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Six Ways the Senate Health Care Bill Raises Health Care Costs, Kills Jobs, and Weakens the Economy

Posted By Nina Owcharenko On March 18, 2010 @ 1:55 pm In Obamacare | Comments Disabled

On the eve of the House of Representatives push to jam through the misguided and highly unpopular Senate health care bill, , the President continues to try and convince the American people that the health care bill would reduce cost while showing his commitment to creating jobs and improving the economy. The raw facts make it clear that he cannot keep either of these promises. For example:

  • The President claims the health care proposals would reduce health care spending. The reality is health care spending would increase. According to the latest Congressional Budget Office report of the Senate bill [1], health care spending under the Senate bill would increase by $210 billion over the next 10 years. This is similar to the results found by the President’s Chief Actuary which estimated an increase of $222 billion [2]. While CBO predicts spending would decrease in the second decade, history shows spending rarely, if ever, goes down on government health programs. Medicare is hurtling toward a financial crisis, and Medicaid is breaking state budgets.
  • The President claims the health care proposals would reduce premiums. The reality is premiums will go up for many under the Senate bill. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have estimated premiums in the non-group market would be 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 [3] than they would be with no bill and cost would likely fall higher on young and healthy families [4]. In addition, this is before the government specifies and locks into place new federal benefit mandates that will no doubt further increase premiums for all Americans. There is little or no experience of government officials reversing these trends.
  • The President claims the health care proposals would cost under a trillion. But, that figure excludes major health care provisions – like filling the Medicare “donut hole”, fixing Medicare reimbursement to physicians, and creating a new long-term entitlement program – pushing the price tag to over $2 trillion [5]. Only in Washington does spending more money equal saving money.
  • The President claims the health care proposals would reduce the deficit. Unlike CBO’s restricted scope of analysis, the independent analysis by the Lewin Group [6] estimates that when taken in its entirety, which means accounting for the expected $200 billion plus boost in Medicare reimbursement for physicians, the proposal would actually add to the deficit, not reduce it.
  • The President claims he is committed to improving jobs and the economy. Based on his own policies, the opposite is true. The Senate bill would result in 620,000 fewer job opportunities and would increase the national debt by $755 billion [7] through its lethal combination of mandates, taxes, and government spending. As Heritage analysts have pointed out [8], “Because investment is what drives productivity and economic growth, less investment–even if only slightly less–leads to lower productivity, slower economic growth, weaker wages and salaries, and lower household wealth.” Even worse, his own proposal to “fix” the bill adds a new tax on investment income [8] that would result in 115,000 lost job opportunities and disposable income is estimated to be $17.3 billion less per year than it otherwise would be.
  • The President claims he will “fix” the bill. Although he promised to ensure no federal funding would be used for abortions and eliminate the repugnant special deals, House passage of the Senate bill would lock these into place, and they could only be undone through a highly uncertain reconciliation process to “fix” the bill in the Senate.  Not only is taxpayer funding of abortion [9] not fixed, it is expanded under the Senate bill. Moreover, the ugly special state deals at the expense of the taxpayers still remain.

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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/18/six-ways-the-senate-health-care-bill-raises-health-care-costs-kills-jobs-and-weakens-the-economy/

URLs in this post:

[1] latest Congressional Budget Office report of the Senate bill: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11307/Reid_Letter_HR3590.pdf

[2] increase of $222 billion: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ActuarialStudies/Downloads/S_PPACA_2010-01-08.pdf

[3] 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10781/11-30-Premiums.pdf

[4] likely fall higher on young and healthy families: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/How-Health-Care-Reform-Will-Affect-Young-Adults

[5] over $2 trillion: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/02/The-Presidents-Health-Reform-Proposal-More-Like-25-Trillion

[6] independent analysis by the Lewin Group: http://www.lewin.com/content/publications/Lewin_Senate_and_House_Bill_Compared.pdf

[7] increase the national debt by $755 billion: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/03/Mandates-and-Taxes-Reburden-Health-Insurance-Markets

[8] pointed out: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/02/The-Presidents-Health-Proposal-Taxing-Investments-Undermines-Economic-Recovery

[9] taxpayer funding of abortion: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/03/Abortion-Coverage-in-President-Obamas-Health-Care-Reform-Bill

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