Friday, December 19th, 2014

Obama wrong again about obesity savings

At a meeting with supporters of his health care plan, President Obama repeated an incorrect claim about obesity.
At a meeting with supporters of his health care plan, President Obama repeated an incorrect claim about obesity.

We don't expect President Barack Obama to remember everything we write about him, but when he repeats a claim we had earlier found to be False, we think it's worth calling him out.

On Aug. 20, 2009, President Obama held a discussion and conference call at a national health care forum sponsored by Organizing for America, the successor to Obama for America, his campaign organization. In response to a question about how food and lifestyle affect health care, the president responded, "Well, this is a great question. Look, this is an interesting statistic. If we went back to the obesity rates that existed back in the 1980s, the Medicare system over several years could save as much as a trillion dollars. I mean, that's how much our obesity rate has made a difference in terms of diabetes and heart failure and all sorts of preventable diseases."

It wasn't the first time Obama had talked about the cost of obesity. The earlier instance came at a Des Moines Register presidential debate among Democratic primary contenders on Dec. 13, 2007. "Well, just to emphasize how important prevention and cost savings can be in the Medicare system, it's estimated if we went back to the obesity rates that existed in 1980, that would save the Medicare system $1 trillion," Obama said.

But there's a problem. When we reviewed his claim in 2007, we found it False. And he isn't any closer to the truth this time, as we point out in our new item , which also earned a False.