Republicans Hiding the Truth on Health Care

Feb 7, 2017 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to various recent comments on health care by GOP leaders, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), Ranking Member on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, today said:

“Republicans hope their misstatements, exaggerations and outright lies about health care will hide the truth.  But the facts are plain to see – Republican efforts to repeal the health reform law would result in millions of Americans losing their health coverage and millions more being forced to pay higher premiums.  No amount of twisting the facts can reconcile this reality with their rhetoric.”

Recent examples of GOP statements that hide the truth on health care include: 

RHETORIC: Speaker Ryan says the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in “the middle of a collapse.”

REALITY:  Really, it’s the GOP rationale for repeal that continues to collapse (even among Republicans). Thanks to the ACA, the number of uninsured Americans is at an all-time low. Multiple plan options are available for 82% of consumers in the ACA marketplace. And let’s not forget that before the ACA, many consumers had no choice when they were denied coverage because of discrimination against pre-existing conditions. Insurance premium growth in the marketplace is below forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office, and financial assistance is available for four-fifths of those in the marketplace and is adjusted for premium changes. By contrast, Republicans are pushing for plans with much higher deductibles, limited financial assistance, and fewer protections for patients.

RHETORIC: President Trump claims the ACA is a “disaster.”

REALITY:  Experts say repeal is the real disaster. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that repealing the ACA would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million and cause health insurance premiums in the individual market to double. Other independent analysts likewise predict that repeal would cause huge and extremely harmful disruptions, with over 80% of those losing insurance being in working families.

RHETORIC: Republicans blame lower enrollment on the ACA.

REALITY:  Republicans have attempted to sabotage ACA enrollment but millions still enrolled. In December, signups for ACA coverage were running higher than in previous years. Only after President Trump’s executive order and decision to halt ACA outreach, did enrollment dip in States operating under the federal exchange compared to previous years. (Some states running their own exchanges have continued to see higher enrollment.) Even with GOP obstructionism, 9.2 million Americans have signed up for health plans in the ACA marketplace (with some States still to report data on enrollees).

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