Three Big GOP Lies on Health Care

by Karoli on July 20, 2009 · 26 comments

in News, Patients, Payers

Our response to the New York Post column entitled “Perils of Obamacare: The Three Big Lies“.

Lie #1 – Millions of Americans will be FORCED to change insurance plans

Truth: No one will be forced to change insurance plans. The House bill sets forth specifics for the insurance exchange, and includes the public option as one of those exchange plans. The specifications for the insurance exchanges are parallel to current industry standards.

Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell knows this. Listen to his office admit that no one will be forced into any plan:

(via The Political Carnival)

More Resources:
Investors’ Business Daily Lied To You!

Lie #2 – You will pay more

Truth: We don’t know what the true costs and savings will be. There are only predictions and best guesses. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates have ranged from 1 Trillion to deficit-neutral. The most recent estimate shows deficit neutrality, which would suggest no add-on to the deficit and possibly even a surplus from the savings in how doctors’ payments are calculated for Medicare.

However, there are some generally accepted principles when it comes to pooled risk (which is what health insurance is).

Principle #1: The higher the number participating in the risk pool, the less expensive it is to provide benefits. In other words, covering the 46 million people not covered by health insurance right now actually decreases the cost per person. This is insurance 101 — even the health insurers agree on this one.

Principle #2:
Without competition, prices will rise unreasonably. Right now, major insurers enjoy a competition-free market. They know this. As a result, premiums have risen 100% over the last 10 years. Those dollars limit employers’ ability to hire new employees. Out-of-control insurance costs will continue as will the insurers’ control over those who receive access without a plan that everyone can access.

Lie #3: Quality will suffer

Truth: Their lie presumes that we have quality health care now. The fact is, we do not, no matter how many times you hear the words “Canadian system” sneered on national television. Right now, today, we spend more per person on health care than nations with universal coverage. Our infant mortality rate is higher, over half of adults do not receive care their doctors recommend, and our chronic disease management system is in shreds. Diabetes and heart disease outcomes are extremely poor when compared to other countries, errors and infections are on the rise, and prescription medication costs are spiralling out of control. (See also: The Economist: Reforming American health care: Heading for the emergency room)

When you start with a badly broken system, fixing it can only improve outcomes, which will improve quality. The legislation crafted by the house offers incentives for medical educations and has a focus on primary care providers, a physician group rapidly dwindling in our current system.

For more information, please see our Glossary of Health Care Reform Definitions.

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