Please see below a fact check on Senator Kyl’s false claims on the Senate floor today that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would result in a ‘government takeover’ and lead to rationing of care:

RHETORIC: Kyl Said That The Senate Health Care Bill Would Result In A Government Takeover Of Health Care, Cuts To Hospitals, Medicare And Rationing Of Care. Sen. Kyl: “And then to provide elements of relief to each of the problems that we face rather than trying to tackle the entire health care system, the government programs, the private programs, the insurance, the physicians, the hospitals, by trying to do it all in one giant bill that results in massive government takeover, over $1 trillion, in $5 trillion in expeiture, massive new debt, more taxes, higher insurance premiums, all of which will result in ultimately the rationing of health care, which is, to me, the most dangerous pa of this entire exercise. … Here are the that’s what I this bill cuts medicare benefits for $5 billion is cut from hospitals who treat seniors. $120 Billion is cut from Medicare Advantage. And I’ll return to Medicare Advantage in a moment. That’s the private insurance company that about — somewhere around a quarter to a third of the seniors take advantage of. It is well over one-third of the seniors in Arizona participate in this medicare advantage program, the benefits of which are substantially cut. $6 Billion from nursing homes. $1 Billion from home health care. $7.7 Billion from hospice care. $6 billion in medicare cuts. Now, seniors know that you can’t make these kind of cuts without jeopardizing the care that they receive. And that’s the big concern I have. We’re not talking about cuts in the abstract. We’re talking about delay and denial of care.” [Senate Floor, 11/30/09]

RHETORIC: Kyl Praised The House Republican Alternative And Said It Would Reduce Premiums While The Democratic Plan Would Increase Premiums. Sen. Kyl: “Now, what about the Republican alternative, the alternative that was presented in the House of Representatives by the House Republicans? That alternative, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reduced average insurance premiums by $5,000 a year. So on the one hand, you have the Democratic proposal which increases insurance premiums. On the other hand, you have the Republican proposal which decreases premiums.” [Senate Floor, 11/30/09]


Politifact: “Obama Health Plan Does Not Call For Government-Run Health Care.” “Obama health plan does not call for government-run health care.” [Politifact, 3/5/09] “President Obama Hasn’t Proposed A Government-Run [Health Care] Plan And, In Fact, Has Rejected The Idea.” “President Obama hasn’t proposed a government-run [health care] plan and, in fact, has rejected the idea.” [, 5/6/09] President Obama Hasn’t Proposed Government-Run Health Care. “We’ve written before about conservatives claiming that Congress, or Obama, or Washington, or Democrats in general want the U.S. to have a Canadian-style, government-run health care system. The truth of the matter is that the president has repeatedly said he doesn’t.” [, 8/10/09]

AMA President-Elect Reassured: Physicians And Patients Don’t Need To Fear The Rise Of A Monolithic Health System With No Choice From President Obama. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that “American Medical Association president-elect Dr. James Rohack told Mississippi doctors Friday…Physicians and patients don’t need to fear the rise of a monolithic health system with no choice, because it’s not something the American people would accept, Rohack said. The president didn’t advocate a single-payer system for the United States at the meeting, Rohack said. Obama said he believes in access to health care for all with a system that is a mix of public and private sources with patients still able to see the physicians of their choice.” [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 5/30/09]


Hospitals Group Refuted CMS Actuary Report: “Hospitals Always Will Stand By Senior Citizens. This Summer, Hospitals Agreed To Contribute Substantial Medicare Savings Are Part Of Our Shared Sacrifice To Reform Health Care.” Politico Live Pulse reported: “The following statement was released today by Chip Kahn, President of the Federation of American Hospitals: Hospitals’ commitment to our mission of serving the health care needs of seniors in communities across America is steadfast. A memorandum recently issued by the CMS Actuary analyzing the effects of “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (H.R. 3962) concludes that some providers may end their participation in the Medicare program. Hospitals always will stand by senior citizens. This summer, hospitals agreed to contribute substantial Medicare savings as part of our shared sacrifice to reform health care and achieve near universal coverage for all Americans. We are pleased with the legislative progress as well as the movement towards market-based solutions. And we look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to enact legislation that will enable hospitals to continue to provide our patients, including seniors, with ready access to the highest quality health care possible.” [Politico Live Pulse, 11/16/09]

REALITY: MEDICARE SAVINGS DO NOT CUT BENEFITS, THEY STRENGTHEN MEDICARE “We Never Have Said That Seniors Would Suffer ‘Massive Cuts To Medicare Benefits’ Under [Health Reform Legislation], And In Fact Have Done Our Best To Debunk [Those] Claims.” wrote: “We never have said that seniors would suffer ‘massive cuts to Medicare benefits’ under the pending House or Senate overhaul bills, and in fact have done our best to debunk claims to that effect.” [, 11/3/09]

