January 19,2011

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Baucus condemns House plan to add $230 billion to U.S. debt

Finance Chair disappointed with House plan to cut Medicare Benefits, increase taxes, give power over patient care back to insurance companies

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today condemned the House decision to vote on legislation that would add nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars to America’s deficit over the next ten years and an additional trillion dollars over the decade that follows.  The House bill would repeal the nation’s new health care law and replace it with higher taxes on small businesses, cuts to Medicare and a system in which insurance companies have more power over the care patients can receive, all while costing 30 million Americans their health insurance. 

“Putting insurance companies back in charge of the health care system would blow a huge hole in the federal budget.  The House bill would add nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit in just ten years and even more in the decade that follows, and those are costs our children and grandchildren simply can’t afford,”Baucus said.  “Votes for the House bill are votes to cut seniors’ Medicare benefits, raise taxes on small businesses and increase health care costs for every American – all to give the upper hand back to health insurance companies.  If the House bill were to become law, it would give insurance companies the power to overrule doctors and deny coverage when people need it the most.   Instead of ending these consumer protections, we should come together and work to create jobs and continue moving our economy in the right direction.”

The House bill would add billions to America’s debt, make significant cuts to Medicare, raise taxes on small businesses, give insurance companies more control and cut health care coverage for 30 million Americans. 

Blow a Hole in the Budget – the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would increase America’s deficit by $230 billion in just ten years, according to the non-partisan, independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO has also said the bill would increase the deficit by a cost equal to half a percent of our entire economy – more than one trillion dollars -- in the ten years that follow. That’s a cost America’s children and grandchildren just can’t afford.

Cut Medicare Benefits – the House bill would cut benefits in Medicare and increase prescription drug costs for seniors. It would end free screenings for cancer, high blood pressure and other preventable conditions that are currently available to all seniors. And it would increase costs for seniors who are in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, often called the donut hole, by eliminating a 50 percent discount on medications that they can currently receive at the pharmacy.

Raise Taxes on Small Businesses – the House bill would raise taxes on small businesses that create the jobs our economy needs to continue growing. It would eliminate a tax credit small businesses currently receive to reduce the cost of providing health care to employees, putting that entire cost on the backs of small business owners.

Return to the Time When Insurance Companies Were in Control – the House bill would bring America back to the days when insurance companies could drop coverage for people when they become sick, discriminate against children who are born sick or with disabilities and use fine print and loopholes to deny treatment covered by people’s plans.

Cut Health Care Coverage for Millions of Americans – the House bill would cause the cost of health care to skyrocket for many Americans, putting life-saving care out of reach for more than 32 million people and leaving them uninsured.