Saturday, June 20, 2009

Top 10 Facts About House Democrats' 852-Page Government Takeover of Health Care

House Democrats today (June 19) unveiled their long-awaited health care “reform” legislation, and it’s just what the American people expected: an 852-page bureaucratic nightmare that rations care, raises taxes, and empowers government bureaucrats – not patients and doctors – to make critical medical decisions.

As House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) warned middle-class families and small businesses earlier today, “This plan will make health care more expensive, reduce the quality of care for millions of families and small businesses, cost American jobs, and force untold millions of Americans off their current plans and into a government-run nightmare operated by federal bureaucrats.” As Democrats prepare to defend their government takeover of health care in a series of committee hearings next week, here are the latest Top 10 facts about the House Democrats’ health care proposal:

1. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses Billions. Though House Democrats don’t know (or won’t say) how much their government takeover will cost, here’s what we do know: the plan will make health care more expensive and hit the middle class particularly hard with higher taxes, rationed care, and new health care costs. As millions of families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet while making responsible choices, this plan forces those that make responsible decisions to foot the bill for those who don’t.

2. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Tens of Millions Their Current Health Care Coverage. The House Democrats’ plan could force more than 100 million Americans out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls, according to a Lewin Group study published earlier this year. A Congressional Budget Office report on a similar plan authored by Senate Democrats that would force at least 23 million Americans off of their current plans. According to the Associated Press, even the White House admits that the President’s promises about allowing the American people to keep their health care shouldn’t be taken literally.

3. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Millions of Americans Their Jobs. The House Democrats’ plan would impose employer mandates and cost jobs by requiring some employers – especially some small businesses – to pay a new eight percent tax to Washington. The plan would also slap employers that are unable to offer coverage the government deems adequate with another new financial burden. These two new taxes will make it more difficult than ever for small business owners to reinvest in their businesses and create and retain good paying jobs. Using the economic model of the President’s own economic advisors, an employer mandate would result in 4.7 million Americans losing their jobs.

4. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Put Bureaucrats in Charge of Key Medical Decisions. Instead of keeping patients and doctors in charge of key medical decisions, the House Democrats’ plan will give Washington the power instead. And if you’re outraged with what Washington’s done with the bailouts, just wait until you see what Uncle Sam does with your health care.

5. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Future Generations Money They Don’t Have. The House Democrats’ bill simply shifts the burden of debt from one generation to the next. Our nation can’t sustain the Medicaid and Medicare programs now. At a time when families and small businesses already are being crushed under the weight of historic debt, a new government-run program will only further add to the bill passed along to our children and grandchildren.

6. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Cost Seniors Key Medicare Benefits and Options. In order to expand health care benefits to some seniors, House Democrats will slash coverage millions of other seniors depend on. These benefit cuts will ultimately eliminate choices for seniors.

7. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Place a New Mandate on Individuals. The House Democrats’ plan mandates that every American buy health insurance or pay a hefty penalty to Washington equal to almost two percent of their income. This would force more Americans into government-run system that will make health care more expensive, ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions.

8. Democrats’ Government Takeover Will Raise Taxes on Families, Small Businesses. Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) readily admitted that the Democrats’ health care “reform” plan would be financed with tax hikes. The Associated Press reported that, “Democrats are considering everything from taxing soda, to raising income taxes on upper income people earning more than $200,000, to a federal sales tax.” Exactly how many new taxes will there be to bankroll this government takeover? When do Democrats plan to reveal them?

9. Democrats’ Government Takeover Is a Missed Opportunity To Reduce Health Care Costs. The House Democrats’ plan does not include even a shred of medical liability reform, missing an opportunity to drive down health care costs by reducing costly, unnecessary defensive medicine practiced by doctors trying to protect themselves from trial lawyers.

10. Democrats’ Government Takeover Harms Small Businesses, Costs Jobs. The House Democrats’ plan uses the amount of an employer’s annual payroll to define “small business,” which is troubling news for millions of Americans who depend on these engines of economic growth. Based on the Democrats’ definition of small businesses only those with, on average, less than 10 employees will be spared from new taxes through employer mandates. This leaves a huge number of small businesses to deal with the onerous and expensive mandates of the House Democrats’ government defined health benefit plan (“small businesses” are traditionally defined as employing less than 500 people). These small businesses employ 47.3 million employees and provide those employees $1.7 trillion in wages annually. The House Democrats’ new employer mandate and taxes on these businesses will make it more difficult to retain these jobs and wages.

Rationing care, raising taxes, and putting bureaucrats in charge of key health care decisions is not “reform.” There is a better way. Led by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and his Health Care Reform Solutions Group, House Republicans have outlined a plan to expand access to affordable, quality care regardless of pre-existing conditions; protect Americans from being forced into a government-run plan, making certain that medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors, not Washington bureaucrats; and let Americans who like their health care coverage keep it, while giving all Americans the freedom to choose the plan that best meets their needs. Will Democrats barrel ahead with their costly government takeover? Or will they heed the President’s words to bring all stakeholders to the table to ensure real health care reform?

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