October 19, 2021

CBO Confirms Health Care Policies in Democrats’ Tax & Spending Bill Reduce Private Health Coverage, Push Americans onto Government-Controlled Care, and Cost Hundreds of Billions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that the health care policies in the House Democrats’ reckless $4.3 trillion tax and spending reconciliation bill will push Americans off the health plans they have and like and onto government-controlled coverage, at a steep expense to American taxpayers.

On October 5th, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (R-MO), House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX), and House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to CBO requesting that it reveal the cost and coverage impact of the health care provisions the Democrats drafted as part of their most recent $4.3 trillion reconciliation bill.

“Democrats are convinced that Washington knows best how Americans should live their lives – including what type of health care we should have access to, when, and at what cost,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith. “Health care policies embedded in the Democrats’ $4.3 trillion tax and spending spree will drive individuals and families off of their current coverage and onto taxpayer subsidized coverage. It will make more of their health care decisions subject to the whims and wishes of Washington bureaucrats, all at a substantial cost to American taxpayers.”

“The Democrats' $4.3 trillion tax and spending spree is a lurch toward socialized medicine. More federal command and control over our health care will lead to less innovation, fewer cures, lost coverage, higher costs, and it will force the sick to beg the government for lifesaving treatments and care,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader McMorris Rodgers. “This is not a future that people deserve or want—especially when their livelihoods are already being threatened and destroyed by record-high inflation made worse by the Left’s job-crushing radical agenda.”

“With Washington in control of Americans’ personal health care decisions, Democrats will kill over 300 life-saving cures, strip Americans of the private insurance they like, and recklessly expand Medicare with junk dental, vision, and hearing plans. This approach is so untargeted that it discourages work and crushes small businesses, while sending health care tax subsidies to the wealthy. There’s nothing affordable about Democrats’ plan,” said House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Brady.

“The CBO has confirmed what we feared—the health care provisions in the Democrats’ radical $4.3 trillion socialist spending bill will cost the taxpayers of our country a fortune and push millions of hard-working Americans off of their preferred employer-based plan,” said Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx. “Government-run health insurance will cost taxpayers more, concentrate power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats, and make our health care system even more convoluted and difficult to navigate. One thing is clear: Democrats want the government to have ultimate control over every aspect of American life even if it means limiting patients’ choices.”

Among the revelations included in CBO’s response:

  • The permanent expansion of Obamacare’s advanced premium tax credit (PTC) subsidies will cost American taxpayers 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% – 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.
  • In total, the Democrats’ plan will result in at least 2.8 million Americans losing their job-based health care coverage and instead pushing them onto government-controlled health insurance.
  • 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 total, taxpayers will spend approximately $553 billion on the Democrats’ assortment of untargeted and inefficient policies. This is at a cost of nearly $14,200 per person, per year to place individuals on government-subsidized or controlled plans – nearly twice the cost of the average employer-sponsored plan with superior coverage benefits.
The full response from CBO is available here.