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Obama Administration Report Confirms Pelosi’s Health Care Bill Still Fails to Control Costs

November 14, 2009

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) today released an analysis he requested from the nonpartisan, independent experts at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  The report shows national health care costs will increase significantly – by $289 billion – if the House Democrats’ bill (H.R. 3962) was enacted.
“This report confirms what virtually every independent expert has been saying: Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill will increase costs, not decrease them,” said Camp.  “This is a stark warning to every Republican, Democrat and Independent worried about the financial future of this nation.  I hope my colleagues in the Senate heed CMS’ findings and refuse to rush ahead until any bill under consideration can be certified to actually reduce health care costs.”
In analyzing the House-passed health care bill, the CMS actuaries found the following:

  • Costs Increase:  “In aggregate, we estimate that for calendar years 2010 through 2019 [national health expenditures] would increase by $289 billion.” [Page 12]  
  • Savings Provisions Ineffective:  “Most of the provisions of H.R. 3962 that were designed, in part, to reduce the rate of growth in health care costs would have a relatively small savings impact.” [Page 3]   
  • Seniors’ Care Jeopardized:  The Democrats’ bill would cut Medicare by more than one-half trillion dollars ($571 billion), resulting in doctors and other health providers finding “it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).” [Page 8] 
  • Employees Lose the Coverage They Have:  “[S]ome smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their—and their employees’—advantage to end their plans” [Page 7]   
  • Massive Entitlement Expansion:  Under the House Democrats’ bill, “about three-fifths” or 60 percent of the uninsured who gain coverage would do so by being dumped into Medicaid.  [Page 6]   
  • Shortage of Doctors and Hospitals:  In stating that “consideration should be given to the potential consequences of a significant increase in demand for health care meeting a relatively fixed supply of health care providers and services,” CMS warns that those in need of care may face long wait lines if the House Democrat bill was enacted. [Page 15]

Background on Health Care Costs: The United States currently spends more than any other country on health care, and twice as amount as the next closest country.  Per capita health care spending in the U.S. is already twice as high as the spending rates in Canada and two-and-one-half times higher than those in the UK.  There is widespread agreement that this unsustainable.  In fact, President Obama’s budget chief, Peter Orszag, said that, “The single most important thing we can do to improve the long-term fiscal health of our nation is slow the growth rate in health care costs.”  However, CMS found that H.R. 3962 does the exact opposite.  Specifically, CMS predicts that over the next 10 years, national health expenditures will jump by an additional $289 billion.