Rep. Blunt Misrepresents GOP Health Care Plan

March 10, 2010 6:12 pm ET

During a March 10, 2010 appearance on CNN's Rick's List, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) painted a deceptively rosy picture of the Republicans' health care alternative.  Despite Blunt's claims, the Republican plan leaves 52 million Americans without health coverage, allows insurers to deny coverage for preexisting conditions, and does less than the Democratic bill to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Rep. Blunt Misrepresents GOP Health Care Plan

REP. ROY BLUNT: Access to coverage is the real question here, and the Republican alternative on the House floor was the only bill anybody offered that the Congressional Budget Office said would have reduced coverage cost for every single American that was gonna buy insurance. [CNN, 3/10/10]

The Democratic Plan Reduces Health Insurance Premiums

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]

The Republican Plan Does Not Expand Access To 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 Republican Plan Does Less To Reduce The Federal Deficit

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]

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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