| 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.
-- If you have a child under the age of 26, they can stay on your plan.
-- Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.
-- Starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny anyone insurance based on preexisting conditions, helping up to 129 million Americans get the care they need.
-- Insurance companies will no longer be able to charge women more than men for the exact same coverage.
-- 54 million Americans already have access to better preventive services, free of charge.
-- And if you get sick, your insurance company can't drop your coverage, and if they deny you a treatment, the law makes sure you have a chance to appeal.
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.
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President Barack Obama is faring considerably better in vital swing states that are likely to decide November’s election, than he is doing in the country as a whole, two polls released on Wednesday show. And that is bad news for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who needs to reverse Obama’s margins in those states if he is to be successful in his bid for the White House.
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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) today released the ruling on President Obama's health care law and found the law to be largely constitutional with the individual mandate to purchase health insurance being classified as a tax.
Report from the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections --will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority in voting to uphold the law, Obama’s signature domestic initiative.Passage of the legislation by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it.Republicans in Congress and GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney have vowed to try and repeal the measure after the November elections.
Calling this a win for the White House may be a little premature. The short term victory in the ruling is a win but now the President will need to sell this legislation to a citizenry who have already rejected it. The court stated that the financial penalty for not purchasing health can be called a tax which means the President now has to defend a tax increase on anyone who does not purchase acceptable insurance. If the argument for ObamaCare was that many couldn't afford health insurance, the President may be left answering the question of whether someone who still can't afford insurance will now be forced to afford thousands of dollars in a "tax" for not purchasing insurance.
This will not be the end to this issue, of course, since it will be a large campaign issue heading up to Election Day.
More to come including reactions from the Obama and Romney campaigns...
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