10.22.09

Health Department Experts Conclude House Democrats’ Bill Would Drive up Health Care Costs

Washington, D.C. – A report released yesterday by the official budget scorekeepersat the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concludes that the health care billauthored by Democrats in the House of Representatives would drive up health care costsand force millions of Americans to lose the care they have now, including seniors onMedicare.

“We need health care reform that will reduce health care costs for American families,but study after study shows that the Congressional Democrats’ bills will actually drive upcosts for most Americans. This is the wrong kind of reform,” said U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (RWyo.).“How many more studies do we need before the Democratic Leadership willunderstand these bills will not work for Americans?”

The report undercut Administration claims that health care reform would reducenational health spending, which the President and senior administration officials havehighlighted as one of the main justifications for enacting health reform. The HHS analysisconcludes that the House Democrats’ bill would increase total health care spending by 2.7percent. The report found that many of proposals advanced by the Administration andCongressional Democrats to help control future health care cost growth would have “anegligible financial impact over the next 10 years.”

The report concluded that, as a result of changes made in the bill, 12 millionAmericans would lose the employer-based health insurance coverage they have now, and8.5 million seniors would lose benefits they enjoy under the Medicare Advantage program.The report also determined that Medicare cuts in the bill would lead many physicians,hospitals and other providers to stop treating Medicare patients.

Senate Republicans have requested a similar analysis be done for the bill recentlyreported out of the Finance Committee. The report on the House bill came on the heels ofthe first health care reform vote in the full Senate, in which 13 Democrats broke with majorityleadership and joined Republicans and the American people in demanding that health carereform not increase the nation’s deficit.

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