March 21,2012

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless/Antonia Ferrier (Finance), 202.224.4515
Joe Brenckle (HELP), 202.224.2465

President’s Health Law Two Years Later: More Broken Promises to Families and Small Businesses

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today released a fact sheet outlining the promises that were made and then broken once American families and small businesses finally learned what was really included in the President’s unconstitutional, $2.6 trillion health law. Hatch and Enzi are respectively the Ranking Members of the Senate Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees.

The Promise: “If you like your plan, you can keep it” – President Obama

The Reality:
According to the Administrations’ own estimates, the health spending law will force most firms – up to 80 percent of small businesses to give up their current coverage by 2013. (Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 16, June 17, 2010). Furthermore, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office projections, 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage. 
(CBO and JCT’s Estimates of the Effects of the Affordable Care Act on the Number of People Obtaining Employment-Based Health Insurance , March 2012) 

The Promise: “lower your premiums by $2500 per family per year” – President Obama

The Reality:
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, average family premiums for those with employer-provided coverage have increased from $13,375 in 2009 to $15,073 in 2011.The Congressional Budget Office projects an average increase of $2,100 per family in the individual market as a result of this mandate heavy health law. (CBO and JCT Letter to Senator Bayh on Impact of PPACA on health insurance premiums, November 2009). 

The Promise: “lower the cost of health care for our families, our businesses and our government” – President Obama   
The Reality:
According to the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, national health spending will increase by more than $311 billion over the next decade under the new health spending law.
(CMS Office of the Actuary, Estimated Financial Impact of PPACA as amended, April 22, 2010 ). 

The Promise: “it will create 4 million jobs – 400,000 jobs immediately” – Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi
The Reality:
According to the Congressional Budget Office Director, the new health law will result in 800,000 fewer jobs over the next decade.
(Testimony of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf before the House Budget Committee, January 10, 2011).

Further a recent Gallup survey demonstrates that 48 percent of small businesses are not hiring because of the potential costs of the new health law and 46 percent of small businesses are not hiring due to concerns about government regulations.
(Gallup Survey, Health Care and Government Regulations Curb Small Business Hiring, Feb 15, 2012). 
The Promise: “We’re not going to mess with Medicare” – President Obama 
The Reality: 
The health spending law cut Medicare by more than $500 billion to finance new entitlement spending. Despite claims from the White House that these cuts were being put back into Medicare, the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made it clear that “the improved HI financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other federal outlays (such as coverage expansions under PPACA) and to extend the trust fund.” The Chief Actuary further stated that these cuts in Medicare would put one in six hospitals into the red “possibly jeopardizing access to care.” 
(CMS Office of the Actuary, Estimated Financial Impact of PPACA as amended, April 22, 2010).
The Promise: “I will not sign a [health care] plan that adds one dime to our deficits” – President Obama   

The Reality:
According to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, under a realistic set of assumptions, the new health law will increase the deficit by at least $500 billion in the first 10 years and more than $1.5 trillion in its second decade. 
(Health Affairs, Health Care Reform Is Likely To Widen Federal Deficits, Not Reduce Them , Vol. 29, No. 6, June 2010). 

The Promise: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase” – Candidate Obama

The Reality:  According to the Joint Committee on Taxation the health spending law includes more than $500 billion in new taxes. No fewer than 11 taxes and penalties directly impact the middle class. These range from taxes on everything from life-saving medical devices and prescription drugs to new taxes on over-the-counter medications and flexible spending accounts. Furthermore, according to the CMS Chief Actuary, the new “high-income” tax included in the health law will eventually impact 80 percent of the taxpayers since it was not indexed for inflation.
(2010 Annual Report of The Medicare Trustees, August 5, 2010).

The Promise: “Health care reform is entitlement reform” – Former OMB Director Peter Orszag

The Reality: In May 2010, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf stated: “Rising health costs will put tremendous pressure on the federal budget during the next few decades and beyond. In CBO’s judgment, the health legislation…does not substantially diminish that pressure.”
(Presentation to the Institute of Medicine, Health Costs and the Federal Budget, Congressional Budget Office, May 2010). 

The Promise: “Four million small businesses may be eligible for tax credits” – President Obama     
The Reality:
Despite paying more than $1 million in taxpayer money to send out 4 million postcards promoting this much hyped credit only 309,000 small businesses or about 7 percent of the eligible entities have received it. According to the Treasury’s own Inspector General, the credit is overly “complex” and faced with “risks of errors and irregularities.”
(Testimony of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Before the Committee on Ways and Means, Nov 15, 2011). The Promise: “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” – President Obama    

The Reality:  The health law allows government subsidies to be used to buy health insurance that includes abortion coverage because it fails to codify the Hyde amendment’s prohibition on federally funded abortions.
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Legal Analysis, March 25, 2010)