AARP Applauded The Senate For Bill: “Makes Progress Towards Achieving Meaningful Relief For Millions Of Older Americans…Makes Improvements To The Medicare Program.” AARP said in a press release: “We applaud the Senate for merging the Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees’ bills and taking another important step toward fixing what’s wrong with our health care system. Under the leadership of Majority Leader Reid and Senators Baucus, Harkin and Dodd, the legislation announced today makes progress toward achieving meaningful relief for millions of older Americans who still face challenges accessing affordable, quality health care services. The new Senate bill makes improvements to the Medicare program by creating a new annual wellness benefit, providing free preventive benefits, and—most notably for AARP members—reducing drug costs for seniors who fall into the dreaded Medicare doughnut hole, a costly gap in prescription drug coverage.” [AARP, 11/18/09]

AARP Warned Seniors Against “Myths and Scare Tactics” In Health Reform Debate, Said “None Of The Health Care Reform Proposals Being Considered By Congress Would Cut Medicare Benefits.” AARP wrote in a myth-vs.-fact health reform website that, “There are special interest groups trying to block progress on health care reform by using myths and scare tactics. Like the notion that health care reform would ration your care, hurt Medicare or be a government takeover. Actually, these are false statements.” AARP concluded about the Medicare claim that, “[n]one of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services.” [AARP, Myths Vs. Facts]


Dr. Sanjay Gupta On Rationing: “It’s Not True…A Look At The Reform Bill In Congress There Is No Mention Of That. No Mention Of Rationing, No Mention Of The Government Making So-Called End-Of-Life Decisions For Seniors.” “GUPTA: Tell me why. MCCOY: I try not to worry. Well, I have read some things that says that as you get older you are liable to wait and wait and wait before you can have surgery. I’ve heard that they’re going to look at the older people and you’re going to wait longer than the younger people. GUPTA (voice-over): It’s not true, though a lot of people think so. A look at the reform bill in Congress there is no mention of that. No mention of rationing, no mention of the government making so-called end-of-life decisions for seniors.” [CNN Anderson Cooper 360, 11PM, 8/14/09]

Scarborough Called Out Gov. Pawlenty: “With All Due Respect, This Does Not Give Us A System Like The United Kingdom,” And Incredulously Asked Pawlenty, “How Does This Bill Get Us To ‘Death Panels?” You Don’t Believe It Does, Do You?” Gov. Pawlenty made an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he was challenged about claims that health reform would lead to death panels and would “pull the plug on granny:” Gov. Pawlenty said, “there’s concerns that this thing is going to be so expensive they’re not going to be able to afford all that’s promise, and somebody’s going to have to make a decision to cut back, and people are concerned that if the federal government does that—have them rationing care, that’s a real problem. And so those are not irrational concerns.” Then the following exchange occurred: “MR. SCARBOROUGH: [b]ut but, there are no death panels here, though. Counseling is one thing. Having three people lining up and saying ‘granny dies, grandpa lives,’ that’s quite another. You can’t get there from here. GOV. PAWLENTY: Well what happens–Joe, what you call it or label it, but I think the facts are these: if you have a system like the United Kingdom where—MR. SCARBOROUGH: But we don’t. We don’t governor. With all due respect, this does not give us a system like the United Kingdom. I’m talking specifically about this bill. How does this bill get us to ‘death panels?’ You don’t believe it does, do you?” [MSNBC Morning Joe, 9/11/09]

Politifact: The Claim That Health Care Reform Will Lead To Callous Decisions That Would Allow People To Die If They Face A Costly Treatment Is “False.” “In the ad, a man weeps over someone lying in a hospital bed while the announcer says, ‘$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.’ That footage is interspersed with shots of the Capitol building and the whole thing is set to some very ominous music. You can watch it here. 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. So that’s what we’re going to check — whether the reform plan would impose those kind of caps on treatment. … So, back to the Club for Growth ad. Although our experts agree that it gets the NICE statistic correct about the British practice, 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]


NYT: “The House Republican Bill Would Not Explicitly Prohibit Insurers From Denying Coverage To People Because Of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions, Even Though Many Republicans Have Said They Agree With Democrats That The Federal Government Should Outlaw Such Denials.” The New York Times reported on the House Republicans’ alternative health legislation: “It is almost surely cheaper than the House Democrats’ bill because, unlike that proposal, it would not expand Medicaid or offer federal subsidies to low- and middle-income people to help them buy insurance. Nor would the Republican bill impose new taxes. The House Republican bill would not explicitly prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people because of pre-existing medical conditions, even though many Republicans have said they agree with Democrats that the federal government should outlaw such denials.” [New York Times, 11/4/09]

Roll Call On GOP Alternative: “People With Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Would Pay Up To 50 Percent More Than Average For Insurance Coverage…States Would Face A Massive, Partially Funded Mandate.” Roll Call reported on the GOP alternative health reform legislation: “People with pre-existing medical conditions would pay up to 50 percent more than average for insurance coverage under a draft version of House Republicans’ health care plan…According to the draft, states would face a massive, partially funded mandate to subsidize high-risk insurance pools to cover people denied coverage by insurance companies with ‘a stable funding source.’ Those rates would be capped at 50 percent higher than average premiums for standard-risk insurance in a given state.” [Roll Call, 11/3/09]

