care, tort reform has to be part of it. But adding the cost of insurance (an entire industry just to process claims!) and doctor’s salaries are also part of it too.

                  • Doctors go through 8 years of school, rack up a mountain of debt (only lawyers can compete with the debt) and then have board certifications and many other tests to be able to practice their craft.

                    I’m pretty sure they earn the right to make a very, very high salary.

                    Do you think lawyers shouldn’t be allowed to charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars per hour?

                    • Very few lawyers can charge that now. Many are struggling under mountains of debt because their jobs have been replaced with intuitive technology and contact attorneys who cost as little as $29/hour. (That hourly rate is the current market rate in St. Louis — my company has offices there.)

                      So yes, legal fees have dropped considerably, and although law school admissions are down, there are still far more law school students and grads than the market can support. I blame ignorant kids who think that law school can guarantee a job (not true) and law schools who are just plain greedy.

                      I respect medical schools for only admitting a small number of students each year. And yes, doctors should be among the top wage earners in the US – but my guess is that technology will soon make their services cheaper too. And let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we are not overpaying for medical care at least in part due to inflated salaries.

                    • Based on estimates of what I can find for 2011 (I haven’t found more recent data).

                      In 2012, we can estimate that there were about 878,200 licensed physicians. Based on a 2012 survey, we can roughly deduce that the *average* compensation was around $215,000 (and I think that’s a little above).

                      That gets us about $188,813,000,000 spent on compensation of licensed physicians.

                      In 2012, we spent an estimated 17.5-18% (I couldn’t find the exact% for 2012) of the GDP on medical expenses.

                      So that is between $2,744,840,000,000 and $2,823,264,000,000.

                      So, $ 188 Billion in Compensation out of $2.8 Trillion in Spending accounts for 6.74 % of total spent being devoted to physician salaries.

                • hint: Medical Insurance hype along with Big Education hype are related to the same problem: Overselling the service by convincing people certain products are absolutely necessary leading to an psychological fear that has driven more demand than is naturally necessary.

    • Beth, I just don’t see how you can jump from “everyone needs health care” to “either/or” (single payer or no insurance at all). You seem to acknowledge the nature of human existence, while denying the nature of human behavior to cope with that existence.

      • She also ignores the fact that the healthcare market was not “free market”, and that people actually respond to incentives.

        We read the bill, saw what the incentives were for certain actions, and predicted all of what is coming.

        The Warrior Princess can go pound sand for all I care.

        • AM — there is one clear group of winners under the ACA — the insurance companies. Even they recognize this and profits and predicted profits are up. Just because a company is subject to regulations does not mean that it can’t make a bundle.

            • Well gosh AM — let me go back to every single one of your comments on this topic. Millions of new customers have been created. And as you theorize, most of those new customers probably don’t even want or need access to health care right now due to age. So insurance companies will be making a huge profit off of them — at least according to you.

              • Except for the fact that this claim of “millions of new customers who won’t need the coverage” is to offset the millions who will need piles and piles of coverage, you’re right.

                If your loving expenses go up 200 a month, and I give you the chance to make 150 extra a month, I haven’t actually helped you, I just let you fail less.

                When a business with as much cost fluctuation as medical insurance has it required by federal law that they spend 80% of revenue on treatment, and they already exist on – at best – 2.5% profit margins, you are all but legislating their failure.

                That you can’t wrap your head around this concept is astonishing.

                • I am an insurance lawyer — I assure you I can wrap my head around it. After you’ve practiced insurance law for a decade, let’s talk.

                  In any event, I don’t think there should be insurance at all for medical treatment unless it is single payer.

                  • Feel free to forgo medical insurance if you want (not that you can anymore), but leave me the hell alone. If a few million people all want to get together and pool their risk, why should government get in the way?

              • Except for the fact they haven’t had to pay things yet – it isn’t profit until AFTER costs. Yes, a lot of REVINUE, but that doesn’t mean they will see profit.

                I will enjoy your bitter tears the most. I will collect them and use them as a garnish for my drinks.

                • You keep forgetting that I HATE THE ACA, so you’ll have to collect your bitter tears elsewhere if your dire predictions come true. I love how you are trying to nitpick a Forbes piece — that liberal rag!

  3. Jarrett, Hoyer & Tavenner have spent a lot of time smoking some hooch or maybe they were just born liars. You know there is scientific data per “born liars” to “taught liars” to “just liars”…..yes, these folks don’t know what the truth is because the truth is less dramatic. Lies buys votes. I could not believe that Tavenner refused to give the “number” of folks who signed up…..really wasn’t she suppose to respect the question and provide an answer? When the government lies there is no recovery. The plan is for all insurance companies to get out of the business. It will happen. And has already started with the laws that made them change their coverage/policies. The only insurer will be the government. And yes, the death panel will be consisted of Jarrett, Hoyer & Tavenner… name a few. ObummerCare is what the people wanted….oh, the people who thought it was “free”. Remember? He started out telling people “free health care”! You can tell a liar by the way his lips move.

  4. The government is always an unfair player in any economic situation. When insurance companies can mandate insurance coverage by law and then write the rules for their own benefit that’s when I’ll believe the insurance companies are as evil as the government.

  5. The evil genius in the unaccountable federal government bureaucracy’s hijacking of the national health care economy is only beginning to expose itself. For the millions of people who are receiving notices that their health insurance plan is being cancelled, a “class” name is: future voters for Democrats. Just watch. Good ol’ commercial ploys will roll out, which incentivize the newly uninsured to come over to the Dark Side in large numbers: early-bird sign-up discounts, deferred billing, extended payment plans, run by the “saviors” of health care. The extra costs of that roll-out will of course be defrayed by taxes such as a national sales tax.

    The “evil corporations,” who have “abandoned” so many to uninsured status, will see the light, er, darkness. For survival’s sake, they will get in line, and will support more Democrats. They will put more money into election campaigns, instead of selling policies (and insuring their remaining employees) – thus bribing their way to “transition” their business. Their new contracts will be big, bourgeois bureaucracy-driven collection-agency work (collecting both money and personal information), instead of many small, consumer-driven policy sales.

    Don’t be surprised if 45th President Hillary selects Sebelius as her 2016 running mate. The “firsts” are always, always done by Democrats, with Republicans willingly if seemingly grudgingly enabling. Today’s “interrogations” of Sebelius will only add to the artful roll-out of the misogyny victim card. The Congress Theater will set the stage for further glorification of The Good Witch of the Middle Queendom, and for her pairing with The Good Witch of the Northeast. Americans high and low, left, right and center, will be wooed, bewitched by the unstoppable Die-manic Duo, with the “lame duck” quacking away as Community Organizer in Chief during the upcoming campaign to bring all the little voting birdies into the same flock.

    Yes, the country’s “transformation” is only beginning.
    Ahh, welcome the dawn of the workers’ paradise!

    As for me, I must go off line – or, go on line elsewhere for a time. Two years of learning ethics, now to be followed by learning more how to win by being unethical, ought to prep me just fine for the emerging cowardly new world. Gotta sharpen my blades, you know, to be prepared for the coming cuts. Century-long cycles. Amazing! It was one revolution in 1917; in 2017, it’ll be the I Axe You What Could Be Better Revolution.

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