Challenging Those Fishy Healthcare Claims
So far, the best e-mail sent to the White House tip line on health care discussions has got to be former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey‘s…
I call to your attention several fishy statements about health care reform legislation made by a gentleman named Dr. Douglas Elmendorf. He claims to be Director of the “Congressional Budget Office” and has posted frequently about health care reform on his website, cbo.gov….Elmendorf appears to have several hundred followers in his organization, which has extraordinary influence over many in Congress. I understand that some right-wing Members of Congress support and even vote for his annual funding source.
CBO and Elmendorf make extraordinary claims about bills moving through Congress that attempt to implement the President’s plans for health care reform. I bring them to your attention so that you can refute them….
- The House bill would increase the budget deficit by $239 B over the next ten years. This conflicts with the President’s goal of not increasing short-term deficits.
- Ten years from now the House bill would add $65 B to the budget deficit. This conflicts with the President’s insistence that legislation must not increase the deficit in that year.
- The House bill would increase long-term budget deficits by ever-increasing amounts, making our long-term debt problem worse than under current law. This of course conflicts with the President’s statements that “health care reform is entitlement reform,” and that health care reform is essential to addressing America’s long-term budget problems.
- Rather than “bending the cost curve down” as the President has laudably insisted, Dr. Elmendorf said the Senate HELP Committee bill would “raise the cost curve.”
- Under the House bill, in the year 2015 about 8 million uninsured Americans would remain uninsured and pay higher taxes. This would violate the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 per year.
- Under the House bill, about 3 million people who now have employer-sponsored health insurance would lose that coverage because their employer drops it, violating the President’s bold promise that no one will lose the health plan they have now.
- The President’s Medicare Commission proposal would probably save only $2 billion over ten years, and there is a high probability it would save no taxpayer money. In the long run the saving would be “modest.”