February 26th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today condemned the Obama Administration for “lying about the increased cost of insurance premiums as reported by the Congressional Budget Office at his fraudulent ‘bipartisan’ health takeover summit.”
“Yesterday, Barack Obama flat out lied to the American people, claiming that his plan would, according to CBO, lower the cost of insurance premiums,” Wilson said.
Wilson pointed to the relevant Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, which stated, “CBO and JCT estimate that the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law… Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law.”
The CBO also reported, “About half of those enrollees would receive government subsidies that would reduce their costs well below the premiums that would be charged for such policies under current law,” which formed the basis of Obama’s claim, responding to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), stating, “Lamar, when you mentioned earlier that you said premiums go up, that’s just not the case, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”
Wilson said Obama was “misleading the American people. This is not a case where Obama and Alexander were ‘both right.’ Obama was wrong.”
Wilson explained, “Subsidizing premiums does not lower the cost of health care, it shifts the burden of the price of health coverage increasingly to taxpayers. At the same time, ObamaCare increases the minimum requirements for insurance coverage, which forces premiums up, as noted by the CBO.”
The CBO report also stated, “the average insurance policy in this market would cover a substantially larger share of enrollees’ costs for health care (on average) and a slightly wider range of benefits. Those expansions would reflect both the minimum level of coverage (and related requirements) specified in the proposal and people’s decisions to purchase more extensive coverage in response to the structure of subsidies.”
“Because of the subsidy, Obama wants to claim that individuals would be paying less for premiums, and that therefore the cost of health coverage is somehow being reduced,” Wilson said, adding, “This is like claiming that subsidized housing and mortgage loans are causing the price of housing to go down, or that subsidized student loans are causing the price of education to go down, which of course is absurd.”
“In fact, subsidies across the economic spectrum have been directly linked to housing inflation, education inflation, and other asset bubbles, because the subsidies inflate demand artificially, which directly causes prices to increase,” Wilson explained.
“These sorts of blatant lies explain exactly why the American people are completely opposed to this bill. For example, Harry Reid claimed yesterday that ‘no one’ was considering the use of reconciliation when he himself was speaking of it publicly. Or, Obama claiming in his address to the joint-session of Congress that his bill would reduce the deficit when the entire entitlement will be operating in the red within less than 20 years, costing over $2.5 trillion from 2014 to 2023,” Wilson added.
“It just goes on and on. The American people have had enough of Barack Obama and Congress’ lies. It’s time to scrap this bill once and for all,” Wilson concluded.