They’re lying about Obamacare
They’re lying about Obamacare
I’d love to take a moment to savor yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, but we don’t have time.
Already, Mitt Romney and Republicans are out with outright falsehoods about Obamacare — their favorite distortion being that this is somehow a broad tax on the middle class. In reality, this is all about personal responsibility — and the “tax” they are trying to scare everyone about is actually a penalty for the 1 percent of people who can afford insurance but still choose not to buy it, leaving the rest of us to pay for their health care when they head to the emergency room.
Just like they did when the bill was before Congress, Republicans are playing fast and loose with the truth, making up scary consequences to keep you from knowing all the good things Obamacare does. They’re not telling the truth about what this reform means for millions of middle-class Americans, so I need you to help get the facts out there.
Let’s break it down.
#1 Republican distortion: “The President promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class by a penny with this health care law. Well, that’s been proven false now.”
The facts: President Obama has cut taxes by $3,600 for the average middle-class family over the last three and a half years, and the Republicans fought him nearly every step of the way. From cutting taxes for every working American through the Making Work Pay and payroll tax cuts, to the American Opportunity Tax Credit which gives up to a $10,000 tax credit to help families pay for four years of college, the President has put more money in the pockets of middle-class Americans.
Here’s another fact: Obamacare includes the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history. According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, 19 million people will receive tax credits — worth an average of about $4,800 each — to help afford health care. These tax credits will finally put health insurance within reach for millions of American families. In short, Obamacare cuts taxes for middle-class families. Period.
Around 1 percent of people — those who can afford to buy coverage but instead choose to opt out, shifting their costs to the rest of us — will pay a penalty. The Supreme Court acknowledged yesterday that this penalty will be charged through the tax code — but that doesn’t change its purpose (to ensure everyone who can afford insurance buys it) or its effect (to lower costs for everyone). It’s also the same policy Mitt Romney implemented when he signed health reform in Massachusetts. For many folks in Massachusetts, the penalties under Romney’s reform were even bigger. In fact, here’s a video of him extolling the virtues of his penalty.
#2 Romney distortion: Romney said Obamacare meant “a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life — separating you and your doctor.”
The facts: Totally dishonest. In fact, this is one of the most dishonest claims in American politics. First, this isn’t about government. Obamacare builds on and improves the nation’s private health care system.
Second, here’s what it fixes. Before Obamacare, insurance companies had free rein to arbitrarily cap and cancel coverage, and they could waste our premiums on overheads and big CEO bonuses. With Obamacare, there will now be clear rules of the road to give patients and doctors more control over their health care. These rules will make sure that you and your doctor — not your insurance company, and certainly not a Washington bureaucrat — have control over your health.
#3 Romney distortion: “Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have.”
The facts: Outright false. If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. The only thing that’s changed is that your coverage is stronger. Here’s how:
— If you had a lifetime limit (and about 60 percent of employer-based plans did), it’s been lifted.
Republicans who tell you Obamacare won’t let you keep your plan if you like it are lying to you — and it is shameful.
#4 Republican distortion: “Costs are going up.”
The facts: Health care costs have been going up for decades — that’s one of the reasons President Obama fought to pass the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare makes targeted changes to hold costs down. The President started by taking on the insurance companies. As he said yesterday, the law ensures that insurance companies spend 80% of your premium dollars on your health care, not administrative costs or CEO bonuses. If they don’t follow that rule, they have to send you a rebate. This month, more than 12 million Americans will receive over $1 billion in rebate checks, and we’re all seeing lower premiums because of it.
The law also takes on waste in our health care system. Let’s take just one example. We spend billions of dollars every year treating people for infections they get while they are in the hospital. The health care law helps hospitals take simple but necessary steps to prevent infections. These types of reforms will save up to $35 billion and 60,000 lives.
#5 Romney distortion: “Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt.”
The facts: Wrong again. The Affordable Care Act cuts the deficit by over $100 billion during the first ten years. In the following decade, it cuts the deficit by another $1 trillion. Not only is the Romney campaign misleading people about the President’s deficit plan, they won’t tell the truth about their own. Romney would grow the deficit by as much as $5 trillion by giving tax cuts that favor millionaires and billionaires while taking away health care benefits that people rely on. We can’t let them get away with it.
I’m going to be perfectly clear: Mitt Romney has promised that if elected our next president, he will repeal Obamacare on Day One in office. Immediately after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold health care reform yesterday, Romney reminded his supporters: “When I’m President…Obamacare will be over.”
If Romney gets his way, 105 million Americans could see their lifetime caps reinstated, and more than 3.1 young Americans could be booted off their parent’s plan and could again be without insurance. Up to 17 million children with preexisting conditions could, once again, be at risk of being denied coverage, and insurance companies could once again drop you if you get sick.
That’s why the Truth Team’s work to spread the truth on Obamacare is so critically important.
Luckily, we have the facts to stop Romney, and the progress I just laid out to back us up.
Please spread the word, and forward this email to your friends and family.
P.S. — When we talk about how Obamacare affects Americans across the country, these are just some of the people we’re talking about.