Sen. Kyl Spreads GOP Lies On Fox News

March 10, 2010 2:56 pm ET

As Congress inches closer to casting the last votes on health care reform, Republicans are out fighting against reform in full force.  Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News today with a simple goal: throw out as many GOP talking points as possible.  Of course, the problem with those talking points is that they're all wrong.

Sen. Kyl: GOP Talking Point Machine

Insurance Premiums Will Go Down For Many Americans

Sen. Kyl: "...the fact that insurance premiums will continue to go up, the cuts in Medicare - $500 billion, all of those things will be in the bill no matter what..."

PolitiFact: "For Most People, Premiums Would Stay About The Same, Or Slightly Decrease."  According to PolitiFact.com: "The CBO reported that, for most people, premiums would stay about the same, or slightly decrease. This was especially true for people who get their insurance through work. (Health policy wonks call these the large group and small group markets.) People who have to go out and buy insurance on their own (the individual market) would see rates increase by 10 to 13 percent. But more than half of those people -- 57 percent, in fact -- would be eligible for subsidies to help them pay for the insurance. People who get subsidies would see their premiums drop by more than half, according to the CBO. So most people would see their premiums stay the same or potentially drop." [PolitiFact.com, 1/27/10, emphasis added]

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. [CBO, 11/2/09; House Education and Labor Committee, 11/2/09]

"Gimmicky" Medicare "Cuts" Aren't Cuts At All

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]

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]

CBO: Health Care Reform Will Reduce The Deficit

Sen. Kyl: "...the good news is that according to all public opinion surveys...the American people aren't buying it.  They know that this will add to the deficit, they know it increases spending, and they know it isn't deficit neutral..."

CBO: Democratic Bill Would Cost $1 Trillion, Cut Deficit By $132 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Democratic health care plan:

CBO and JCT estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act incorporating the manager's amendment would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion over the 2010-2019 period. [Congressional Budget Office, 12/19/09]

Small Businesses Are Supported By Democratic Health Care Reform Legislation

Sen. Kyl: "And when it comes to the economy and jobs, I think that's really where we have the president beat.  Two quick points: number one, start with not passing this health care bill which will kill jobs because it imposes new taxes on small businesses.  How do you help small businesses hire more people when you pile more health care taxes on them?"

Health Care Reform Will Create Up To 4 Million American Jobs In The Next Decade. According to the Center for American Progress, "Relative to baseline employment forecasts from the Employment Projections Program at the U.S. Department of Labor, we estimate that moderate medical savings from health care modernization as envisioned under the legislation now before Congress would lead to an average of 250,000 additional jobs created annually. Under the larger assumption about savings due to health care reform, 400,000 new jobs a year would be created on average." [Center for American Progress, New Jobs Through Better Health Care, January 2010]

Small Businesses Will Receive Tax Subsidy Under Democratic Health Care Reform.  The Christian Science Monitor reported that under President Obama's health care plan, "small businesses would get tax subsidies for offering insurance to their workers, low- and some moderate-wage workers will get their own subsidies to purchase coverage (and some may even be newly covered by Medicaid). Small firms would get access to exchanges that should make it less costly for them to insure their workers. And, perhaps most important, the bill would take some small steps to control future health costs." [Christian Science Monitor, 3/6/10; parentheses original]

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]

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