Fact Check: The Truth Behind Obama's Health Care Plan

Fact or fiction? Decoding the president's prescription for American health care.

ByABC News
June 24, 2009, 6:45 PM

June 24, 2009— -- A fact check on President Obama's main messages of Wednesday night's health care forum at the White House reveal a president eager to make his case to the public -- but sometimes glossing over the thorny details of how to achieve reform.

Visit ABC News' special health care section here.

Watch the full show, "ABC News' Questions for the President: Prescription for America," here.

Read the full transcript here.

President Obama told the audience that

health care costs are increasing at a rate three times faster than wages in America. It's a line he has used regularly as he campaigns for the health care plan.

Families USA, a group that advocates for health care reform, found that health care is rising at a rate five times faster than wages in America in a report issued in October 2008.

Also in 2008, the Department of Labor found that benefits such as health care represent more than 30 percent of an employer's compensation costs.

And the Kaiser Family Foundation found that family health care costs increased by 78 percent between 2001 and 2008.

Georgetown University medical student Mary Vigil told President Obama she would have about $300,000 in debt when she graduated from medical school -- a staggering figure and part of the reason that physicians are forced to eye the bottom line as they treat their patients.

But Vigil, the first person in her family to attend college, has a much higher debt than the average graduating medical student, according to the American Medical Association.

The AMA reported that in 2007 the average debt carried by graduating medical school students was $139,000, less than half the debt Vigil will have.

While Vigil's debt may be larger than average, three quarters of graduating medical students have debt of more than $100,000, according to the AMA.