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House Democrats' Health Plan Contains Words of Coercion -- not Choice -- Text Analysis Shows
For Immediate Release July 21, 2009
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, Va.) -- House Democrats use words such as "choice" in stump speeches on behalf of their recently introduced health care legislation, but according to an analysis by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), the actual text of the bill tells a different story. NTUF determined that the words "choice," "options," and "freedom" appear just 85 times in the mammoth 1,018-page legislation, while three restrictive words -- "require," "limit," and "must" (and variations) -- were nine times more prevalent.
"Words don't always have a lot of meaning inside the Beltway, but if the language of the 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009' is a guide to its true intent, then the bill is really about empowering bureaucracy and limiting freedom, competition, and the marketplace," said NTUF Director of Congressional Analysis Jeff Dircksen. Among his findings:
Dircksen consulted grammatical resources to construct a list of terms that most closely reflected the principles of consumer choice and that patient-centered care proponents of the health care plan stressed, along with their opposites. He also sought terms that would reflect who would have a role in the health care decision-making process. Dircksen then searched the bill's text for these words.
NTUF is the research arm of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: Tables containing the word counts are below.