U.S. Senators and doctors Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John Barrasso (R-WY) today released a new report, “Grim Diagnosis – A check-up on the federal health law.” The report details how many of the consequences of the new law are worse than anticipated. The Senate physicians’ report, issued roughly 200-days after the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March, comes after their previous oversight report, Bad Medicine, that marked the first 100-days of the law’s enactment. As physician-legislators, Drs. Coburn and Barrasso will continue their responsibilities to monitor the law’s impact on all Americans.
“Unfortunately, the overhaul that passed Congress this spring did not represent the real health reform Americans want and need. The new law focused on some of the symptoms in our health care system, but failed to address the underlying disease. For a majority of Americans, the cost of health coverage is their primary concern. For too many, cost is the access problem. Unfortunately, the new law increases costs to patients, consumers, and taxpayers, while exacerbating many existing problems in health care,” Coburn and Barrasso write in the report.
“This report presents the American people with a second opinion on the economic and financial impacts of the new health care law. Americans have a right to know how their health care, jobs, and financial stability will be impacted by the new law. The health overhaul threatens our nation’s economic recovery, increases costs, and reduces job growth.”
“As practicing physicians, we are committed to real health care reform. Costs are too high. Choices are too few. Health coverage remains out of reach for too many Americans. Interference from government bureaucrats and insurance companies is too constant and pervasive. We believe real reform begins with replacing the new law with sensible provisions that will lower costs, increase patient control, reduce bureaucracy and government interference, and put affordable, high quality health coverage within the reach of every American.”
The report includes the following key findings:
• Eight in ten small businesses could lose their current health plans according to regulations published by the Administration.
• The law will kill 800,000 jobs, perhaps even many more.
• States face huge mandates ranging in the hundreds of billions of dollars – costs much greater than the supposed deficit reduction.
• Real income will be depressed for millions of Americans because of the law.
• Uncompensated care costs from care in ER could become much worse.
• Taxpayers could be faced to bailout a new program created in the health overhaul that even supporters call a "Ponzi scheme."
• New penalties and costs discourage the hiring of young Americans who already face the worst job market in a generation.
• The law could cause the deficit to balloon by more than half a trillion dollars over the coming decade.
• Even with the new law, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that “rapidly rising health care costs will sharply increase federal spending for health care programs.”
• The Medicare Trustees’ have said the nearly $530 billion in cuts to the Medicare program proposed by the new law “will not be viable.” In other words, the law’s supposed savings are based on phony accounting.