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Health Care Bill Would Kill Jobs, Weaken Economy

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On the eve of the House of Representatives' push to jam through the highly unpopular Senate health care bill, President Obama 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, says Nina Owcharenko, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Heritage Foundation. 

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, 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.
  • 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 nongroup market would be 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than they would be with no bill and cost would likely fall higher on young and healthy families.
  • 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 also claims the health care proposals would cost under a trillion dollars, 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 -- which pushes the price tag to over $2 trillion.  Only in Washington does spending more money equal saving money, says Owcharenko. 

Source: Nina Owcharenko, "Six Ways the Senate Health Care Bill Raises Health Care Costs, Kills Jobs, and Weakens the Economy," Heritage Foundation, March 18th, 2010. 

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