Political Correction

Chamber Of Commerce's "Too Much" Ad Has Too Many Lies About Health Care Reform

March 19, 2010 12:13 pm ET

The health insurance industry-funded Chamber of Commerce has released a new factually inaccurate ad about health care reform.  As the vote to provide millions of Americans with health care coverage they can afford draws nearer, these desperate lies are not at all surprising.

"Too Much"

Chamber Ad "Too Much":  "The warnings are clear. But Washington isn't looking or listening. Washington wants six hundred billion in new borrowing for their health care bill. Even with new warnings that America's credit rating is at risk. Ramming through a trillion dollar health care bill without even voting on it? It's too much. Tell Congress. Don't ignore the warnings. Stop on health care before it's too late." [Politico, 3/18/10]

Remember: the Chamber of Commerce has received millions of dollars from the private health insurance industry to run anti-reform ads across the country.

Ad References Provision That Has Been Dropped

"$600 Billion" Provision Dropped From Bill.  According to the Politico piece that embeds the ad, "The ad's claim that the bill requires $600 billion in new borrowing comes from a Fortune article that adds the  cost of the doc fix, -- which Dems jettisoned from the bill because of its large price tag, but still needs to be addressed through separate legislation -- entitlements and interest." [Politico, 3/18/10]

Congress Is Going To Vote On The Legislation

Ambinder: "They ARE Taking An Up Or Down Vote On The Senate Health Care Bill. They're Just Doing It AT THE SAME TIME As They're Passing The Reconciliation Language." On March 16, 2010, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote:

Yesterday, conservative jurist Michael McConnell argued that that Democrats are trying to finish the health care bill without voting on it.  Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, intoned that Democrats claim they never voted for it even though they'll vote to send it to the president for a signature.
But that's wrong. House Democrats aren't doing that.

In fact, they ARE taking an up or down vote on the Senate health care bill. They're just doing it AT THE SAME TIME as they're passing the reconciliation language, which countermands several controversial provisions. That is: House Democrats still have to vote for the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback," and the "Gator Aid" provisions, but they're going to do so while simultaneously passing the reconciliation fix that removes them. The two bills will essentially be merged into one vote.

But it's still an up or down vote on health care -- one that Republicans can use to bash Democrats with if they want to, but one that Democrats hope will provide them with some political cover -- yes, they voted for the Senate bill, but they did so with its amendments attached.

Republicans really don't have much of a constitutional argument because the Constitution gives the House and the Senate the power to define its own rules. If "deeming" a Senate bill as passed is ruled to be the same thing as passing it, then the bill is "passed," constitutionally. [The Atlantic, 3/16/10; emphasis added]

Republicans Have Used This Procedure In The Past

As Speaker, Newt Gingrich "Set New Records" For The Amount Of Self-Executing Rules. According to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:

When Republicans took power in 1995, they soon lost their aversion to self-executing rules and proceeded to set new records under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). There were 38 and 52 self-executing rules in the 104th and 105th Congresses (1995-1998), making up 25 percent and 35 percent of all rules, respectively. Under Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) there were 40, 42 and 30 self-executing rules in the 106th, 107th and 108th Congresses (22 percent, 37 percent and 22 percent, respectively). Thus far in the 109th Congress, self-executing rules make up about 16 percent of all rules. [Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6/19/06]

Health Care Reform Will Reduce The Deficit

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]

Health Care Reform Will Cut The Deficit By $1.3 TRILLION Over 20 Years.  According to the Huffington Post:

Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $130 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.

The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least 9 years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication. The CBO also estimated it would extend coverage to 32 million additional people. [Huffington Post, 3/18/10]

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