American Unity PAC: “Wrong Prescription”

The American Unity PAC attacks Democratic congressional candidate Raul Ruiz (CA) for supporting the Affordable Care Act in an ad that claims the legislation raises taxes on “millions of middle- and lower-income families” by forcing them to buy health insurance. In reality, the health care law provides more tax relief than tax burden for the middle class, and lower- and middle-income families are eligible for tax credits that will help them afford premium payments. The ad also claims the ACA cuts $700 billion from Medicare and will kill jobs, both conservative attack lines that have been debunked.

Affordable Care Act Savings Do Not ‘Cut’ Medicare Benefits

Affordable Care Act Reduces Future Medicare Spending, But “Does Not Cut That Money From The Program.” According to PolitiFact: “The legislation aims to slow projected spending on Medicare by more than $500 billion over a 10-year period, but it does not cut that money from the program. Medicare spending will increase over that time frame.”  [, 6/28/12]

  • CBO’s July Estimate Updates Medicare Cost Savings To $716 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, repeal would have the following effects on Medicare spending: “Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period. Federal spending for Medicaid and CHIP would  increase by about $25 billion from repealing the noncoverage provisions of the ACA, and direct spending for other programs would decrease by about $30 billion, CBO estimates. Within Medicare, net increases in spending for the services covered by Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) would total $517 billion and $247 billion, respectively. Those increases would be partially offset by a $48 billion reduction in net spending for Part D.” [, 8/13/12]

GOP Plan Kept Most Of The Savings In The Affordable Care Act. According to the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler: “First of all, under the health care bill, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The health care bill tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as ‘the baseline’) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. […] The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. In the House Republican budget, lawmakers repealed the Obama health care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly  $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers.” [, 6/15/11, emphasis added]

Affordable Care Act Does Not Raise Taxes On Most Americans – And It Uses Tax Credits To Help Lower-Income Americans Buy Insurance

Affordable Care Act “Will Provide More Tax Relief Than Tax Burden” For Middle Class. According to the Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler: “The health law, if it works as the nonpartisan government analysts expect, will provide more tax relief than tax burden for middle-income Americans.” [, 7/6/12] “A Large Majority Of Americans Would Not See Any Direct Tax Increase From The Health Care Law.” According to “It’s certainly true that the health care law would raise taxes on some Americans, particularly those with higher incomes. The law includes a Medicare payroll tax of 0.9 percent on income over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples, and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for those earning that much. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the biggest chunk of revenue — $210.2 billion — comes from those taxes. There are other taxes in the health care law — including an excise tax on the manufacturers of certain medical devices and on indoor tanning services. The health care law included $437.8 billion in tax revenue over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation‘s calculations. Republicans tend to add in fees on individuals who don’t obtain health insurance (which the Supreme Court now agrees can be considered taxes) and businesses that don’t provide it to bump that up to about $500 billion. Some taxes, such as those on medical devices, may or may not be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, but a large majority of Americans would not see any direct tax increase from the health care law.” [, 6/28/12]

Affordable Care Act Includes Tax Credits For Millions Of Americans. According to Families USA: “We found that an estimated 28.6 million Americans will be eligible for the tax credits in 2014, and that the total value of the tax credits that year will be $110.1 billion. The new tax credits will provide much-needed assistance to insured individuals and families who struggle harder each year to pay rising premiums, as well as to uninsured individuals and families who need help purchasing coverage that otherwise would be completely out of reach financially. Most of the families who will be eligible for the tax credits will be employed, many for small businesses, and will have incomes between two and four times poverty (between $44,100 and $88,200 for a family of four based on 2010 poverty guidelines).” [, September 2010]

