American Future Fund Parties Like It's 2010 In A New Attack On Sen. Nelson

January 28, 2011 1:27 pm ET

In an effort to turn up the heat on moderate Democrats to push health care repeal in the Senate, the American Future Fund (AFF) has put out via a new radio ad against Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). In the ad, the AFF regurgitates lies straight from the 2010 elections while simultaneously citing the "non-partisan CBO" and ignoring the CBO's finding that the Affordable Care Act will lower the deficit.

American Future Fund: "Nelson Promises 2"

Can Nebraskans trust Ben Nelson? Listen to some of Nelson's broken promises on health care:

[Nelson]: "I want you to hear my principles, straight from me. First, any plan must keep spending under control."

Fact: The Associated Press said the liberals' plan used, quote, "only-in-Washington accounting." And the nonpartisan CBO says health care will cost more than we were promised.

[Nelson:] "Help our small businesses, improve care, control costs."

Fact: Nelson voted for a bill with nearly 500 billion in new taxes and regulations that will kill jobs and hurt small business. Some employers have already been forced to drop coverage and health care costs have continued to skyrocket.

[Nelson:] "And most of all, the plan needs to work for Nebraska."

Do you believe that? Even after Nelson tried to cut backroom deals in his Cornhusker Kickback, Nebraskans overwhelmingly opposed the liberal health care bill. Tell Ben Nelson: it's not too late to put Nebraska first. Vote yes on repeal. Start over and get health care right. Paid for by American Future Fund.

CBO: Health Care Reform Reduces The Deficit, Repeal Would Increase The Deficit

CBO: Health Care Reform Repeal Would Increase The Deficit By $230 Billion. In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), CBO Director Doug Elmendorf writes:

Because CBO and JCT estimated that the March 2010 health care legislation would reduce budget deficits over the 2010-2019 period and in subsequent years, we expect that repealing that legislation would increase budget deficits. The resulting increase in deficits projected for fiscal years 2012 through 2019 is likely to be similar in size to-but not exactly the same as-the reduction in deficits that was originally estimated to result from the enacted legislation.


As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 2 would probably increase federal budget deficits over the 2012-2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion (on the basis of the original estimate), plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes that CBO and JCT will include in the forthcoming estimate. Adding two more years (through 2021) brings the projected increase in deficits to something in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes. [CBO, 1/6/11, emphasis added]

CBO: Health Care Reform Package Would Reduce The Deficit By $138 Billion By 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office: "The reconciliation proposal includes provisions related to health care and revenues, many of which would amend H.R. 3590. It also includes amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, which authorizes most federal programs involving postsecondary education. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation - H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal - would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010-2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenue." [CBO, 3/18/10]

Affordable Care Act Reduces The Growth Of Health Care Spending

Affordable Care Act Insures 34 Million New People With 1% Health Care Spending Increase. According to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein:

First, be clear about what's being estimated. The Congressional Budget Office's estimates look at the deficit. CMS is looking at total national health expenditures. This often confuses people into thinking that there's conflict between the two sets of numbers when there isn't: CBO says that federal spending is going to go up to pay for the coverage expansion, but that savings and revenue will go up by even more, leading to a net reduction in the federal deficit. CMS is looking only at the spending side. And here's what it finds: In 2019, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 34 million people and increase nation health expenditures by 1 percent. One percent... So that's the bottom line of the report: We're covering 34 million people and come 2019, spending is expected to be one percentage point -- and falling - above what it would've been if we'd done nothing. [Washington Post4/23/10, emphasis added]

After One-Time Spending Increase In 2014, Costs Grow More Slowly Than They Would Without Reform. According to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein:

[W]e're covering about 10 percent of the country and increasing spending growth by 0.2 percent. Seems like a good deal to me. But it's actually a better deal than that. Here's what the cost curve -- or maybe I should say cost line -- looks like:


What you're seeing here isn't the cost curve bending up. It's a one-time increase in the level of spending. That's the big jump in 2014, the year the exchanges and subsidies come online. So when you compare 2014 to 2013, spending growth seems like it's gone up a bunch. But by 2016, we're back to normal. In fact, we're better than normal [according to a September CMS report]: "For 2015-19, national health spending is now projected to increase 6.7 percent per year, on average -- slightly less than the 6.8 percent average annual growth rate projected in February 2010."

In other words, 2014 is a one-time increase in spending level as we get 30 million new people covered. After 2014, costs grow more slowly than they would without the health-care reform bill. [Washington Post9/10/10, emphasis added]

Because Of Health Care Reform, Small Businesses Are Eligible For New Tax Credits

Health Care Reform Creates Tax Credits For Over 4 Million American Small Businesses. According to a report from Families USA and Small Business Majority: "More than 4 million (4,015,300) small businesses will be eligible to receive a tax credit for the purchase of employee health insurance in 2010. That's 83.7 percent of all small businesses in the country." [A Helping Hand for Small Businesses: Health Insurance Tax Credits, Families USA and Small Business Majority, July 2010, emphasis original]

Health Care Reform Will Create Millions Of American Jobs In The Next Decade — Not Kill Them

1.1 Million New Private Sector Jobs Since Affordable Care Act Became Law. As reported by Washington Monthly: "Just at the surface level, the charge is transparently false. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, the private sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Roughly a fifth of that total -- more than 200,000 -- were jobs created in the health care industry. If GOP rhetoric were true, these jobs wouldn't have been created." [Washington Monthly1/18/11]

Minority Leader Pelosi's office prepared a graph showing job gains and losses per month since the Affordable Care Act passed.

