Political Correction

New CPR Ad Squeezes The Facts Out Of Its Ad

July 22, 2009 2:29 pm ET

On July 22, 2009, Conservatives for Patients Rights released two versions of an ad titled "Squeeze." In the ad, CPR neglects to include any reputable sources or facts to back up its claim that additional government intervention in health care would harm Americans.

CPR Ad Squeezes New Juice Out Of Same Old Lies About The Cost Of Reform

CPR: "Some of Congress' health care plans could squeeze you four ways. It could raise taxes by $600 billion, even taxing soda. It could add a trillion to the federal deficit." [CPRights.org, accessed 7/22/09]

CBO Has Scored House Bill As Deficit Neutral. According to the House Education and Labor Committee, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the America's Affordable Health Choices Act "produces a $6 billion surplus." Other estimates estimating that the bill increases the deficit include the "long-term reform Medicare's physician fee schedule to eliminate the potential 21 percent cut in fees...which will cost about $245 billion.  Those costs...will be absorbed under the upcoming statutory 'pay go' legislation that is pending in the House." As Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said, the payments to physicians are "sort of already baked in to our fiscal trajectory." [Press Release, House Education and Labor Committee, 7/20/2009; Fox News Sunday, 7/20/2009]

Democrats' Health Care Reform To Cost $611 Billion Over Ten Years. Reuters reported that the CBO scoring of the Democrats' "plan to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system has dropped to $611 billion over a decade." [Reuters, 7/2/09]

Obama Tax Increases Are For The Top 5% ONLY. According to CNN, "Obama officials are pushing back by noting they are just raising taxes for the top 5 percent of Americans while 95 percent of Americans got a tax cut with the recent stimulus plan." [CNN, 2/25/09]

CPR Squeezed 95% Figure Out Of Insurance Industry-Backed Report

CPR: "New rules could hike your health insurance premiums 95%." On screen citation: "Council for Affordable Health Insurance, 2009" [CPRights.org, accessed 7/22/09]

CAHI Membership Includes "Insurance Companies" And "Insurance Brokers."  According to its website, "CAHI's membership includes insurance companies, small businesses, providers, nonprofit associations, actuaries, insurance brokers and individuals. Since 1992, CAHI has been an active advocate for market-oriented solutions to the problems in America's health care system." [CAHI.org, accessed 7/22/09]

New America Foundation: Family Health Coverage Will Be Nearly $25,000 By 2016.  According to the New America Foundation, under the current system of health care delivery in the United States, the full cost of an employer-based health plan for a family will be $24,291 by 2016.  [New America Foundation, The Cost of Doing Nothing, November 2008]

Without Reform, Premiums Will Continue To Be Unaffordable For Many Americans.  According to a new study released by Families USA: "In 2008, the uninsured paid an average of 37 percent of the cost of care that they received out of their own pockets.  However, they cannot usually afford to pay the whole bill on their own, and a portion goes unpaid (this is called 'uncompensated care').  To cover the cost of this uncompensated care, health care providers charge higher rates when insured people receive care, and these increases are passed on to those who have insurance in the form of higher premiums, known as a 'hidden health tax.'  In 2008, for example, this 'hidden health tax; increased premiums for family health coverage by an average of $1,017, and, for single individuals, by $368." [Families USA, Coverage for America: We All Stand to Gain, accessed 7/22/09, parentheses original]

CPR Still Squeezing The Juice From That Debunked Lewin Group Study

CPR: "You still might end up on their government-run health care plan." On screen citation: "Lewin Group, 4/6/09" [CPRights.org, accessed 7/22/09]

The Lewin Group Is Owned By Ingenix.  NPR reported that "the Lewin Group, [is] a number-crunching consulting group owned by Ingenix, which is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group." [NPR, All Things Considered, 6/10/09]

NPR: Lewin Number Quoted "Hardly Represents The Entirety Of The Report."  According to NPR, the 119 million figure "hardly represents the entirety of the report [Lewin Group Vice President John] Sheils and colleague Randy Haught put out in April. The point of the study was to show that the number of people who would eventually join a government-sponsored public insurance plan would vary - dramatically - depending on how that plan is designed." [NPR, All Things Considered, 6/10/09]

Lewin Study Shows That As Few As 10.4 Million People Could Move To The Public Plan.  According to NPR, the Lewin Group's study shows that "if the public plan is limited to fewer people (perhaps only those in small businesses and individuals), or if the plan pays higher rates to doctors and hospitals, fewer people would join, both because fewer would be allowed and because the plan would be less financially attractive. According to the study, the number of people dropping private coverage could be as low as 10.4 million." [NPR, All Things Considered, 6/10/09]

Yes, Tell Congress You've Been Squeezed Enough - By The Private Insurance Industry

CPR: "Tell Congress you've been squeezed enough. Say 'no' to a government run health plan." [CPRights.org, accessed 7/22/09]

Only A Few Insurance Companies Dominate The Market, Leaving Americans With Limited Choices In Health Care. According to the American Medical Association, 94 percent of United States health care markets are considered highly concentrated, meaning that one company or a small group of companies control a great deal of the market. [American Medical Association, "Competition in Health Insurance," 2008 Update]

Insurance Companies Hire Agencies To "Do Computerized Searches" Of A Person's Health Record.  According to the Miami Herald, "to make sure that applicants are not lying, insurers hire a data-gathering service... [to] do computerized searches of a person's drug use, gleaned from pharmacy benefits managers and other databases." [Miami Herald, 3/28/09]

Insurance Applicants Rejected Based On Height And Weight.  In an article offering advice on what to do when you lose your health care, the Washington Post reported: "'In the past four or five years, I've had people turned down just because of height and weight,' says Jerry Patt, an independent [health insurance] agent in Gaithersburg who has been in the business for more than 35 years. 'They could be having no medical problems whatsoever, but their build was not acceptable.'" [Washington Post, 6/22/08, emphasis added]

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