Representative Scott Garrett's streak of not misrepresenting numbers has officially come to an end. In this week's Garrett Gazette, the full court press to scare people out of us becoming more competitive with the world by implementing a better health insurance system stepped it up a notch on the spin cycle.
The health care plan proposed by the Democrats will cost American families more than $1,000,000,000,000, and yet will cause as many as 114 million individuals to lose their current coverage under the bill, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group.Sounds scary. Not only does Garrett fail to acknowledge much of the $1 trillion is already in the system, and would be shifted as opposed to being new costs; by Garrett's statement our number of uninsured would climb to 162 million. There would be no debating that would be awful, if that's actually what Lewin said.
However, if you look at the testimony, this is what they said:
Beginning in the third year, the newly established “Health Choices Commissioner” would be permitted to extend eligibility to include all employers. If the plan is opened to individuals and all employers, the number of people in the public plan would rise to 122.9 million people. Private coverage would decline by about 113.5 million people.That's right. If the public option was made available to all individuals and employers 113.5 million would shift the way they're covered, not lose it. Why would so many people shift? Because they're choosing the lower cost option.
By entering a larger insurance pool without a profit motive, costs would drop for those who choose it. It's how insurance plans are supposed to work.
If people wanted Cadillac plans they could still get them. The thought of people actually having the freedom to choose to not to get ripped off is why former insurance lawyer Garrett and others who back the industry are fighting so hard to scare the hell out of people, and spending over $1.4 million a day to lobby Congress. They're terrified because they know if people have an honest choice, they will in fact choose the lower cost.
It never ceases to disgust me to see how untruthful the politics of health reform gets. The status quo advocates have a simple playbook: Misrepresent as much as possible to scare the hell out of people.
The debate over costs is being worked out in a pretty transparent and straight forward way by the Blue Dogs. Unfortunately, Garrett's type of argument doesn't serve as a productive addition to the discussion. It just stirs up misinformed rage.
Garrett should stick with the Financial Services sub-committee and leave health care to those whose voice can actually be heard and genuinely want us to stop having a competitive disadvantage to other nations.