Real Numbers

[Minority Leader Pelosi via Flickr, 1/18/11]

Associated Press: GOP Claim About Job Losses From Health Care Reform Is Misleading. According to the Associated Press: "[The GOP] cites the 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the original analysis behind that estimate. But the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced the number. What follows is a story of how statistics get used and abused in Washington. What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of it would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available outside the job." [Associated Press, 1/18/11; emphasis added]

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 CareJanuary 2010]

Employer Spending On Health Insurance Will Shift To Cash Wages

CBPP: Health Care Reform Will Reduce Spending On Health Insurance, Employers Will Shift Compensation To Cash Wage. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation have concluded that the health reform legislation will reduce employer spending on health insurance, in part because the new excise tax on high-cost insurance plans will lead employers to shift some employee compensation from health insurance to cash wages. Workers will pay Social Security payroll contributions and income taxes on the additional wages.

The legislation also establishes a new, voluntary program of long-term care insurance, called the CLASS Act. Benefit payments from CLASS will be fully financed by premiums that beneficiaries pay and interest earnings. In its early years, as the program starts up, premium collections will substantially exceed benefit payments.

Congressional leaders crafted the health reform bill so that it would be fully paid for without relying on these additional Social Security payroll contributions or the CLASS Act premiums. The CBO estimate clearly shows that if one excludes the net revenues of $29 billion from Social Security contributions and $70 billion from CLASS Act premiums, health reform still reduces the deficit by $44 billion over the first ten years. [, 3/25/10, emphasis added]

Americans Did Want And Do Need Health Care Reform

Americans Supported Health Care Reform Before Its Passage...

A Majority Of Americans Favored Passing Health Care Reform In 2009. According to Gallup: "As U.S. House leaders unveil a plan to reform the U.S. healthcare system, a USA Today/Gallup poll finds 56% of Americans in favor and 33% opposed to Congress' passing major healthcare reform legislation this year. Support for healthcare reform before the end of the year is sharply split along party lines, with 79% of Democrats in favor, compared with only 23% of Republicans." [Gallup, 7/14/09]

Many Want Reform To Go Farther Than It Did...

CNN: Only 37 Percent Of Americans Agree With GOP That Health Care Reform Is "Too Liberal." A CNN poll conducted from December 17-19, 2010, found that 43 percent of Americans favor the health care law and 13 percent oppose it because it's "not liberal enough," while only 37 percent oppose it because they believe it is "too liberal." [CNN, 12/27/10]

After Passage, Most Americans Want To Keep Health Care Reform...

NYT/CBS: Internal Polls Show Less Than One Percent Want To Repeal Key Items Of Affordable Care ActAccording to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent: 

The NYT/CBS poll then asked the pro-repeal camp whether they want to "repeal all of the health care law, or only certain parts of it." Suddenly the number who favor full repeal drops to 20 percent — one-fifth — while 18 percent peel off and say they want to repeal "certain parts."

It gets even better. The poll then asked people who support repeal an open-ended question: Which parts of the law do you want done away with? The number who said "everything" drops again, this time to eight percent. Eleven percent want the individual mandate repealed. But guess what? The number who called for repeal of other key individual items in the bill — the pre-existing conditions piece; the coverage for people up to age 26; and so on — was consistently one percent or less for each of them. [, 1/21/11]

McClatchy-Marist: Only Three In Ten "Want The Law Completely Repealed." According to a McClatchy-Marist poll released on January 14, 2011: "Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to take action to repeal the 2010 Health Care Law, but are voters satisfied with the law?  Just 14% of registered voters want the law to exist in its current form.  35% want it changed so that it does more, and 13% would like it altered so that it does less.  Three in ten — 30% — want the law completely repealed.  Nine percent are unsure." [Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, 1/14/11]

Gallup: "Americans Do Not Strongly Endorse" Republican Efforts To Repeal Health Care. According to Gallup: "Americans do not strongly endorse the new Republican House majority's efforts to repeal the landmark healthcare legislation passed last year. A new Gallup poll finds that 46% of Americans want their representative in Congress to vote to repeal the healthcare law, 40% want their representative to vote to let the law stand, and 14% have no opinion." [Gallup, 1/7/11]

No Cornhusker Kickback

Nebraska Medicare Expasion, Dubbed "Cornhusker Kickback" Was "Removed From The Final Law." According to the Wall Street Journal: "In the Senate, the much-ridiculed 'Cornhusker Kickback' gave Nebraska an all-expenses-paid Medicaid expansion program. Due to public pressure, the provision was eventually removed from the final law." [Wall Street Journal, 1/5/11]