This morning, Fox News ran a chyron alleging that the new Congressional Budget Office report on premiums concluded that the Senate health care bill won’t lower health care premiums:
The report actually concluded that on average, premiums would substantially decrease for the majority of Americans purchasing coverage in the individual market and maintain or lower premiums in the small and large employer markets. In fact, almost all of the ledes in today’s newspapers echo this interpretation:
– “The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own…” [NYT, 11/30/2009]
– “As the Senate opened debate Monday on a landmark plan to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, congressional budget analysts said the measure would leave premiums unchanged or slightly lower for the vast majority of Americans, contradicting assertions by the insurance industry that the average family’s coverage would rise by thousands of dollars if the proposal became law.” [WP, 11/30/2009]
– “On average, 134 million Americans insured through large employers will see no rise in premiums and may pay 3 percent less than they would if Congress failed to pass a health-care overhaul plan, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said yesterday. Subsidies also will lower costs as much as 59 percent for 18 million people buying their own insurance.” [Bloomberg, 12/1/2009]
Fox News anchor Stuart Varney further questioned the report by arguing that Americans won’t see any savings because the health care bill won’t cut payments to Medicare Advantage or subsidize coverage. “Those are the assumptions on which everything is based. If those things happen, yes it will be deficit neutral and your costs will be stable,” Varney said.