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What They’re Not Telling You

Posted By on July 18, 2009

What Democrats Don’t Want You To Know About Their Government-Run Health Care Plan

OBAMA’S FORGOTTEN TAX PLEDGE WOULD BE BROKEN

Obama Pledged No American Would Pay Taxes Higher Than They Did In Clinton Era. “Then there was this pledge, stated on Sept. 12, 2008, at a campaign stop in Dover, N.H.: ‘Everyone in America — everyone — will pay lower taxes than they would under the rates Bill Clinton had in the 1990s,’ Obama said at the time. His campaign’s fact sheet on taxes reinforced that pledge, stating that ‘no family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s.’” (Peter Cohn, “Health Surtax Plan Might Push Rates Past Obama Pledge,” CongressDaily, 7/14/09)

But House Dems’ Government-Run Health Care Proposal Raises Top Income Tax Rates To Nearly 45 Percent, Well Above Clinton Era Rates. “That could lead to a top rate approaching 45 percent, depending on how the final version is structured, as under the Obama budget plan the top tax brackets were already set in 2011 to revert back to the Clinton-era 36 percent and 39.6 percent rates.” (Peter Cohn, “Health Surtax Plan Might Push Rates Past Obama Pledge,” CongressDaily, 7/14/09)

And Americans In 39 States Would See Combined Federal And State Income Tax Rates Over 50 Percent. “A third updated Tax Foundation report shows that 39 states would see top tax rates exceed 50% under a health care funding plan announced today by House Democrats … ‘More than three-quarters of the states would face combined top income tax rates exceeding 50% under this latest health care funding proposal,’ Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge said. ‘That means government would be taking more than half of every additional dollar from high-income taxpayers. The lowest top tax rate would be about 47%—and that’s in the nine states that don’t tax wages.’” (Tax Foundation, “House Leadership’s Health Care Plan Pushes Top Tax Rates Over 50 Percent In 39 States,” Press Release, 7/14/09)

DEFICIT NEUTRAL? NOT EVEN CLOSE

Obama Pledged Government-Run Health Care Would Not Add To Budget Deficit. “So to those who say we have to choose between health care reform and fiscal discipline, I say that making investments now that will dramatically lower health care costs for everyone won’t add to our budget deficit in the long-term – it is one of the best ways to reduce it.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks During Weekly Address, White House, 3/21/09)

Obama’s Budget Director Further Pledged Government-Run Health Care Would Be Deficit Neutral In Tenth Year (2019). “As I have written here before, the Administration is committed to the principle that health care reform must be deficit neutral over the next decade (as well as being deficit neutral in the tenth year alone).” (Peter Orszag, “CBO Points The Way,” White House’s OMB Blog, 6/17/09)

But House Democrats’ Bill Creates Deficit of $115 Billion In 2019. (Page 14, “A Summary of the Specifications for Health Insurance Coverage Provided by the House Tri-Committee Group,” CBO Report, 7/14/09; Page 2,Estimated Effects Of The Revenue Provisions Of H.R. 3200, The ‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act Of 2009,’” Joint Committee On Taxation Document, 7/14/09)

NUMBER OF UNINSURED INCREASES OVER NEXT 3 YEARS DESPITE CALLS OF URGENCY

Obama Insists Health Care Reform Is Urgent. “This is no longer a problem we can wait to fix.  This is about who we are as a country.  Health care reform is about every family’s health, but it’s also about the health of the economy. So I just want to put everybody on notice, because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone:  We are going to get this done. Inaction is not an option.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks In Announcement Of U.S. Surgeon General,” White House, 7/13/09) 

But CBO Concludes House Dems’ Bill Increases Number Of Uninsured Americans In 2011 And 2012. (Page 13, “A Summary of the Specifications for Health Insurance Coverage Provided by the House Tri-Committee Group,” CBO Report, 7/14/09)

OVER A TRILLION IN SPENDING AND MILLIONS WILL STILL BE UNINSURED

CBO Estimates That After Spending Over $1 Trillion, 17 Million Americans Will Still Be Uninsured. “According to that assessment, enacting legislation that embodied those specifications would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of $1,042 billion over the 2010–2019 period. By 2019, CBO and the JCT staff estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 37 million, leaving about 17 million nonelderly residents uninsured (nearly half of whom would be unauthorized immigrants) …” (Douglas W. Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Rep. Charles Rangel, 7/14/09)

