Rep. Boehner Falsely Claims Republicans' Health Care Plan Meets Obama's Objectives

January 28, 2010 3:26 pm ET

On January 28, 2010, House Minority Leader John Boehner falsely claimed the Republican health care "plan" met Obama's objectives: "bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses." In reality, the GOP proposal doesn't cover the uninsured or stop insurance company abuses, and it reduces the deficit $36 billion less than the Democratic proposal.

Rep. Boehner Falsely Claims Republican Plan Meets Obama's Objectives

Rep. John Boehner:

"If the Democrat leaders here in Congress and the President are serious about getting our economy going again and putting people back to work, we can, in fact, work together to promote policies that will do that.  But there was nothing last night in the President's speech to indicate that there was any willingness to sit down and work together.  Except one point: The President said when he was talking about health care and I'll quote, 'but if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.'  That's when I put my hand up, because that's exactly what the Republican health care proposal does, much more so than the proposal that he and Democrat leaders are trying to shove down the throats of the American people." [Boehner Remarks, 1/28/10; emphasis added]

The Republican Plan Does Not Cover The Uninsured

GOP Plan Costs $61 Billion And Leaves 52 Million Americans Uninsured.  The Los Angeles Times reported the CBO put the cost of the Republican bill at $61 billion over ten years, "[b]ut the CBO analysis also concluded that under the GOP plan, 52 million nonelderly Americans would have no insurance in 2019 -- even more than the 50 million in 2010." [Los Angeles Times, 11/5/09]

  • GOP Plan Only Offers Coverage To 3 Million More Americans Over Ten Years. According to the CBO: "By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured." [CBO.gov, 11/4/09]
  • GOP Plan Keeps Number Of Uninsured At Same Rate As Current System. The CBO also noted: "The share of nonelderly resident with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the current share. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the amendment's insurance coverage provisions would increase deficits by $8 billion over the 2010-2019 period." [CBO.gov, 11/4/09]

The Republican Plan Does Not Stop Insurance Company Abuses

GOP Bill Allows Insurance Companies To Deny Americans Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions.  In his write up of the Republican bill's CBO score, Jonathan Cohn wrote, "under the Republican bills, the CBO notes, there will be enormous variation in rates between the sick and the healthy. Remember, unlike the Democrats, the Republicans--in their determination to avoid passing new regulations--wouldn't prohibit charging people more because they have pre-existing conditions or would otherwise represent greater-than-average health risks." [The New Republic, 11/5/09]

GOP Bill Increases Premiums For Sick Americans.  Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic wrote, "yes, the Republican health care bill will lower premiums overall. But many people in poor health will see their premiums go up. And many people will get lower premiums only because they're getting inferior coverage. Meanwhile, more than 50 million people will have no insurance whatsoever." [The New Republic, 11/5/09]

The Democratic Bill Covers More People And Saves More Money

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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