**Please Note: The Fact Check Below is the DNC’s 100th Fact Check of Republican Lies on Health Reform Since the Senate Debate Began on November 19th **

Please see below for a fact check on Senator Thune’s false claims on the Senate floor today on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

RHETORIC: Sen. Thune Said that Health Reform Will Raise Costs: “The cost for health care in this country under this legislation go up $160 billion. Now, how does that affect the individual family? I want to show you exactly what this means in terms that I think most Americans can understand. This is the example of a family of four who today, paying $13,000 — a little over $13,000 for their health insurance. Under this bill, their life doesn’t get any better. In the year 2016, they’re going to be paying over $20,000 a year in health insurance.” [Senate Floor, 12/06/09]

REALITY: REPUBLICANS IGNORE EVIDENCE THAT REFORM WILL CUT COSTS FOR CONSUMERS

NYT: CBO Estimate Showed That Senate Bill “Could Significantly Reduce Costs For Many People Who Buy Health Insurance On Their Own, And That It Would Not Substantially Change Premiums For The Vast Numbers Of Americans.” The New York Times reported that, “[t]he Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own, and that it would not substantially change premiums for the vast numbers of Americans who receive coverage from large employers…Before taking account of federal subsidies to help people buy insurance on their own, the budget office said the bill would tend to drive up premiums. But as a result of the subsidies, it said, most people in the individual insurance market would see their costs decline, compared with the costs expected under current law. The subsidies, a main feature of the bill, would cost the government nearly $450 billion in the next 10 years and would cover nearly two-thirds of premiums for people who receive them.” [New York Times, 12/1/09]

CBO On Senate Bill: An Insurance Plan With Reform Would Cost Almost 20% Less Than The Same Plan Without Reform. The Washington Posts’ Ezra Klein reported on a section of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber’s analysis of the CBO estimate of the Senate Bill: “In their most recent communication with Congress, CBO also projected that, absent reform, the cost of an individual policy in the non-group market would be $5500 for a plan with an actuarial value of 60%. This implies that the same plan that cost $5500 without reform would cost $4460 with reform, or almost 20% less.” [Washington Post – Ezra Klein, 11/30/09]

MIT Report On Senate Bill Based On CBO Data: American Families Will Save $500 Every Year, Low Income Americans Would Receive Tax Credits To Reduce Insurance Prices Up To $7,500. Politico reported that, “[a] new analysis by a leading MIT economist provides new ammunition for Democrats as the Senate begins formally debating the historic health-reform bill being pushed by President Barack Obama. The report concludes that under the Senate’s health-reform bill, Americans buying individual coverage will pay less than they do for today’s typical individual market coverage, and would be protected from high out-of-pocket costs…The ‘microsimulation’ analysis is by Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Treasury Department official under President Bill Clinton. Gruber used data from the Congressional Budget Office. Gruber concludes that people purchasing individual insurance would save an annual $200 (singles) to $500 (families) in 2009 dollars. And people with low incomes would receive premium tax credits that would reduce the price that they pay for health insurance by as much as $2,500 to $7,500.’” [Politico, 11/28/09]

·    MIT Health Economist: Health Reform Will Raise Wages By $234 Billion, Almost $700 Per Insured Household In 2019. According to Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic, MIT professor and health economist Jonathan Gruber has calculated that under health reform: “Worker wages rise by $55 billion by 2019. This amounts to almost $700 per insured household in 2019. Worker wages rise by $234 billion in aggregate over this time period.” [The New Republic, 11/20/09]

House And Senate Bills: Insurers Can No Longer Impose Annual Of Lifetime Benefit Limits, Out Of Pocket Costs For American Families Is Capped – “If You Have Exorbitant Medical Expenses Now, You Will Probably Pay Less.” Kaiser Health News compiled a consumer’s guide to health reform, noting changes affecting the everyday consumer: “The legislation provides new protections. Under both the House and Senate bills, for example, insurers could no longer impose annual or lifetime limits. In addition, under the House bill, individuals wouldn’t pay more than $5,000 a year for deductibles and co-insurance. Families would have a $10,000 limit. The Senate bill sets higher limits. How much so won’t be clear for a few years, but if the law were in place today, the caps would be $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families. Under both bills, out-of-pocket costs would be set lower for most people who qualify for government premium subsidies. The bottom line: If you have exorbitant medical expenses now, you will probably pay less in out-of-pocket costs under the legislation.” [Kaiser Health News, 11/20/09]

REALITY: REFORM WILL NOT INCREASE THE DEFICIT

WSJ: CBO’s Estimate Of Senate Bill Is $848 Billion, Cuts Deficit By $130 Billion. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set the stage for a climactic debate in the Senate over health care by unveiling a 10-year, $848 billion bill that would extend insurance to 31 million Americans without coverage…In a boost for the bill’s prospects, the CBO estimated the Senate measure would reduce the federal budget deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and additional amounts over the second 10 years of the program. It achieves that in part through a new Medicare payroll tax and a tax on high-value insurance plans, which has aroused strong opposition…To help ease the financial burden on workers, Mr. Reid lowered the maximum amount the bill would require them to spend on premiums, capping premiums at 9.8% of income, down from 12%.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/19/09]

Roll Call On CBO Score: Senate Bill “Slash[es] The Deficit By A Whopping $777 Billion Over The Next 20 Years,” Sen. Kent Conrad Said Sen. Reid Did “An Exceptionally Good Job.” Roll Call reported that, “[a]t first blush, Reid scored a coup with his $849 billion bill, because Democrats said the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would slash the deficit by a whopping $777 billion over the next 20 years while providing insurance for an additional 31 million Americans. The price tag is also less than the $900 billion President Barack Obama had called for and the $1.2 trillion cost of the House-passed version… ‘He was applauded. His staff was applauded,’ said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a deficit hawk who said Reid did ‘an exceptionally good job.’” [Roll Call, 11/18/09]

Ezra Klein On Senate Bill: CBO Statements Confirm That, “The Curve, As They Say, Is Bent.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote of the Senate health reform bill: “One actual surprise is that the Senate bill doesn’t just pay for itself. It balances itself out. That is to say, the bill is not deficit neutral because it costs a billion dollars and then the government raises a billion more dollars in taxes. In that scenario, the government is spending more, but paying for it. Rather, ‘CBO expects that, during the decade following the 10-year budget window, the increases and decreases in the federal budgetary commitment to health care stemming from this legislation would roughly balance out, so that there would be no significant change in that commitment.’ In the first 10 years, in other words, the bill improves the deficit a bit, but the government is spending $160 billion more on health care than it otherwise would have. In the second decade, however, that ends: The savings from Medicare and Medicaid, paired with the excise tax (which CBO says ‘is effectively a reduction in the existing tax expenditure for health insurance premiums’) and a handful of other changes, leaves the government spending no more on health care than it otherwise planned to. That’s impressive stuff. And it implies, of course, that in the third decade, the federal commitment actually goes down relative to expectation. The curve, as they say, is bent.” [Washington Post – Ezra Klein, 11/19/09]

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]