And Many Costs Have Yet To Be Included In Estimate. “[S]ome effects of the proposal have not yet been fully captured in our analysis. In particular, we have not yet estimated the administrative costs to the federal government of implementing the specified policies, nor have we accounted for all of the proposal’s likely effects on spending for other federal programs. We expect to include those effects in the near future, but we also expect that they will not have a sizable impact on our analysis.” (Douglas W. Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Rep. Charles Rangel, 7/14/09)

PLAYING AGAINST THE UMPIRE: CZAR TO CONTROL PRIVATE PLANS, PUSH GOVERNMENT PLAN

Obama Insists Government-Run Health Care Will Allow Choice. “That’s why I’ve said that I think a public option would make sense. What that then does is, it gives people a choice. If they’re happy with what they’ve got, if they’re employed by somebody who provides them with good health care, you can keep it. You don’t have to do anything. But if you don’t have health insurance, then you have an option available to you.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Town Hall Meeting On Healthcare, Green Bay, WI, 6/11/09)

But House Dems’ Bill Creates New Czar That Will Push Government-Run Health Insurance. The health choices commissioner would head an independent agency, as envisioned in the 800-page draft bill released by House Democratic leaders. The Health Choices Administration would regulate a revamped insurance marketplace and be expected to deliver Obama’s promise of affordable coverage for all … The commissioner and the new agency would run a kind of national purchasing pool through which individuals and small businesses could pick medical coverage from private plans and a government-sponsored alternative.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Need For Federal Insurance Czar Is Questioned,” The Associated Press, 7/7/09)

And Czar Would Dictate How Private Insurance Companies Operate, Place Limit On How Much They Can Make. “A qualified health benefits plan shall meet a medical loss ratio as defined by the Commissioner. For any plan year in which the qualified health benefits plan does not meet such medical loss ratio, QHBP offering entity shall provide in a manner specified by the Commissioner for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio … The Commissioner shall build on the definition and methodology developed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the amendments made by section 161 for determining how to calculate the medical loss ratio. Such methodology shall be set at the highest level medical loss ratio possible that is designed to ensure adequate participation by QHBP offering entities, competition in the health insurance market in and out of the Health Insurance Exchange, and value for consumers so that their premiums are used for services” (H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” Introduced 7/14/09)

MORE BROKEN TAX PLEDGES

Obama Attacked McCain’s Plan To Tax Health Care Benefits During The Campaign. Obama: “And once you’re out on your own with this $5,000 credit, Senator McCain for the first time is going to be taxing the health care benefits that you have from your employer. And — and this is your plan, John: for the first time in history, you will be taxing people’s health care benefits.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Third Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, 10/15/08)

But New Health Care Bureaucracy Would Be Paid For By New Tax On Health Benefits. “The proposal establishes the Health Care Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (‘‘CERTF’’) under the Internal Revenue Code (the ‘‘Code’’) to carry out the proposal’s provisions relating to comparative effectiveness research… [T]he CERTF is funded in part from fees imposed on health plans under proposed Code sections 4375 through 4377. Under the proposal, a fee is imposed on each specified health insurance policy equal to the fair share per capita amount multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the policy. The issuer of the policy is liable for payment of the fee.” (Descriptions Of The Revenue Provisions Of H.R. 3200, The ‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act Of 2009,’” Joint Committee On Taxation Document, 7/14/09)

Obama Pledged Not To Increase Taxes For Anyone Making Less Than $250,000 A Year.  “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks, Dover, NH, 9/12/08)

But House Dems’ Bill Includes $29 Billion Tax Increase On Americans That Don’t Buy Health Insurance. “All legal residents would be required to enroll in a health insurance plan meeting certain minimum standards or face a tax penalty … The penalty assessed on people who would be subject to the mandate but did not obtain insurance would equal 2.5 percent of the difference between their adjusted gross income … [P]enalty payments by uninsured individuals, which would amount to $29 billion in the 2010-2019 period.” (“A Summary of the Specifications for Health Insurance Coverage Provided by the House Tri-Committee Group,” Congressional Budget Office, 7/14/09)

Obama Pledged Government-Run Health Care Will Fix Economy. “If we want to create jobs and rebuild our economy … then we have to address the crushing cost of health care this year …”(President Barack Obama, Remarks At Opening Of White House Forum On Health Reform, White House, 3/5/09)

But House Dems’ Tax Increases On Small Businesses Will Kill Jobs. “This [surtax] would hit job creators especially hard because more than six of every 10 who earn that much are small business owners, operators or investors, according to a 2007 Treasury study… America’s successful small businesses would pay higher tax rates than the Fortune 500, and for that matter than most companies around the world … ” (Editorial, “The Small Business Surtax,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/14/09)


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