Political Correction

New Chamber Ad's Scary Forest Hides The Truth

January 07, 2010 11:13 am ET

The Chamber of Commerce's health care coalition, Employers for a Healthy Economy, has begun airing a new anti-health care reform ad in several states.  Despite what the ad says, there is nothing hidden or secret about what is contained within the health care reform legislation.

Chamber's New Ad Hides The Truth

"Hidden Taxes":  "Hidden taxes.  The taxes you pay, but you never see.  Now Congress wants new hidden taxes - on your health care.  Hidden taxes on medicines, medical devices, and health insurance.  Increasing what businesses and workers pay.  Hidden health care taxes that start right away, in the middle of a deep recession.  Call Senators Lincoln and Pryor.  Tell them to hold down health care costs.  Tell them don't raise taxes in a recession." [Employers for a Healthy Economy via You Tube, accessed 1/7/10]

Note: Employers for a Healthy Economy has released a new ad titled "Places" that uses the same script as their "Hidden Taxes" spot.

There Is Nothing "Hidden" About The Health Care Bills

Both Versions Of The Health Care Legislation Are Available Online.

Tax Provisions Included In Each Bill Are Readily Available Online

Non-Partisan Groups Have Published The Funding Details Of The Health Care Legislation.  The non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation has produced a detailed side-by-side analysis of the two bills, including a comparison of the "tax changes related to health insurance and to financing health reform." [KFF.org, accessed 1/7/10]

Ad Gives The False Impression That All Americans Will See An Immediate Tax Increase

Financial Portions Of Health Care Reform Bills Will Not Become Effective Until 2011 At The Earliest.  As indicated by the Kaiser Family Foundation's analysis, the effective dates for financial provisions of both pieces of legislation are years away, save fees placed upon the health industry. 

The effective dates for taxes, fees, or fines in the Senate Bill are as follows:

2014
January 1, 2013
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2013
January 1, 2013
January 1, 2010
December 31, 2008: fee on the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector
December 31, 2009: fee on the medical device manufacturing sector
December 31, 2008: fee on the health insurance sector

The effective dates for taxes, fees, or fines in the House Bill are as follows:

January 1, 2013
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2013
January 1, 2013

[KFF.org, accessed 1/7/10]

Chamber Does Not Acknowledge Any Of The Benefits Of Passing Democratic Health Care Reform

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]

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. [Congressional Budget Office, 11/2/09; House Education and Labor Committee, 11/2/09]

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]

Gruber: Senate Bill Lowers Premiums And Improves Coverage.  In his analysis of the Senate health care bill, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber wrote: "It is worth noting that these savings are all in addition to the more generous benefits that these groups will receive through the exchange compared to the non-group market...So not only does the Senate proposal lower premiums, it does so while also improving coverage."  [Gruber, "The Senate Bill Lowers Non-Group Premiums: Updated for New CBO Estimates," 11/27/09, via Politico; emphasis added]

Gruber: Senate Bill Will Cause Premiums For Low Income Americans To Drop Thousands Of Dollars.  Politico reported that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber found "that people purchasing individual insurance would save an annual $200 (singles) to $500 (families) in 2009 dollars. And people with low incomes would receive premium tax credits that would reduce the price that they pay for health insurance by as much as $2,500 to $7,500." [Politico, 11/28/09]

Copyright © 2010 Media Matters Action Network. All rights reserved.