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July 23, 2009

Johanns Statement On Obama's Health Care Remarks

Washington, DC

Senator Mike Johanns responded to the President's health care remarks from last night by pointing out that recent studies reveal the proposed health care legislation doesn't meet two requirements President Obama has said it must meet for him to sign it.

President Obama:
• "I've also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."
• "In addition to making sure that this plan doesn't add to the deficit in the short term, the bill I sign must also slow the growth of health care costs in the long run."

Yet, last week the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored the Obama-endorsed House bill, which showed that this legislation does not meet the President's conditions for signature:
CBO said the House bill increased the deficit by $239 billion: "According to CBO's and JCT's assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period."
• CBO Director Elmendorf: "In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs." ("Budget Umpire: Healthcare Bills Would Raise Costs," AP, 7/16/09)

"The facts of the bill simply don't support President Obama's own criteria for signing this bill. The Administration's budget already triple's our national debt over the next ten years. This ill-advised health care legislation only adds to that. This type of fiscal recklessness is of great concern to me and Nebraskans. In addition to increasing the deficit, about 88 million workers would lose private insurance coverage under this plan and Nebraska state taxes will have to pay for this unfunded mandate. The wrong approach will take away treatment options, take away doctor choice and pile more unfunded mandates onto states. It's imperative that we pass health care reform without burdening Nebraskans with hundreds of millions in new costs," Johanns said.

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