Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake.com describes the myths surrounding the health care debate. Among these myths is the idea that “insurance companies hate this bill:”
Fact: This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.
The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint vice president. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.
This fact alone tells us most of what we need to know about what’s wrong with the current bill: it will not actually reduce costs.
Will this bill be a further health care disaster for the American people? And, incidentally, a well-deserved political disaster for the Democrats?
Here are a few more of the 18 myths Hamsher debunks:
Myth 3: The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.
Fact: The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that President Obama promised during his campaign.
Annual premiums in 2016: status quo / with bill:
Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800
Small group market, family: $19,300 / $19,200
Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300
Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300
Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800
Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200
Myth 4: The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
Fact: The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.
A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.
Myth 5: This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.
Fact: Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it. A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:
21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children
18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it
Myth 9: This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.
Fact: This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including:
Public Option ($25-$110 billion)
Drug re-importation ($19 billion)
Medicare drug price negotiation ($300 billion)
Shorter pathway to generic biologics ($71 billion)
Myth 10: The bill will require big companies like Wal-Mart to provide insurance for their employees.
Fact: The bill was written so that most Wal-Mart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.
See Hamsher’s complete article, including documented sources, here.