eNewsletter Signup

The Truth About The Health Care Law

PROMISE:

Under the new health care law, those who like their current health plans will be able to keep it.  “I have been as clear as I can be. Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. … and if you've got health insurance, we're not going to ask you to change it.” (President Obama, Town Hall Meeting, Raleigh, NC, 7/29/09) 

 REALITY:

New draft regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimate that most employees with employer-based health insurance will see changes forced onto their plans in the next three years. (Federal Register, "Interim Final Rules for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Relating to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," 6/17/2010)

“Over and over in the health care debate, President Barack Obama said people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it, but an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers—51 percent—will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to the draft.” (“Health Overhaul to Force Changes in Employer Plans,” AP, 6/11/10)

Many part-time and temporary workers could lose their employer-based health insurance.

“Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms. Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.” (“Health Law Could Ban Low-Cost Plans,” Politico, 6/8/10)

According to experts at HHS, “enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans will be lower by about 50 percent,” squeezing out nearly half of seniors who currently participate in the popular program. (CMS Report, “Estimated Financial Effects of the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ as Amended,” 4/22/2010)

“The report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” AP, 4/23/10)

PROMISE:

The health care law will bring down overall health care costs. “The plan I’m announcing tonight … will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”(President Obama, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 9/9/09)

REALITY:

Experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) conclude that national health care spending will increase by $311 billion in the next decade. (“Estimated Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended,” CMS Report, 4/22/10)

“But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the President's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, since Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, the report warned.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” AP, 4/23/10)

A CMS report found that the law’s new fees and taxes on health services will, “generally be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums” and will generally increase health costs. (“Estimated Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended,” CMS Report, 4/22/10)

We anticipate that these fees and the excise tax would generally be passed through to health consumers … with an associated increase in overall national health expenditures ranging from $2.1 billion to $18.2 billion in 2018.” (“Estimated Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended,” CMS Report, 4/22/10)

Young adults will see a 17 percent hike in their health insurance premiums. “Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans - a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect. Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That’s when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average … The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.” ("Health Premiums Could Rise 17 Percent For Young Adults,” AP, 3/29/10)

PROMISE:

There will be no tax increases to the middle class.  “If You Make Under $250,000, You Will Not See Your Taxes Increased By A Single Dime. Not Your Income Tax. Not Your Payroll Tax. Not Your Capital Gains Tax. No Tax.” (“White House Steadfast On Pledge Of No Middle-Class Tax Increase,” CNN, 8/3/09)

REALITY:

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) predicts 14.7 million taxpayers who earn less than $200,000 a year will be affected by new taxes by the time the law is fully implemented. (“The Effects of Health Reform on the Federal Budget,” Joint Committee on Taxation, 4/2010)

“Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes - in 2019 alone - because of healthcare reform,” (“Healthcare Law Socks Middle Class With A $3.9 Billion Tax Increase,” The Hill, 4/12/10)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that nearly 4 million Americans will pay fines for not having health insurance by 2016. (CMS Report, “Estimated Financial Effects of the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ as Amended,” 4/22/2010)

“Nearly 4 million Americans - the vast majority of them middle class - will have to pay the new penalty for not getting health insurance when President Obama's health care overhaul law kicks in, according to congressional estimates released Thursday.  The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report. Most of the people paying the fine will be middle class.” ("Nearly 4M To Pay Health Insurance Penalty By 2016," AP, 4/22/10)

PROMISE:

Seniors will not see changes to their Medicare coverage. "Nobody is talking about trying to change Medicare benefits." (President Obama, remarks during AARP Townhall Teleconference, 7/28/09)

REALITY:

The Administration’s own experts at HHS conclude the law’s Medicare cuts could seriously jeopardize care to seniors. (“Estimated Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended,” CMS Report, 4/22/10) 

“The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, possibly jeopardizing access to care for seniors.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” AP, 4/23/10)

Many insurance companies are planning to increase costs for a range of services for seniors next year, according to consultants who have helped prepare their bids. Dozens of Medicare Advantage providers plan to cut back vision, dental and prescription benefits. Some plans are eliminating free teeth cleanings and gym memberships, and raising fees for hearing aides, eye glasses and emergency-room visits.” (“HHS Warns Medicare Insurers On Rates,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/10)

PROMISE:

The health care law will protect jobs and the economy. “We can build a health care system … creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, making take-home wages thousands of dollars higher, and growing our economy by tens of billions of dollars more every year.” (President Obama, remarks at an American Medical Association Meeting, 6/15/2009)

REALITY:

The government-takeover of the student loan industry snuck into the law will cause thousands to lose their jobs.  “Sallie Mae says a new law that cuts banks out of the federal student loan business is costing 2,500 workers their jobs. The nation's largest student lender has told 1,200 staffers in service centers in Killeen, Texas, and Panama City, Fla., they will lose their jobs by year-end.” “Sallie Mae Job CUTS: 2,500 Jobs Slashed After New Student Loan Law,” AP, 4/22/10 

CMS Experts predict businesses will pay billions in “ play-or-pay penalties; we estimate that the penalties would total $87 billion in 2014-2019.” (CMS Report, “Estimated Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as Amended,” 4/22/10)

The health care law’s new taxes on medical device equipment will move American manufacturing jobs overseas.  “A dire warning from Bay State medical-device companies that a new sales tax in the federal health-care law could force their plants - and thousands of jobs - out of the country has rattled Gov. Deval Patrick, a staunch backer of the law and pal President Obama. ‘This bill is a jobs killer,’ said Ernie Whiton, chief financial officer of Chelmsford’s Zoll Medical Corp.”(“Beware The ‘Jobs Killer’,” Boston Herald, 3/25/10)

Tax credits in the health care law encourage small businesses to stay small, not hire. A study by the National Center for Policy Analysis shows that tax credits in the new healthcare law could negatively impact small-business hiring decision. The new law provides a 50 percent tax credit to companies offering health coverage that have fewer than 10 workers who, on average, earn $25,000 a year. The tax credit is reduced as more employees are added to the payroll. The NCPA study finds the reduction in tax relief to be a cost concern for companies looking to hire additional workers, but operate on slim profit margin yet still provide employee health coverage” ("Report: Healthcare law tax credits encourage small businesses to stay small, not hire,” The Hill, 5/23/10