The health care policies being pushed by House Democrats in the reckless, multi-trillion dollar tax and spend reconciliation bill will kick 2.8 million Americans off of their current health plans and force them into government run healthcare, according to a recent letter from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). These policies will also increase deficits by a whopping $553 billion at a time that the debt remains out of control.
Democrats are attempting to expand premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions available for health insurance under Obamacare. Additionally, they would include the creation of a federal Medicaid program for states that have not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. These provisions would cost $553 billion, nearly $14,200 per person, per year. This is twice the cost of the average employer-sponsored plan.
House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (R-Mo.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) sent a letter to the CBO on October 5th requesting that the office reveal the cost and coverage impact of the health care provisions included in the reconciliation bill draft.
The CBO found that Democrats’ plan would result in at least 2.8 million Americans losing their employer-sponsored health plans and, instead, being pushed onto government health insurance.
The Ways and Means Committee Republicans released a statement detailing several of the CBO’s other findings:
- “The permanent expansion of Obamacare’s advanced premium tax credit (PTC) subsidies will cost American taxpayer’s roughly $210 billion over 10 years and cement approximately 3.4 million Americans into a government program – this includes 1.6 million Americans who were previously covered by employer plans.
- The subsidies will overwhelmingly benefit wealthier Americans more than the vulnerable. $26 billion will go towards individuals making more than 700% of the federal poverty level (FPL) or roughly $90,000 per year.
- The subsidies are untargeted: roughly $200 billion in PTC spending – over 77 percent – is dedicated to those who benefit from Democrats eliminating means-testing on Obamacare subsidies and those who are already insured.
- Further mandates on job-creators would cost $11 billion in taxpayer dollars and lead to approximately 300,000 employees losing their existing job-based health plans.
- Extending premium tax credit subsidies to those receiving unemployment will cost roughly $11 billion over 10 years and further discourage individuals to return to work.
- A new “Federal Medicaid” program will cost taxpayers $323 billion over 10 years to force 3.8 million people onto a new government-controlled health care program, paving the way for a “public option.””
In addition to these health care policies, Democrats are also pushing for the inclusion of H.R. 3 in the reconciliation bill, legislation that would create a 95 percent excise tax on manufacturers and impose an international reference pricing scheme that directly imports foreign price controls into the U.S.
This legislation would stifle innovation, limit Americans’ access to new cures and treatments, would cost high-paying jobs across the country, and would reduce the United States’ global dominance in medical innovation. It would lead to a 29.2 to 60 percent reduction in R&D spending, which translates to 167 to 324 fewer new drug approvals.
Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly accounts for over four million jobs across the U.S and in every state, according to research by TEconomy Partners, LLC. This includes 800,000 direct jobs, 1.4 million indirect jobs, and 1.8 million induced jobs, which include retail and service jobs that are supported by spending from pharmaceutical workers and suppliers. The average annual wage of a pharmaceutical worker in 2017 was $126,587, which is more than double the average private sector wage of $60,000. H.R. 3 would threaten these existing, high-paying jobs by imposing taxes and price controls on American businesses.
The healthcare policies being pushed by Democrats will end up hurting families and patients. It will increase the federal deficit, reduce access to lifesaving cures, and kick millions off their healthcare coverage. To be clear, this is just one of many reasons to oppose Democrats’ reconciliation bill – the legislation also imposes crippling tax hikes, a radical expansion of welfare, Green New Deal climate policies. These reckless policies should be rejected.