In the midst of Republican outcries to repeal landmark health care legislation as one of its first orders of business, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today debunked myths propagated by opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
"Its déjà vu all over again. They spent nearly a year spreading false information and in some cases outright lies about health care reform and now instead of working together on the economy they are back to playing this game. I said it before and I'll say it again, they are entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts," said Pascrell, who wrote key provisions of the health insurance reform legislation as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
"It's illogical to say you support deficit reduction and then push to repeal health care reform which the Congressional Budget Office, has said will increase the national deficit by more than $1 trillion -- but that's exactly what they plan to do. After decades of inaction on health care, we were able to pass legislation that not only reduces the deficit but also provides a Patient Bill of Rights. Furthermore, job creation has continued to grow as a million private-sector jobs have been created since the passage of health reform. The new Congress has been in session for little more than a day, and the Republicans wasted no time in showing they want to put this country in reverse at full speed. We can't afford another year caught in a tailspin of misinformation and hysteria. That's why I won't waste any time working to get the facts to the American people."
1. MYTH: Repeal of health care reform would reduce the deficit.
FACT: Repeal of health care reform would add over $1 trillion to the deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Republican repeal bill adds $230 billion to the deficit over the first ten years and more than $1.2 trillion in the second decade (roughly one-half percent of GDP). Furthermore, in specifically exempting the repeal of health reform from cut-go deficit reduction rules, there would be no way to pay for this new increase.
2. MYTH: Health Reform kills jobs.
FACT: The number of jobs created has increased since health reform. Since the enactment of health care reform in March 2010, the economy has created 935,000 private sector jobs. That compares to 7,000 jobs lost per month during the Bush Administration. Many of these jobs have been in the health care industry as legislation in the 111th Congress supported moving medical records from a paper-based system to a computerized system.
3. MYTH: Repeal of health care reform will help patients.
FACT: Health care reform created a patient bill of rights. The consumer protections created by health care reform would reduce medical bankruptcies and stop insurance companies from denying you care. Some of the most notable consumer protections include:
* allowing children to stay on family health plans until they are 26
* prohibiting insurance companies from canceling health coverage when a beneficiary gets sick
* denying insurance to Americans with pre-existing conditions like heart problems
* reducing medical bankruptcy by not allowing insurers to create lifetime limits on coverage.
4. MYTH: Repeal of health reform will reduce premiums.
FACT: After repeal, those with employer-sponsored insurance will see higher premiums and those buying insurance on their own would see higher costs. The provisions of health reform, which will help reduce premiums, are still in the process of being implemented. Once they are implemented, the Commonwealth Fund reports that premiums for employer-provided coverage will be 9.2 percent lower in 2019 than they would be without reform. This means instead of premiums being roughly $21,000 in 2019, premiums are expected to be $19,000. Repealing health reform means forgoing these benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, many people would end up paying more for health insurance because under current law, the majority of enrollees purchasing coverage in that market would receive subsidies through the insurance exchanges. Repealing the health reform legislation would derail the establishment of the exchanges and therefore eliminate the subsidies. The CBO also reported that premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through large employers would be slightly higher if the health care reform legislation was repealed.