AAN Wants Voters To "Remember" Their Lies About Health Care

October 16, 2010 2:33 pm ET

The American Action Network released an ad that tries to discredit the health care reform bill and urges Reps. Perlmutter (D-CO) and Schauer (D-MI) to vote for repeal of the bill.  Not only does the ad muddle several facts about the bill, it also misleads voters into believing that the bill includes certain harmful provisions that, in fact, do not exist.  These non-existent provisions include expanding health care reform to undocumented immigrants and billions in cuts to Medicare.  Both of these claims are complete lies.

American Action Network: "Remember This"

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)

Rep. Mark Schauer (D-MI)

Remember this? [PELOSI:] "We have to pass the bill so that you can, uh, find out what is in it." Now we know what Pelosi and [Perlmutter/Mark Schauer] were hiding. A trillion-dollar health care debacle. Billions in new job-killing taxes. They cut 500 billion from Medicare for seniors, then spent our money on health care for illegal immigrants. In November, tell Congressman [Ed Perlmutter/Mark Schauer] to vote for repeal. American Action Network is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Health Care Reform Doesn't Cut Medicare — It Strengthens The Program

FactCheck.org: "None Of The 'Savings' Or 'Cuts' (Whichever You Prefer) Come From Reducing Current Or Future Benefit Levels For Seniors." According to FactCheck.org, "The House bill would trim projected increases in payments for hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and others, including home health care providers and suppliers of motor-driven wheelchairs. But it also proposes what CBO estimates is a $245 billion increase in spending for doctors, by canceling a scheduled 21 percent cut in physician payments. None of the 'savings' or 'cuts' (whichever you prefer) come from reducing current or future benefit levels for seniors." [FactCheck.org, accessed 9/9/09]

Health Care Reform "Will Keep Paying Medical Bills For Seniors."  According to PolitiFact.com: "The government-run Medicare program will keep paying medical bills for seniors, but it will begin implementing cost controls on health care providers, mostly through penalties and incentives. The legislation would reduce payments for hospital-acquired infections or preventable hospital admissions. For Medicare Advantage, the federal government intends to reduce extra payments, taking away subsidies to private insurance companies. Insurers will likely cut benefits in order to not lose profits. The bill does not address the 'doctor's fix,' an expected proposal that Congress usually passes to prevent doctors' Medicare payments from severe cuts." [PolitiFact.com, 3/18/10; emphasis in original]

CBO: Cost Changes To Medicare Made From Savings. According to the CBO: "Changes to the Medicare program and changes to Medicaid and CHIP other than those associated directly with expanded insurance coverage:  Savings from those provisions are estimated to total $93 billion in 2019, and CBO projects that, in combination, they will increase by 10 percent to 15 percent per year in the next decade." [CBO.gov, 10/7/09]

Changes To Medicare Advantage Come With Extra Benefits For All Medicare Enrollees.  FactCheck.org reported: "The CBO has estimated that the move would change the value of the extra benefits Medicare Advantage participants get, but they would not receive fewer benefits than the rest of seniors who aren't on the Advantage plans. The bill does add some extras for Medicare beneficiaries, eliminating copays and deductibles for preventive services, for example." [FactCheck.org, 12/2/09, emphasis added]

Health Care Reform Fills The "Doughnut Hole."  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "In 2010, Part D enrollees with any spending in the coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, enrollees with spending in the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs, provided by the pharmaceutical industry. The law phases in Medicare coverage in the gap for generic drugs beginning in 2011, and for brand-name drugs beginning in 2013. By 2020, Part D enrollees will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of both brands and generics in the gap, down from 100 percent in 2010." [Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed 8/25/10]

Health Care Reform Improves Medicare's Coverage Of Preventative Benefits.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "Beginning in 2011, no coinsurance or deductibles will be charged in traditional Medicare for preventive services that are rated A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Medicare will cover a free annual comprehensive wellness visit and personalized prevention plan." [Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed 8/25/10]

Click HERE for details on the trillions of dollars Republicans have voted to cut from Medicare.

Health Care Reform Explicitly Excludes Undocumented Immigrants

Washington Post: Affordable Care Act "Goes Out Of Its Way To Exclude" Unauthorized Immigrants. From the Washington Post:

President Obama's health law has brought the Democrats closer than ever to achieving their dream of universal coverage, with their plan predicted to insure some 95 percent of Americans who are legally in the country. But even if everything goes according to plan, there will still be some who will face major barriers to accessing coverage -- including groups that the Affordable Care Act goes out of its way to exclude.

As the AP points out today, there are about 7 million unauthorized immigrants who will be prohibited from buying insurance on the newly created exchanges, even if they pay out of their own pocket. And the exclusion of this group from health reform -- along with other restrictions that affect fully legal immigrants as well -- could create a massive coverage gap that puts a strain on the rest of the health system as well.

[Washington Post, 5/5/10]

Repealing Health Care Reform Would Increase Costs And Leave Millions Uninsured

Without Health Care Reform, Costs Would Have Increased For Everyone. In a recent report, the Urban Institute concluded that "the nation will face rapidly accelerating costs for individuals, employers and government, as well as the rate of uninsurance, if health reform is not enacted. Our analysis shows that without significant reform that makes health insurance more accessible and affordable, and reduces the rate of health care cost growth over time, the number of uninsured will increase and health care spending will increase dramatically." [The Urban Institute, 5/21/09]

CBO: Repeal Would Increase The Deficit By $455 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office: "The estimate of $455 billion mentioned in your letter represents the net effects of many provisions. Some of those provisions generated savings for Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, and some generated costs. If those provisions were repealed, CBO estimates that there would be an increase in deficits similar to its original estimate of $455 billion in net savings over that period." [Congressional Budget Office, 8/24/10]

U.S. Census Bureau: Uninsured Rate Increased Between 2008 And 2009. In a recent report, the U.S. Census Bureau found that "The percentage of people without health insurance increased to 16.7 percent in 2009 from 15.4 percent in 2008. The number of uninsured people increased to 50.7 million in 2009 from 46.3 million in 2008." [U.S. Census Bureau, September 2010]

Without Health Reform, Medicaid Will Not Expand, Leaving Some Of The Poorest Individuals Uninsured.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "Medicaid has been key to preventing more people from being uninsured, and the share of people covered by the program increased significantly during the recession. However, Medicaid is typically only available to low-income children, parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly who meet strict income criteria. Adults without dependent children in most states are ineligible regardless of income (Figure 3). The new health reform law will expand Medicaid to all of the lowest income Americans in 2014." [Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2010

Families USA: Without Health Reform, Premature Deaths Due To Lack Of Health Coverage Likely To Increase.  According to Families USA: "Every day this year, approximately 68 non-elderly adults are dying prematurely due to a lack of health coverage. Without health reform, that number is estimated to reach 84 deaths a day by 2019." [Families USA, March 2010]