Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Barrasso Amendment (#3582) on Premiums

Senator Barrasso has offered an amendment (#3582) to require that premiums will not increase as a result of passage of the legislation.
  • The amendment makes implementation of the health care law and the reconciliation bill contingent upon a certification from the Secretary of Health and Human Services that such legislation “would not increase premiums more than the premium increases projected under existing law.”
Arguments in Favor:
  • The Congressional Budget Office has previously found that the Senate bill would RAISE premiums in the individual market by an average $2,100 per family.  At a time when many families are coping with job losses and struggling to make ends meet, they should not be forced by the federal government to buy more expensive health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford.
  • During his campaign, President Obama’s campaign plan promised that his reform would reduce premiums for the average family by $2,500 “by the end of my first term as President.”  This amendment would ensure that Democrats’ actions match their rhetoric.
  • The reconciliation bill includes language that would apply the health law’s new benefit mandates to “grandfathered” plans.  These new mandates on existing plans violate the President’s promise that “If you like your current plan, you can keep it” as well as his pledge to lower premiums – because if you like your current plan, you will have to pay more for it (presuming it still exists at all).
  • The Hippocratic Oath for physicians states that medicine should “first, do no harm.”  This amendment ensures that all Americans will not be financially harmed by the impact of the Democrat reforms.