GOP Alternative Doesn’t Prohibit Rescissions; Asks Insurers To Notify The Patient They Are Being Dropped, And Offers Third Party Board To Hear Appeals After Being Dropped By Insurer. “If a health insurance issuer determines to nonrenew or not continue in force, including rescind, health insurance coverage for an individual in the individual market on the basis described in section 2742(b)(2) before such nonrenewal, discontinuation, or rescission, may take effect the issuer shall provide the individual with notice of such proposed nonrenewal, discontinuation, or rescission and an opportunity for a review of such determination by an independent, external third party under procedures specified by the Secretary. (b) INDEPENDENT DETERMINATION – If the individual requests such review by an independent, external third party of a nonrenewal, discontinuation, or rescission of health insurance coverage, the coverage shall remain in effect until such third party determines that the coverage may be nonrenewed, discontinued, or rescinded under section 2742(b)(2).” [GOP Reform Alternative, 11/3/09]


WP: “Budget Analysts Say GOP Bill Would Do Little To Expand Health Insurance Coverage.” “The long-awaited Republican entry in the health care debate received its assessment late Wednesday from congressional budget analysts, who concluded that the proposal would barely dent the ranks of the uninsured. The measure would cover only 3 million additional people at a cost of $60 billion through 2019, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It would leave more than 52 million Americans uninsured a decade from now.” [Washington Post, 11/4/09]

CBO: The Number Of Uninsured Under The Republican Plan In 2019 Would Be “Roughly In Line With The Current Share.” CBO: “By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the current share.” [CBO, 11/4/09]

Ezra Klein: The Democratic Bill Covers 12 Times As Many People As The Republican Plan And Saves $36 Billion More. “According to CBO, the GOP’s alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit. The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan.” [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 11/5/09]


NPR: “In A Lot Of Ways, The House GOP Health Bill Reads Like A Compilation Of Greatest Hits From When Republicans Ran The House From 1995 Through 2006.” Morning Edition’s Julie Rovner reported that, “[i]n a lot of ways, the House GOP health bill reads like a compilation of greatest hits from when Republicans ran the House from 1995 through 2006.” [NPR Morning Edition, 11/4/09]

GOP Alternative “Includes Several Bills That Passed [The House] Repeatedly During [1995-2006], But Never Made It Through The Senate.” Morning Edition’s Julie Rovner reported on the House GOP health reform alternative, and noted that, “[i]t includes several bills that passed the chamber repeatedly during those years, but never made it through the Senate.  Florida Republican Congressman Adam Putnam conceded as much in describing the measure yesterday: ‘It is a much more simple approach to bringing down costs in health care, along the lines of ideas that we’ve been talking about for a long time.’” [NPR Morning Edition, 11/4/09]

Boston Globe: “Republicans Offer Familiar Health Proposals,” Offering “Tried – And Democrats Would Argue Tired – Prescriptions.” In an article titled, “Republicans Offer Familiar Health Proposals,” The Boston Globe reported that, “the GOP plan incorporates some tried — and Democrats would argue tired — prescriptions: more health savings accounts, limits on pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases, and more leeway to sell health insurance to be sold across state lines.” [Boston Globe, 11/4/09]


Ezra Klein: “Congressional Budget Office: Reform Will Bring Down The Cost Of Health-Care Insurance.” “The Congressional Budget Office released a report today estimating changes to average premiums under the Senate health-care bill. The report is going to prove very important, and is going to confuse a lot of people. So let’s be very, very clear about what it says. The CBO’s analysis broke the health-care system into three parts: individual, small group and large group. The small- and large-group markets account for 159 million Americans, and have very little change in premiums. But what change they see is in the right direction: Health-care reform is expected to reduce premiums in the large group market by about 1.5 percent, and in the small group market by about 0.5 percent. … So in the final analysis, the effect of reform on your typical individual market purchasers is to give them insurance that’s about 30 percent better but only 10 to 12 percent more expensive, and then assure them subsidies that will lower their payments by more than 50 percent. And if you’re in the small group or large group markets, your premiums are expected to fall a bit.” [Ezra Klein, Washington Post, 11/30/09]

TNR: Health Care Reform Will “In Fact Deliver Some Savings… [And] It Certainly Won’t Raise Premiums.” “If you get insurance through a large employer, then your insurance premiums should stay roughly the same, with perhaps a very small decrease.If you get insurance through a small employer, then, again, your insurance premiums should stay roughly the same, with perhaps an even smaller decrease. … If you get insurance on your own, then your premiums would probably go up, because you’d end up buying coverage that was more comprehensive. … But–and this is the key point–newly available federal subsidies will more than offset this increase. In other words, the majority of people buying coverage on their own will be able to spend less money and, at the same time, get better insurance. … But this analysis suggests reform can in fact deliver some savings–and that it certainly won’t raise premiums, as so many conservative critics have predicted.” [The New Republic, 11/30/09]

MIT Analysis: The Senate Health Care Bill Would Reduce Premium Prices In The Individual Health Insurance Market. “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. … 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]

23 Of Nation’s Most Well-Respected Health Economists: Health Reform “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]