60 Plus Airing New Round Of Misleading Anti-Reform Ads

November 12, 2009 2:20 pm ET

In a series of three very similar ads, the right-wing group 60 Plus has attacked the pro-reform votes of Congressmen Snyder (D-AR), Hill (D-IN), and Pomeroy (D-ND).  Just like their other ads, however, this series is full of misleading information and scare tactics.

"How Could You?" Ad

Narrator: The house passed a 2,000 page health care bill that cuts Medicare $400 billion, raises taxes on small business - killing jobs, and makes insurance you have cost more.

Senior Citizen 1: Vic Snyder voted for this bill.

Senior Citizen 2: How can we saddle our children and grandchildren with these huge budget deficits?

Senior Citizen 1: And I don't want the government choosing my doctor...

Senior Citizen 2: ...or telling me that I can't have the tests I need.  Congressman Snyder, you betrayed us by voting to cut $400 billion from Medicare.  Arkansas seniors won't forget. [60 Plus Ads via YouTube, accessed 11/12/09]

No "Cuts" To Medicare

"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]

CBO: Cost Changes To Medicare Made From Savings. According to the CBO letter to Senator Baucus: "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]

House Bill Taxes Less Than 1% Of Americans And Lowers Costs For Families

House Bill Taxes Only Wealthiest .3% Of Americans.  According to the Washington Post, the House health insurance reform package would raise "$460 billion over the next decade - through a 5.4 percent surtax on the richest .3 percent of tax filers." [Washington Post, 10/30/09]

CBO: House Bill Will Result In Lower Costs For American Families.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that in 2016, premiums will be $5,300 for an individual and $15,000 for a family of four in the Exchange.  Without reform, the average family premium is expected to grow to $24,000. [Congressional Budget Office, 11/2/09; House Education and Labor Committee, 11/2/09]

Small Businesses Are Exempt From Mandate

Bill Exempts Many Businesses From Shared Responsibility Requirement. The House health reform bill exempts "firms with a payroll of less than $500,000" from fines for not offering health insurance to their employees.  In fact, "86% of America's businesses are exempt from the shared responsibility requirement." [Wall Street Journal, 10/30/09; House Education and Labor Committee, accessed 11/3/09]

Fears About Increasing The Deficit Are Unfounded

CBO: Democratic Bill Would Cost $1 Trillion, Cut Deficit By $109 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Democratic health care plan:

Reflecting the change noted above, CBO and the staff of JCT now estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting H.R. 3962, incorporating the manager's amendment, would yield a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

[...]

The estimate includes a projected net cost of $891 billion over 10 years for the proposed expansions in insurance coverage. That net cost itself reflects a gross total of $1,052 billion in subsidies provided through the exchanges (and related spending), increased net outlays for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and tax credits for small employers; those costs are partly offset by $167 billion in collections of penalties paid by individuals and employers. [CBO, 11/6/09; emphasis added]

The Democratic Bill "Covers 12 Times As Many People And Saves $36 Billion More Than The Republican Plan."  The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote: "According to CBO, the GOP's alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit. The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan." [Washington Post, 11/5/09]

Democrats Don't Want To Choose Your Doctor For You

PolitiFact.com: True Statement: "Nothing In This Plan Will Require You" To Change Doctors.  According to PolitiFact.com, President Obama "said that if you are [sic] 'already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.' That is true, there is nothing in the plan that proactively forces these kinds of changes, and the bills clearly intend to leave much of the current health care system in place. We rate Obama's statement True." [PolitiFact.com, 9/9/09, emphasis added]

Democrats Have No Desire To Ration Medical Treatments

"Rationing," also known as "death panels" to Republicans, will not occur under current legislation.

PolitiFact.com Gave "Death Panels" Claim A "Pants On Fire" Rating.  According to PolitiFact.com: "Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said that seniors and the disabled 'will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care.' We rated that Pants on Fire." [PolitiFact.com, 10/23/09]

Additionally, the legislation prevents insurance companies from rationing care.

FactCheck.org: Current Legislation Will Prevent Insurance Companies From Rationing Care To Customers.  According to FactCheck.org: "Rationing? That occurs on a regular basis today, whenever insurance companies or government programs like Medicare reject claims, or when the companies drop people who have become ill for not disclosing often minor and unrelated preexisting conditions. Under pending legislation, insurance companies would be unable to deny coverage to individuals because of preexisting conditions." [FactCheck.org, 9/9/09, emphasis added]

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