Please see our response to the RNC ad “Reforma” below.    “Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for trying to scare seniors with scurrilous lies about health reform to protect their special interest patrons.  Multiple independent fact checking organizations have found that these smears are “FALSE” and that health insurance reform will increase health choices for all Americans. The only fact that emerges from this ad is that Republicans and their insurance industry allies are much more interested in scaring Americans than they are in informing, let alone helping, them.”

RNC ADWATCH – “REFORMA”

SCRIPT

REALITY

“Not recommended if you like your own doctor, want to keep your doctor, or want to avoid the government prescribing your medical treatments.” President Obama: “If You Like Your Doctor, You Will Be Able To Keep Your Doctor. Period.” I Want To “Fix What’s Broken And Build On What Works.” In a speech to the American Medical Association’s annual meeting, President Obama rebutted criticisms and fears raised by his health care reform proposals. He said, “if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.” [Remarks by President Obama to the American Medical Association, 6/15/09]

Former CIGNA Executive: Don’t “Fear A Government Bureaucrat Being Between You And Your Doctor,” You Already Have “A Corporate Bureaucrat Between You And Your Doctor.” In an interview with Bill Moyers, Wendell Potter, former corporate executive at CIGNA, a health insurer, criticized attacks on health reform: “So, they are trying to make you worry. And fear a government bureaucrat being between you and your doctor. What you have now is a corporate bureaucrat between you and your doctor. MOYERS: Whose motive is profit. Understandably, naturally, profit. POTTER: Right.” [PBS, 7/10/09]

“Not recommended for people who may need actual medical care.” THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN’T GET THE MEDICAL CARE THEY NEED NOW

AP: One In Four Americans Delayed Seeing A Doctor Because Of Cost. The Associated Press reported on a new survey that found that, “[a]lmost one in four people in the survey by the University of Michigan fear losing coverage in the next year. About the same number said they or a family member delayed seeing a doctor because of apprehension over costs in the past year.” [Associated Press, 6/18/09]

Study: 54 Percent Of U.S. Patients Did Not Get Recommended Care Or Fill Prescriptions Because Of Costs. A Commonwealth Fund study compared access to health care in the United States to eight over countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Among the key findings were that “more than half (54%) of U.S. patients did not get recommended care, fill prescriptions, or see a doctor when sick because of costs, versus 7 percent to 36 percent in other countries.” [Commonwealth Fund, May 2008]

“The government can deny your health care based on patient age.” THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE DENYING HEALTH CARE

Politifact:  Claim That Treatment Will Be Denied By A Government Board Is “False.” Politifact wrote about a Club for Growth ad that claimed that, “‘$22,750. In England, government health officials decided that’s how much six months of life is worth. Under their socialized system if a medical treatment costs more, you’re out of luck. That’s wrong for America.’…The carefully worded ad doesn’t directly say that the government is planning to put a price on our lives, but the implication is clear: The reform plan will lead to callous decisions that would allow people to die if they face a costly treatment…the ad’s main point about cost limits is incorrect. There is no such practice in the comparative effectiveness program, nor is it part of the current health reform proposals pending in Congress. The House and Senate bills under consideration would not require the government to decide how much a person’s life is worth. As a result, we give the Club for Growth a False.” [Politifact, 8/6/09]

“Cost to taxpayers may vary and is more than you can possibly imagine.” COSTS ARE ALREADY MORE THAN AMERICAN PATIENTS CAN AFFORD

1996-2006: Health Insurance Premiums Rose Nearly 80% For Private Coverage Per Employee. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, from 1996-2006, health insurance premiums rose 79.6% for employers, 76.4% for employees, and 78.8% in total. [RWJF: Cover The Uninsured, March 2009]

  • 1994-2007 Median Incomes Rose By Only 9.5%. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, from 1994-2007, the percent change in median income was 9.5%. [RWJF: Cover The Uninsured, March 2009]

CEA Report: Plan To Slow Health Care Cost Growth Would Add $2,600 To Each Family’s Income By 2020 – Almost $10,000 By 2030. In a report on the economic impact of health care reform, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors wrote, “[w]e estimate that slowing the annual growth rate of health care costs by 1.5 percentage points would increase real gross domestic product (GDP), relative to the no-reform baseline, by over 2 percent in 2020 and nearly 8 percent in 2030. For a typical family of four, this implies that income in 2020 would be approximately $2,600 higher than it would have been without reform (in 2009 dollars), and that in 2030 in would be almost $10,000 higher.” [CEA Health Care Report, 6/2/09]

Study: No Health Care Reform Means Small Businesses Will Pay Nearly $2.4 Trillion In Healthcare Costs, Cost 178,000 Jobs. The Small Business Majority study commissioned a study from noted economist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jonathan Gruber. The study found that, “without reform, small businesses will pay nearly $2.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years in healthcare costs for their workers.” The study also found that without reform, 178,000 small business jobs will be lost in 2018 as a result of healthcare costs. [The Economist Impact of Healthcare Reform on Small Business, 6/11/09]

Retiring Couple Would Need $240,000 To Cover All Medical Expenses, A 50 Percent Increase Since 2002. The Associated Press reported on a study that found that, “[a] couple retiring this year needs about a quarter of a million dollars to cover medical expenses, a new study reports. The $240,000 estimate is a 6.7 percent increase from last year’s, and the cost is expected to keep rising…In seven years of Fidelity’s annual study, projected medical expenses have increased 50 percent.” [Associated Press, 3/31/09]

“You should not support President Obama’s Reforma if you’re worried about the $1.6 trillion cost- or the $219 billion deficit.” $1.6 TRILLION IS A FALSE NUMBER

Reuters: Total Cost Of Health Reform Bill Is $1.04 Trillion. Reuters reported on the House Democrats’ health reform bill: “[t]axes on wealthy would raise $544 billion over ten years… Congressional Budget Office estimates ten-year cost at $1.04 trillion.” Reuters noted no other tax increases in its quick facts rundown of the bill. [Reuters, 7/14/09]

  • …And 2/3 Of the Total Cost Is Paid For With Savings. OMB director Peter Orszag wrote, “this morning in the President’s weekly address he laid out the details of $313 billion in additional Medicare and Medicaid savings that can be used to pay for health care reform. Taken on top of what we laid out in our budget, the President now has put forward nearly $950 billion in savings and revenue that can be used for health care reform.” A White House fact sheet on Medicare and Medicaid savings being used to pay for health reform outlined $313 billion on top of another $309 billion in savings to pay for reform, and that new revenues would only comprise $326 billion of the funds needed for reform. [OMB Blog, 6/13/09; http://www.whitehouse.gov/MedicareFactSheetFinal/]

Orszag: Health Reform “Has To Happen This Year…Has To Be Deficit Neutral;” White House Will “Work With The Congress To Make Sure That Those Two Things Happen.” During an appearance on CNN, OMB Director Peter Orszag reiterated, “We have to get health-care reform done this year…What we have said is health reform has to happen this year, and it has to be deficit neutral. So we will work with the Congress to make sure that those two things happen.” [CNN “State Of The Union”, 3/7/09]

House Blue Dogs Negotiated For Key Medicare Cost-Cutting Measure In House Bill. The New York Times reported that, “[t]he fiscal conservatives, members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, made their case for major changes in the bill at a White House meeting with Mr. Obama …The Blue Dogs said they had won agreement from Mr. Waxman to help rein in Medicare spending by giving the executive branch new power to set annual payment rates for doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, based on recommendations from an independent advisory council. Rates are now set by statutory formulas, and Congress is besieged by lobbyists pleading for bigger increases each year.” [New York Times, 7/22/09]

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