Advocates of the new health care law claim it will reduce both health care premiums and the federal budget deficit. But these claims don’t square with the facts. Here’s how Congress’ new health care law will impact your family:
Increase the $14 Trillion National Debt
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Doug Elmendorf made news recently when he warned about the pressure that rising health care costs put on the federal budget. His conclusion? “In CBO’s judgment, the health legislation enacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish that pressure.”
These are strong words from the always-measured CBO director. And due to budget gimmicks that Congress used when writing the health care law, the news about health care and our federal deficit may be even worse. When all gimmicks are accounted for, former director of the CBO Douglas Holtz-Eakin calculated that the health care bill will increase budget deficits by $562 billion in the next ten years.
Starting in 2011, the new health care law will levy over $100 billion in new medical taxes & fees, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation (pdf). A report from Medicare’s actuary projects that consumers will ultimately pay these fees through more expensive medical devices (think: pacemakers and specialty wheelchairs), health care premiums, and prescription drugs.
Put Your Benefits at Risk
Authorities ranging from the government’s Medicare actuary to the authors of the President’s health care regulations have acknowledged that millions of Americans will lose their current health coverage under the new health care law.
Decrease Your Retirement Security
Over 37 million retired Americans depend on programs like Medicare and Medicare Advantage to provide health care into their old age. But the new health care law makes their retirement less secure. Over $500 billion has been cut from Medicare, in the form of lower reimbursements for medical providers and lower payments to Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare’s actuary has warned that the lower provider reimbursements are unrealistic, and could create a shortage of care for seniors. And the consequences of the Medicare Advantage cuts are already here – increased prices and decreased benefits going forward.