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CrossRoads GPS Brings More 'Misdirection' To MO

Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS organization has posted a new ad to their YouTube channel praising Peter Kinder for his silly health care lawsuit (though strangely not by name), but is really about helping Roy Blunt's Senate campaign.  The ad attempts to scare voters with misleading suggestions that the new health care reform law will increase their premiums, and wonders if a baby born today will even have health care under the new law. 

The ad revolves around a fictional newborn baby, wondering if Democrats will prohibit the little girl from seeing doctors when when she gets older.  "Our Lieutenant Governor is suing so her health care will be there," says the narrator. Never mind those facts about how the health care law dramatically increases access to coverage, especially for children. evaluated similar ads from Crossroads GPS running in other states, and found those to be dishonest and misleading. 

Here's what the nonpartisan organization wrote about Crossroads GPS' attacks regarding potential cost hikes in a post yesterday, "Misdirection from Crossroads GPS." 

The ad [as it's running in Pennsylvania] claims that the law will bring "higher insurance premiums for hard-hit families," while an on-screen graphic warns of "Insurance Premiums Additional $2100 Per Year for Families" [this $2,100 per year claim also appears on screen in the Missouri version]. In fact, most families are likely to see somewhat lower premiums, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The ad cites as its source for this claim a Nov. 30, 2009, report from CBO. What that report actually says is that for the largest segment of the health insurance market, amounting to about 70 percent of those with coverage, "the legislation would yield an average premium per person that is zero to 3 percent lower in 2016 (relative to current law)." That’s on page 7 of the report, and it refers to those in the "large group" market — those with policies through employers who have more than 50 workers.

The CBO’s analysis isn’t much different for the "small group" market, which makes up another 13 percent of the market. For those employees who get coverage through small businesses (those with no more than 50 workers), CBO predicts "an increase of 1 percent to a reduction of 2 percent."

The only big increases that CBO predicts are for those in the "nongroup" market — which makes up about 17 percent of the overall insurance market. These are people who aren’t getting coverage through their employers or other large pools. Single individuals buying coverage would see premiums only about $300 higher than they would have been without the law, but those buying family coverage would see an average increase of $2,100 a year. (The cost would go from $13,100 under previous law, to $15,200 under the new legislation — an increase of just over 16 percent.)

But most of those buying insurance on their own would get help paying their premiums, a fact simply ignored by the ad. The CBO report says that about 57 percent of those in the nongroup market would receive federal subsidies, covering nearly two-thirds of the total premium cost, on average.

Emphasis added.  And regarding the alleged destruction of Medicare:

As we’ve noted often, the legislation doesn’t cut current Medicare spending. Rather, it reduces the growth of the program’s future spending — by $555 billion, according to CBO’s most recent estimate (the ad says $500 billion) — over the course of a decade. But it’s a huge exaggeration to describe that as "gutting" the enormous program. CBO currently estimates that federal outlays for Medicare will total $7.1 trillion over the next 10 years, even after the $555 billion in reductions. (SeeTable 1.4 of CBO’s most recent Budget and Economic Outlook.)

That’s about a 7 percent reduction in future growth, over the entire period. But spending would still continue to escalate; CBO projects Medicare will cost $929 billion in fiscal year 2020, even with the new law’s reductions in effect. That would be a 79 percent increase over this year’s estimated Medicare spending of $519 billion.

And in fact, the new law calls for some improvements in benefits. For instance, beneficiaries will be able to get free preventive care, and the new law will close the "doughnut hole," a gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage that currently affects some seniors. Hardly a "gutting" of the Medicare program.

Interestingly, the ad makes no mention of a mandate or requirement to get health care.  Saying that everyone is required to purchase health insurance probably makes it hard to scare people with fake scenarios in which newborns lose their health coverage because Democrats like Robin Carnahan hate America.



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