January 06,2011

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Baucus: Stop Plans to Increase America's Deficit by $230 Billion

Independent Congressional Budget Office analysis shows House vote would cost nearly a quarter trillion dollars

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today called on the House to drop its plans to pass legislation that would increase America’s budget deficit by nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in just ten years.  The effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act would also make major cuts to Medicare, raise taxes on small businesses, put insurance company bureaucrats in control of the health care system and eliminate health care coverage for more than 30 million Americans. 

“It’s plain and simple: we can’t afford to increase the deficit by nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars, especially with the very first substantive vote of the 112th Congress,” Baucus said.  “America’s seniors don’t want to see their Medicare prescription drugs increase and small business owners don’t want their taxes to go up, but that’s exactly what the House bill would do.  We simply can’t return to the days when insurance companies could hike rates without justification and had free passes to deny people the care covered under their policies.  Rather than increase the deficit and raising health care costs, we need to work together with members from both sides of the aisle to reduce our debt and create the jobs our economy needs. ”   

The House bill would hurt seniors who rely on Medicare, raise taxes on small businesses, eliminate protections for health care consumers and take health care coverage away from millions of Americans. According to the nonpartisan, independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the House bill would have devastating effects on the federal budget over the long run.  

Blow the Budget – the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act would increase America’s deficit by $230 billion in just ten years.  And then, it 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 – 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. 

The preliminary CBO analysis can be found here.