ACA Helps Lower-Income People Pay Premiums And Out-Of-Pocket Expenses. From U.S. News & World Report: “The law’s consumer subsidies—premium tax credits and help with out-of-pocket health expenses—will be available to people who cannot meet its individual mandate to have health insurance, meaning they are unable to find affordable coverage from employers or other private insurance plans. Instead, they will turn to the new state insurance exchanges that are scheduled to be created next year. […] Eligibility for supports will be determined by the relationship of individual or family gross income levels to the national federal poverty level (FPL). […] Under the ACA, individuals and families with incomes from 100 to 400 percent of the FLP will qualify for tax credits to reduce the premiums for health insurance purchased through the exchanges. In addition, incomes from 100 to 250 percent of the FPL also will qualify for help in paying out-of-pocket costs for the co-pays and deductibles not covered by their health insurance.” [U.S. News & World Report7/27/12]

Families Earning Under 133 Percent Of Poverty Line Will Only Have To Pay 2 Percent Of Income Toward Premiums. From U.S. News & World Report: “People and families earning 133 percent of FPL, for example, will have to pay only 2 percent of their income toward the health insurance premium. They will receive the difference as a tax credit. The payment limit for those at 400 percent of FPL is much higher—9.5 percent of their income—so their tax credit will be smaller.” [U.S. News & World Report,7/27/12]

Individual Mandate Lowers Premiums For Everyone

Individual Mandate “Leads To Lower Premiums And More Stable Insurance Markets.” According to the Urban Institute: ““In addition, the consumer protections introduced by the ACA, which will guarantee issue of insurance products and prohibit premium variations due to health status and claims experience, could lead some of those currently healthy and insured in these markets to leave them in the absence of the coverage requirement. By encouraging the currently insured healthier individuals to stay in these markets and attracting newly insured healthy individuals into them as well, the individual responsibility requirement leads to lower premiums and more stable insurance markets than would be the case without it. We find that premiums in the nongroup market would be 10 to 20 percent higher on average without the individual coverage requirement.” [, March 2012]

Individual Penalty Payments “Tiny” Compared To President Obama’s Previous Tax Cuts. According to, the increased revenue from penalty payments by individuals who do not obtain health insurance represents “a tiny future increase compared with the tax cuts Obama has already delivered, including an estimated $120 billion in 2012 alone from the 2 percentage point cut in payroll taxes.” [, 5/17/12]

GOP Argument That Obamacare Will “Kill Jobs” Has Been Debunked

To support its claim about “$500 billion in job-killing higher taxes,” the ad cites an article from the Christian Science Monitor on June 29, 2012, about the Affordable Care Act. “Job-Killing” Claim Is “Health-Care Hooey.” From “The exaggerated Republican claim that the new health care law ‘kills jobs’ was high on our list of the ‘Whoppers of 2011.’ But the facts haven’t stopped Republicans and their allies from making the ‘job-killing’ claim a major theme of their campaign 2012 TV ads. […]All of this is health-care hooey, aimed at exploiting public concern over continuing high unemployment, with little basis in fact. As we’ve said before (a few times), experts project that the law will cause a small loss of low-wage jobs — and also some gains in better-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries. It’s also expected that more workers will decide to retire earlier, or work fewer hours, when they no longer need employer-sponsored insurance and can obtain it on their own with help from federal subsidies. But that just means fewer people willing to work — and it will free up jobs for those who want them. If anything, that could reduce the jobless rate.” [, 2/21/12]

  • AP: Republicans Misuse CBO Statistics To Support “Job-Killing” Claim About Health Care Overhaul. From the Associated Press:  “A recent report by House GOP leaders says ‘independent analyses have determined that the health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy.’ It cites 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the analysis behind that estimate. But the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced that number. What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of the lost jobs would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available outside the job. ‘The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount — roughly half a percent— primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,’ budget office number crunchers said in a report last year.” [Associated Press via USA Today1/24/10]

[NARRATOR:] Raul Ruiz may be a doctor, but he has the wrong prescription for America. Instead of protecting seniors, Ruiz supports Nancy Pelosi’s law that cut $700 billion from Medicare to fund new government programs. He supports a tax increase on millions of middle- and lower-income families, forcing them to buy health insurance or face the IRS. And while California needs jobs, Ruiz supports $500 billion in job-killing higher taxes. We can’t afford Raul Ruiz. American Unity PAC is responsible for the content of this message. [American Unity PAC via, 10/4/12]