Fact Check: Romney Ad Goes After Obama's Health Insurance Law

By Steve Kanigher

Published 10/08 2012 11:32AM

Updated 10/10 2012 02:55PM

Claim: A new advertisement endorsed by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 states: "Who will raise taxes on the middle class? Barack Obama and the liberals already have. To pay for government-run health care you'll pay higher taxes and more for your medicine. And their plan includes a trillion dollars in higher taxes, even on the middle class."

Verdict: Partly true and partly misleading. The ad relies on a July 24 report from the politically neutral Congressional Budget Office that analyzed the financial impacts of the June 28 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) backed by President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats in Congress. The Supreme Court ruled that the law that requires most individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty represents a legitimate example of the power of Congress to levy taxes. The CBO estimated that the insurance coverage portion of the law would result in a net cost of more than $1.1 trillion from this year through 2022.

What the ad fails to mention, though, is the CBO's conclusion that these costs "do not encompass all of the budgetary impacts of the ACA because that legislation has many other provisions, including some that will cause significant reductions in Medicare spending and others that will generate added tax revenues, relative to what would have occurred under prior law." More specifically, the CBO estimated that repealing the health insurance law would increase federal budget deficits by $109 billion through 2022. The CBO stated: "Repealing the coverage provisions discussed in this report would save $1,171 billion over that period, but repealing the rest of the act would increase direct spending and reduce revenues by a total of $1,280 billion."

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