Ryan’s Road to Ruin

MADISON-Yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Congressman Paul Ryan repeated the same false claim that he touted at last week’s bipartisan health care summit - a claim that has since been rebuffed by independent fact checks. Ryan claimed that the President’s health insurance reform proposal would raise premiums for most Americans. The only problem is that it doesn’t. 


RHETORIC: Rep. Ryan Claimed CBO Found Premiums Would Rise Under Reform Legislation: “The Congressional Budget Office says [Americans will] get higher premium increases 10 to 13%. Private actuaries put the premium increase in double to triple-digit territory. Blue cross plans tell us they'll see a massive spike in premiums for people. That's the problem. What we're hearing coming out of Washington, the rhetoric, doesn't match the facts that are underneath the legislation.” [Fox News Sunday, 2/28/10]


AP: Obama Gave A “Fairer Summary” Of What The CBO Study Said About Premiums. “Then President Barack Obama and a Republican lawmaker sparred Thursday over what might happen to health insurance premiums in an overhauled system, both cited a nonpartisan analysis that looked at that very question. The president gave a fairer summary of what the analysis found. … The analysis estimated that average premiums for people buying insurance individually would be 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 under the Senate legislation, as Alexander said. But the policies would cover more, and about half the people would be getting substantial government subsidies to defray the extra costs. … Moreover, the analysis estimated that almost 60 percent of the people covered under individual policies would qualify for subsidies, bringing their own costs down by more than half from what they pay now. Obama was correct that the forecast for higher costs on average is based on the expectation that people would buy better coverage. But that might not be as voluntary as he made it sound. The report said the Senate legislation sets minimum levels of coverage and that would require some people to pay for better insurance than they have now.” [AP, 2/25/10 <http://staff.wisdems.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://links.mkt2079.com/ctt?kn=4%26m=2828256%26r=MTMzNDc5MTU0NjkS1%26b=0%26j=MTcyNTcwNzM2S0%26mt=1%26rt=0> ]
WSJ: “Overall, The [Health Care] Bills Would Mean That More Consumers Would Pay Less For Their Insurance.” “More than half of people buying their own coverage would qualify for the new insurance tax credits, available to families of four earning up to $88,000 a year. Those credits would significantly lower their health-insurance costs, leaving them paying 56% to 59% less than if no bill were passed. The wrinkle in whether this would actually increase premiums is that consumers buying policies on their own with a new insurance exchange would be required to buy plans that, on average, are more generous than the ones they currently have. Because of that, they would pay higher premiums, the report found. So overall, the bills would mean that more consumers would pay less for their insurance.” [WSJ, 2/25/10 <http://staff.wisdems.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://links.mkt2079.com/ctt?kn=3%26m=2828256%26r=MTMzNDc5MTU0NjkS1%26b=0%26j=MTcyNTcwNzM2S0%26mt=1%26rt=0> ]
NYT: “Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Persuasively Contradicted” Insurance Industry Claim That Reform Legislation Would Drive Up Insurance Premiums; “Tens Of Millions Of Uninsured Americans Can Be Covered Without Driving Up Costs For Everyone Else.” The New York Times editorial board wrote: “The health insurance industry frightened Americans — and gave Republicans a shrill talking point — when it declared in October that proposed reform legislation would drive up insurance costs for virtually everyone by as much as thousands of dollars a year. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office persuasively contradicted that claim this week. Undaunted, the industry issued a rebuttal report, claiming again that premiums would soar. We find this second industry report no more persuasive than the first…And we have far more confidence in the C.B.O.’s expertise in evaluating a wide array of databases and in its objectivity. The chief message Americans should derive from the C.B.O.’s analysis is that tens of millions of uninsured Americans can be covered without driving up costs for everyone else.” [New York Times Editorial, 12/4/09 <http://staff.wisdems.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://links.mkt2079.com/ctt?kn=2%26m=2828256%26r=MTMzNDc5MTU0NjkS1%26b=0%26j=MTcyNTcwNzM2S0%26mt=1%26rt=0> ]
Bloomberg News: 134 Million Americans Insured Through Large Employers Will See No Rise In Premiums And May Pay 3 Percent Less…Subsidies Also Will Lower Costs As Much As 59 Percent For 18 Million People Buying Their Own Insurance.” Bloomberg News reported on CBO estimates of the Senate health insurance reform bill’s impact on insurance premiums: “On average, 134 million Americans insured through large employers will see no rise in premiums and may pay 3 percent less than they would if Congress failed to pass a health-care overhaul plan, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said yesterday. Subsidies also will lower costs as much as 59 percent for 18 million people buying their own insurance.” [Bloomberg, 12/1/09 <http://staff.wisdems.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://links.mkt2079.com/ctt?kn=1%26m=2828256%26r=MTMzNDc5MTU0NjkS1%26b=0%26j=MTcyNTcwNzM2S0%26mt=1%26rt=0> ]
WP: In “First Objective Analysis Of The Effect On Premiums,” CBO Found That Senate Bill “Would Leave Premiums Unchanged Or Slightly Lower For The Vast Majority Of Americans,” Contradicting Insurance Industry Claims. The Washington Post reported that, “[a]s the Senate opened debate Monday on a landmark plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system, congressional budget analysts said the measure would leave premiums unchanged or slightly lower for the vast majority of Americans, contradicting assertions by the insurance industry that the average family's coverage would rise by thousands of dollars if the proposal became law… Monday's CBO report offers the first objective analysis of the effect on premiums. An earlier study commissioned by America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, warned that the Senate bill would dramatically increase insurance premiums, but the study's authors at PricewaterhouseCoopers later acknowledged that they had ignored major pieces of the legislation in their calculations.” [Washington Post, 12/1/09 <http://staff.wisdems.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://links.mkt2079.com/ctt?kn=5%26m=2828256%26r=MTMzNDc5MTU0NjkS1%26b=0%26j=MTcyNTcwNzM2S0%26mt=1%26rt=0> ]