House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

June 23, 2010

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
or Brian Newell
(202) 225-4527

ObamaCare: “Historic” Record of Broken Promises

Three months ago, President Obama signed into law the Democrats’ government takeover of health care. The president has described it as “historic” reform, yet in the early months of its implementation, the most notable feature of the law is the long line of broken promises left in its wake. 

Broken Promise: Will Reduce Costs
Reality: Health Care Costs Continue to Rise 

Americans understand the current trajectory of rising health care costs is unsustainable; that’s why they support reform to bring down costs for families and small businesses. Before affixing his signature on this unpopular new law, the president promised the uninsured and small businesses they would “finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance.” 

But just one month later, an Obama administration report stated the obvious: a government takeover of health care would INCREASE national health care costs by an estimated $311 billion. This wasn’t the first time health care experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned government-run care would increase costs; nor was it the first time Democrats ignored their warning. 

Broken Promise: A Fiscally Responsible Plan
Reality: Hidden Costs Pile Up on Taxpayers 

On March 23, President Obama declared his health care reform plan is “paid for” and “is fiscally responsible.” Yet less than one week after enactment of ObamaCare, supporters were facing the difficult reality that $529 billion in cuts to Medicare and $569 billion in tax hikes would not cover the full cost of the new law and its unsustainable programs.   

Numerous states – facing their own budgetary challenges – have stood up for fiscal responsibility by rejecting ObamaCare’s high-risk pools that are both costly and unsustainable. In fact, just this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported the high-risk pools will need between $5 and $10 billion in additional funds to extend care to all eligible individuals.  

Since March, the CBO revealed$115 billion in costs that were not reflected in the official government spending and savings estimate – a pot of money to be allocated by Congress and spent by government bureaucrats. And in May, the director of CBO, Douglas Elmendorf, noted health care costs will continue to “put tremendous pressure on the federal budget” and the Democrats’ health care law “does not substantially diminish the pressure.”  

Broken Promise: Seniors Can Keep Their Benefits
Reality: Seniors Now Pay More for Less 

Speaking directly to the nation’s seniors, President Obama declared, “despite what some have said, these reforms will not cut your guaranteed benefits.” Well, despite what the president may have promised, a study by the chief actuary who administers the Medicare program discovered approximately half of all seniors currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage – roughly 7 million seniors – will no longer be able to get their health care through the popular program. 

This was confirmed in a report in the Wall Street Journal which described how $202 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage will lead insurers to cut additional benefits traditionally offered under the program and force millions of seniors to lose their current coverage. In January, the Obama administration warned that steep cuts to Medicare would jeopardize “access to care for beneficiaries” but once again, Democrats ignored clear warnings and now America’s seniors are paying the price. 

Broken Promise: If You Like It, You Can Keep It
Reality: If You Like it, You Can’t Keep It 

At virtually every rally the president held on health care came the promise, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” But on April 22, health care experts in the Obama administration issued an analysis estimating 14 million Americans will lose their current employer-provided health care plan. 

Workers lucky enough to keep their employer-provided health care can instead will see their health care plans change. Thanks to a new set of rules and regulations proposed by the administration earlier this month, The Associated Press reported “a majority of workers – 51 percent” will face significant changes to their health care plan. Mysteriously, the administration made sure that while an estimated 87 million Americans may experience changes to their health care plan, labor unions are far more likely to be able to keep the coverage they have.  

Broken Promise: Helps Small Businesses
Reality: Hurts Small Businesses at a Time of High Unemployment 

With roughly 15 million Americans looking for work, it is critically important for Washington to pursue policies that promote innovation and job creation. Small businesses are the primary source of new jobs across the country. However, a study released in May found ObamaCare will actually penalize small businesses for creating jobs and raising workers’ wages. 

Under the Democrats’ health care law, employers – including small businesses – are required to offer government-sanctioned health care to their employees or pay a fine. The law also provides a temporary “tax credit” to offset some of the costs of providing care. However, a report by the National Center for Policy Analysis described how the so-called tax credit is “arbitrarily reduced as firms grow, penalizing employers that hire more workers or increase their salaries.” Doing so “presents firms with the biggest obstacle to job growth when they want to expand beyond a certain size.” 

In response to this and other job-killing policies, the National Federal of Independent Business – the nation’s leading small businesses association - is fighting for workers in an effort to repeal the Democrats’ health care reform law. 


Rather than making history three months ago, President Obama and Democratic leaders missed a historic opportunity to pass sensible reform to lower health care costs and give the American people more freedom in their health care decisions. Republicans will continue to hold Washington Democrats accountable for their broken promises, and work to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with commonsense health care reform the American people can afford.