U.S. Chamber Forgot The Facts In New "Titus" Ad

November 12, 2009 4:19 pm ET

On November 11, 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Employers for a Healthy Economy coalition released new anti-reform ads.  Their "Titus" ad attacks Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) for her pro-reform vote, but because the Chamber's attacks are based on faulty information, the ad's message is just a few seconds of fear mongering.

Chamber's "Titus" Ad

"Titus": "Washington is thanking Dina Titus for her 'yes' vote on health care.  But what does it mean to you?  'Yes' to $500 billion in new taxes and over $1 trillion in new government spending.  'Yes' to a government run health care plan and skyrocketing health care costs.  And 'yes' to new regulations on businesses that could wipe out Nevada jobs.  Call Congresswoman Dina Titus.  Tell her on health care, she should have said 'no' to Washington and 'yes' to Nevada." [YouTube.com, accessed 11/12/09]

Claims About Higher Taxes Are Greatly Exaggerated

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]

Most American 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]

Chamber's Claims About Cost Of Bill Are Distorted

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]

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