Please see below for a fact check on the false claims made on the Senate floor today by Sen. Mitch McConnell on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act… you’ll note they are nearly identical to the claims made by McConnell yesterday evening.  Not surprising from the Party of No ideas.

RHETORIC: McConnell Said That The American People Clearly Oppose The Senate Health Care Bill In “Every Survey That’s Been Published” And That The Bill Would Raise Costs On American Families. Sen. Mitch McConnell: “They’re astonished that we are trying to pass a bill that is clearly opposed by the American people in every survey that’s been published. Americans do support reform, but this isn’t the reform that they were asking forks and it’s not the reform they were told they could expect. In fact, it’s pretty clear by now that the American people were sold a bill of goods when the administration and its allies here in congress said their health care bill would lower costs and help economy, because the plan that has been produced — that is before the senate — won’t do either. So the debate is no longer about improving care by reducing cost. We’re past that. This bill will raise costs on American families, and it will make an already struggling economy even worse. The only question now is how we got to a point where we’re actually considering spending trillions of dollars on a brand-new government entitlement at a time when more than one in ten Americans is looking for a job and when our debt and deficit are well past — well past — the tipping point. Now, for many, the answer to that question is quite clear. We know that some here in Washington have wanted government-run health care for many years, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the same people saw the current economic crisis as their moment.” [Senate Floor, 12/1/09]

RHETORIC: McConnell Said The Senate Health Care Bill Would Cut Medicare And “Not Make The Program Stronger.” Sen. Mitch McConnell: “Here’s a program — the Medicare program — that’s already struggling, a program that needs help. Yet, in order to finance their vision of reform, our friends on the other side want to use Medicare piggy bank to create an all-new government program that’s bound to have the same problems as Medicare. As written, their bill would cut nearly half a trillion dollars from Medicare — not make the program stronger but to fund more government spending. And in the process, millions of seniors would lose biforts.– Millions of seniors would lose benefits. Literally millions of seniors would lose benefits.” [Senate Floor, 12/1/09]

REALITY: MEDICARE SAVINGS DO NOT CUT BENEFITS, THEY STRENGTHEN MEDICARE

FactCheck.org: “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.” FactCheck.org 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.” [FactCheck.org, 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]

REALITY: AMERICANS WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM

Since October Of 2008, Never Less Than 53% Of Americans, And Up To 62% Of Americans Has Said That “Given the Serious Economic Problems Facing The Country…It Is More Important Than Ever To Take On Health Care Reform Now.” In a poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation since October of 2008 through November of 2009, support for health reform even in the face of “the serious economic problems facing the country,” 53 to 62 percent of those surveyed have agreed with the statement: “it is more important than ever to take on health care reform now.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, November 2009]

RWJF CEO On Physician Poll: “There Should Be No Confusion About Where Doctors Stand In The Debate Over Expanding Health Insurance Coverage: They Want Reform.” “A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) study published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine shows that a majority of physicians (63 percent) support a health reform proposal that includes both a public option and traditional private insurance. If the additional 10 percent of doctors who support an entirely public health system are included, then approximately three out of four physicians nationwide support inclusion of a public option. A minority (27 percent) support a private-only option that would provide subsidies for low-income individuals to purchase private insurance. Surveying a nationally representative sample of 2,130 physicians across America, researchers Salomeh Keyhani, M.D., M.P.H., and Alex Federman, M.D., M.P.H., from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City queried physicians about a range of options for expanding health insurance coverage. They also examined physician views on the possibility of Medicare expansion and found that the majority of physicians surveyed (58 percent) support expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64. ‘There should be no confusion about where doctors stand in the debate over expanding health insurance coverage: they want reform,’ said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.” [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/14/09]

AARP Endorsed The Senate Health Care Bill. “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.” [AARP release, 11/18/09]

REALITY: THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WILL REDUCE COSTS AND LOWER PREMIUMS FOR FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESS

NYT: CBO Said That The Senate Health Bill Could “Significantly Reduce Costs For Many People Who Buy Health Insurance On Their Own” And Would Reduce Premiums For People Who Get Their Insurance Through Their Employers. “The 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. … In groups with 50 or fewer employees, it said, unsubsidized premiums in 2016 would average $7,800 a year for individuals and $19,200 for families — scarcely any different from the amounts expected under current law. Of the 25 million people receiving coverage from small businesses, it said, 3 million would qualify for subsidies, which would reduce their premiums by an average of 8 percent to 11 percent. Large employers would generally not be eligible for such assistance. Their premiums in 2016 under the bill would average $7,300 for individual coverage and $20,100 for family coverage, the report said. Under current law, the comparable figures would be $7,400 for individual coverage and $20,300 for family coverage.” [New York Times, 12/1/09]

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]

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