Please see below a fact check of Senator Kyl’s false claim on the Senate floor just now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would lead to higher health insurance premiums:

Senator Kyl said, “[i]s it the case that the Joint Committee on Taxation which reported to the Finance Committee and the Congressional Budget Office both said that not only would the increased taxes on the pharmaceutical industry, the medical device industry, and the insurance industry be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums, but that overall under the legislation that was before us, that for the average family, as compared to what the prices are today, that insurance premiums would actually go up, and that this was one of the two major reasons, the other being mandated benefits?”

REALITY: REFORM WILL LOWER COSTS, AND PREVENT PREMIUMS FROM SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL

MIT Health Economist: Based On CBO Model, Premiums Under SFC Proposal For A Family Could Be At Least $2,430 Lower, Up To $8,550 Lower Than Without Reform. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reported on estimated impact on premiums of the Senate Finance Committee proposal, finding that under current law, premiums would stay at $10,770 under current law, while premiums under the new proposal could be as low as $2,220 and would rise to only $8,340. He further wrote that, “[t]he analysis comes from MIT health economist Jon Gruber. Gruber is, undoubtedly, pro-reform. He’s advised the Senate Finance Committee and served as one of the architects of the Massachusetts plan. But he’s also one of the most-respected health economists in the country. Gruber runs the numbers for an average family, a 25-year-old and a 60-year-old, looking at different income levels for each, and paying close attention to the role subsidies will play. In each case, he finds the people likely to save money under the Senate Finance Committee’s plan. You can download his analysis, which is based on Congressional Budget Office data, here… Gruber certainly has a lot less incentive to twist the facts than the insurance industry does, and his numbers, at least, are free from any glaring deficiencies.” [Washington Post – Ezra Klein, 10/12/09]

23 Of Nation’s Most Well-Respected Health Economists: “We Believe That It Is Important To Enact Health Reform…[It] Will Lower Health Care Costs And Help Reduce Deficits Over The Long Term.” In a letter to the President, 23 of the nation’s most well-respected health economists said: “As economists, we believe that it is important to enact health reform, and it is essential that health reform include these four features [deficit neutrality, excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, independent Medicare commission, delivery system reforms] that will lower health care costs and help reduce deficits over the long term.” [Letter from 23 economists, 11/17/09]

NYT: “The Bill Just Approved By The House…Would Implement Or Test Many Reforms That Should Help Slow The Rise In Medical Costs…The New England Journal Of Medicine Concluded, ‘Pretty Much Every Proposed Innovation Found In The Health Policy Literature These Days Is Encapsulated In These Measures.’” The New York Times Editorial board issues a point-by-point analysis of the health reform measures contained in House and Senate bills: “The good news is that the bill just approved by the House and a bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee would implement or test many reforms that should help slow the rise in medical costs over the long term. As a report in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded, ‘Pretty much every proposed innovation found in the health policy literature these days is encapsulated in these measures.’… Republican critics say, correctly, that the health care bills would saddle the government with large new costs to cover the uninsured by expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to help low- and middle-income people buy insurance. And they say, incorrectly, that the effort should not move ahead until a sure-fire way is found to rein in rising health care costs. Their arguments overlook the fact that the government is already paying many of these costs, through special payments to hospitals, each time a person without insurance, and with no means to pay, goes to an expensive emergency room for treatment. It also overlooks the fact that both bills are designed to keep deficits from increasing over the next decade or two.” [New York Times Editorial, 11/15/09]

Conservative Tax Foundation Was Outraged: House Health Reform Proposal Would Net Middle-Class Families “An Average Benefit Of About $1,900.” The Tax Foundation decried the “income redistribution” facilitated by the House health reform legislation: “[t]he biggest beneficiaries of HR 3200’s redistribution would not be low-income families, but middle-class families, especially those making between $65,704 and $112,721, who would see an average benefit of about $1,900. In fact, even in the 60 percent to 70 percent income group, earning up to $141,101, the average family would gain almost $1,000.” [Tax Foundation Press Release, 10/6/09]

AP On House Plan: “The Typical Family Would Be Spared Higher Taxes…And Their Low-Income Neighbors Could Come Out Ahead.” The Associated Press reported that from the newly unveiled House Democratic health reform bill, “[t]he typical family would be spared higher taxes from the House Democratic plan to overhaul health care, and their low-income neighbors could come out ahead.” [Associated Press, 11/2/09]

House Bill Provides Rebates If Premiums Far Exceed Cost Of Covering Medical Expenses, Insurers Would Have To Justify Premium Increases To State And Federal Government, Lifetime Limits On Coverage Are Eliminated. Reuters listed many of the major provisions contained in the newest version of the House health reform bill. It listed a few consumer protections, including: “Provides for consumer rebates if premiums far exceed the cost of covering their medical expenses…Sets up a state/federal process under which insurers would have to justify premium increases…Eliminates lifetime limits on coverage.” [Reuters, 10/30/09]

Chamber Of Commerce On Baucus Proposal: A Bill “That Will Actually…Get Health-Care Costs Under Control.” The Wall Street Journal reported that, “[t]he U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents about three million businesses of all sizes, has run television ads opposing the Democratic-led health-care push. And the chamber, like many other big business groups in Washington, has many concerns about the Baucus bill, particularly the taxes it proposes to help pay for its $774 billion Congressional Budget Office price tag over 10 years. But the chamber applauded much of the Baucus bill as the first proposal ‘that will actually…get health-care costs under control.’” [Wall Street Journal, 9/25/09]

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