Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Detailed Analysis: House Democrats’ Government-Run Health Care Plan Breaks President Obama’s Promises

President Obama has repeatedly made promises throughout the health care debate that are broken by the House Democrats’ government takeover of health care bill. Despite what the President says, the bill put together by Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic leaders would force millions of Americans out of their current coverage, undermine Medicare for seniors, and raise taxes on families and small businesses. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) responded today:

“The President has made a lot of promises to the American people about their health care, but the House Democrats’ bill breaks many of those pledges. It would force millions out of their current coverage, slash Medicare by billions, and increase taxes on the families and small businesses who can least afford it during this recession. Republicans have offered a better solution that makes health care more affordable and accessible for every American without raising taxes. It’s time for Democrats to shelve their government takeover of health care and work with us on a plan that delivers the reforms Americans expect.”

A detailed analysis of the Democrats’ government-run plan makes clear it breaks a number of President Obama’s promises. Here are just a few examples:

• Pages 116-128; Sections 221-225 – The House Democrats’ bill establishes a new government-run health plan that, according to nonpartisan actuaries at the Lewin Group, would cause as many as 114 million Americans to lose their existing coverage. Moving these Americans from their current plan into a government-run plan violates the President’s oft-stated promise that “if you like your current coverage, you can keep it.” Both the Associated Press and ABC News have already debunked this pledge, noting that White House officials have acknowledged the President’s rhetoric shouldn’t be taken “literally.”

• Pages 331-333; Section 1161 – President Obama has said repeatedly that nobody is talking about cutting Medicare when it comes to health care reform. But the fact is that nearly 11 million seniors who choose Medicare Advantage plans, will lose that coverage as a result of the $160 billion in cuts in the House Democrats’ bill. Moreover, an independent analysis of the House Democrats’ bill shows the legislation makes a total of $361.9 billion in Medicare cuts. That means fewer choices and lower health care quality for our nation’s seniors.

• Pages 167-179; Section 401 – President Obama repeatedly promised not to raise taxes on those who make less than $200,000 (singles) or $250,000 (married couples). The tax on Americans without government-approved health insurance in the House Democrats’ bill directly violates that promise.

• Pages 167-179; Section 401 – At least four of the President’s specific tax pledges would be broken by the House Democrats’ government takeover of health care. Specifically, the President pledged that (1) “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase,” and that families making more than $250,000 will (2) “pay either the same or lower tax rates than they paid in the 1990s,” (3) be subject to a “new [higher] top capital gains rate of 20 percent” and (4) have a dividends tax rate “set at 20 percent.” Yet, the Democrats’ bill imposes an individual mandate that would raise taxes on some American families earning less than $250,000, imposes a national small business tax (in conjunction with the President’s expiration of lower marginal rates) that will take the top federal tax rate well above where it was in the 1990s, and applies the national small business tax to capital gains and dividends sending those tax rates to 25.4 percent and 45 percent respectively.

• Pages 823-835; Section 1802 – The House Democrats’ bill would establish a new tax on every health insurance policy to fund a government board. This new tax will increase the cost of health insurance for every American not on Medicare or Medicaid, regardless of income.

Democrats appear poised to go it alone and pass a government takeover of health care that breaks many of the promises made by the President. Americans don’t want a government takeover of their health care; they want common sense reforms to lower health care costs and increase access for those who don’t currently have health care coverage. Shouldn’t Democrats work with Republicans on common sense solutions to deliver on the reforms the American people expect and deserve?

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