November 30, 2009

Republicans have been flogging the notion that if we have health care reform, your premiums will go up. They have no data to back up the claim, but they repeat it endlessly. Here's a new report that throws cold water on their heads. Will this new report get the attention it deserves by the media?

Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides the information for this MIT study:

A new analysis by a leading MIT economist provides new ammunition for Democrats as the Senate begins formally debating the historic health-reform bill being pushed by President Barack Obama.

The report concludes that under the Senate’s health-reform bill, Americans buying individual coverage will pay less than they do for today's typical individual market coverage, and would be protected from high out-of-pocket costs.

So Democrats will argue that under the Senate bill, Americans would pay less for more.

The new document arms Democrats with a response to the contention of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that the bill would mean “higher premiums, higher taxes, and massive cuts to Medicare.”

The “microsimulation” analysis is by Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Treasury Department official under President Bill Clinton. Gruber used data from the Congressional Budget Office.

Gruber concludes that people purchasing individual insurance would save an annual $200 (singles) to $500 (families) in 2009 dollars. And people with low incomes would receive premium tax credits that would reduce the price that they pay for health insurance by as much as $2,500 to $7,500.

The report will be circulated to Capitol Hill this week. Read the four-page report here.

As Digby says:

Now David Broder has talked to every "expert" at the Washington Post (well almost every expert) and got a different answer, so take all this with a grain of salt. Still, it's important to know what the "scientists" are saying. They often have undue influence on decision making.

Gruber should expect a fair amount of vicious attacks to be heaped on him as republican operatives will surely try to discredit him on every way possible. That's their standard MO.

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