M E M O R A N D U M
To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber for Sen. Grassley, 202/224-6522
Re: Latest CBO score of health care bill
Da: Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009
Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on the latest cost estimate of the health care reform bill under consideration by the committee. The latest estimate is from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
"I worry that some of my colleagues will focus only on the deficit-neutral piece of CBO’s document. A celebration of the deficit effects masks who pays the bills. This package includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes and fees. Most Americans with health insurance will see their premiums increase. That's according to CBO and JCT, the non-partisan experts. Premiums would increase as early as 2010, before most of the health reforms, including tax credits to help people pay for health insurance, take effect. Uninsured individuals would pay a tax for not obtaining government-approved health insurance. Employers who already offer health insurance would face a penalty if their workers choose subsidy-eligible insurance. With all of this, the bill spends nearly a $1 trillion and still leaves 25 million people without health insurance. That's not much bang for the buck. When people have been laid off or are worried about getting laid off, the idea of new taxes on employers and individuals should concern all of us. I'd like to see Congress insure more Americans with less stress on the weakest economy, including family finances, in decades."