Fact: Eligibility may apply to illegal aliens, Ball responds with www.nohealthcareforillegals.com
With the current Congressman refusing to engage in a public dialogue over H.R. 3200, derisively known as “ObamaCare,” Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), a candidate for Congress in New York’s 19th district, released the following myths vs. facts document today during a public forum to clarify any questions related to HR 3200.
“As the Hudson Valley’s next Congressman my goal will be to ensure that medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors, not government bureaucrats,” Ball said. “This plan will cost trillions, gut the current quality of services, force small businesses out of business, threaten the current quality of care and force American taxpayers to foot the bill for taxpayer funded illegal alien healthcare. I am calling on the public to sign my petition at w-w-w-dot-no-healthcare-for-illegals-dot-com, to send a clear message to the current Congressman that HR 3200 should be DOA.”
Unlike the current Congressman who blatantly refused to host public Health Care Town Halls, outside of a handful of scripted moments, Assemblyman Ball plans to hold a series of town hall meetings on healthcare later this month, and welcomes public input.
HR 3200, JOHN HALL’S OBAMACARE MYTHS VS. FACTS
MYTH: HR 3200 prevents illegal aliens from receiving subsidized health benefits.
FACT: While section 246 of the bill states that “nothing shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States,” it is limited in scope and virtually meaningless in effect. Section 246 only applies to affordability credits (which are subsidies) and will not prevent illegal aliens from enrolling in the government-run, taxpayer financed public option health plan. Section 246 also does not contain any meaningful verification procedures to ensure that illegal aliens do not receive subsidies paid for by American taxpayers towards any private insurance plan, nor would it require verifying the immigration status of those enrolling in Medicaid.
MYTH: HR 3200 is 100 percent paid for.
FACT: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has partially estimated the cost of HR 3200 at a minimum of $1.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years. In a July 17th letter, the CBO estimates that that time period, the bill in its present form would increase the federal budget deficit by some $239 billion – even after the bill’s $544 billion in income tax increases; $37 billion in business tax increases; $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid; and sizable penalties paid by individuals and employers who don’t obtain coverage. CBO director Douglas Elmendorf added in a July 26th letter that the net costs of new spending will increase at more than 8% per year between 2019 and 2029, while revenues would only grow at 5%, generating $1.3 trillion in budget deficit increases beyond the $239 billion projected between 2009 and 2019.
(Source: Congressional Budget Office letter to Congressman Dave Camp, July 26th, 2009)
MYTH: HR 3200 does not require coverage for abortions.
FACT: The bill inserts the government into your medicine cabinet. According to the Associated Press, HR 3200 creates “a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions.” The bill includes abortion amongst the ‘essential services’ covered within its taxpayer subsidized public option.
MYTH: HR 3200 poses no threat to private health insurance and employer sponsored coverage.
FACT: The bill contains a never-before-seen income tax surcharge of 4%, targeted mainly at entrepreneurs who run small businesses. These very same entrepreneurs will face a mandate that require them to provide health care or face paying an 8 percent payroll tax. For many employers, this tax would be less costly than providing a health care plan, and these entrepreneurs will forgo providing employer sponsored health coverage. According to the CBO, the legislation may force 15 million Americans who currently receive their health coverage through their employers onto the government rolls.
MYTH: HR 3200 will create jobs.
FACT: The bill leads to job loss by requiring employers to offer health insurance. The bill mandates employers must pay a minimum of 72.5% of health insurance premiums for individuals and 65% for families – if not, employers face a new 8 percent payroll tax. The Kaiser Family Foundation predicts that approximately 61% of small businesses who already provide health insurance and as many as 40% of large firms that already provide health insurance would be hit by the tax. As a result of the payroll tax, employers who already provide a plan to their employees will have to spend more on these benefits. As the Congressional Budget Office stated, “employees largely bear the cost of play-or-pay fees in the form of lower wages.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce added that HR 3200 “will not increase coverage – rather it will lead to out-sourcing, off-shoring, hiring of independent contractors, spinning-off small new companies, reducing workforces, and reducing wages,” and the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote that “employees ultimately bear the cost of their health insurance through lower employment, depressed wages, depressed productivity, and loss of economic opportunities.”
MYTH: HR 3200 does not cut Medicare programs.
FACT: That’s not what others say. The $156 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts over the next decade proposed in the bill will cause many seniors to go back to traditional Medicare at greater expense. Just ask Oregon’s Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski, who wrote to the Obama administration expressing his concern about its efforts “to scale back Medicare Advantage,” because the plans “play an important role in providing affordable health coverage.” He noted that 39% of Oregon’s Medicare patients had chosen Medicare Advantage, and that in “some of our Medicare Advantage plans . . . with proper chronic disease management for such conditions as heart disease, asthma and diabetes, hospitalization admission rates have declined.”
MYTH: HR 3200 will not cause senior’s Medicare premiums to increase.
FACT: Even Democratic Congressman Eric Massa from upstate New York said he opposes the HR 3200 health care reform bill because he is “concerned it will ruin Medicare or that it could force tens of millions of Americans to buy supplemental insurance they don’t need.” On August 5th, Massa told the Elmira Star-Gazette that “‘I will not vote for something that I perceive will destroy Medicare.” Medicare already has a $36.3 trillion unfunded liability, and if enacted, this bill would only make healthcare inflation worse by creating trillions of dollars in new unfunded obligations without doing anything to slow the rate of growth of Medicare and Medicaid. Some in Congress have said this will be off-set by the establishment of an Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC), and even though this provision would not take effect until 2015, the CBO admitted in a Saturday letter to House Leader Steny Hoyer that it was, “unlikely that IMAC would recommend substantial additional savings.”