After getting hammered on a series of government reports that they felt Republicans unfairly characterized, Democrats are taking the unusual step of responding to another potentially damaging report before the GOP attacks even start.
The report, released late Friday by the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, looks at the impact two provisions of the Affordable Care Act will have on health insurance premiums for small businesses. Republicans requested the report in 2011 when they slipped it into an appropriations bill.
Democrats expect the GOP to seize on a portion of the report that estimates that premiums will go up for most small firms.
“[W]e are estimating that 65 percent of the small firms are expected to experience increases in their premium rates while the remaining 35 percent are anticipated to have rate reductions,” the CMS report reads. “This results in roughly 11 million individuals whose premiums are estimated to be higher as a result of the ACA and about 6 million individuals who are estimated to have lower premiums.”
Those are very scary words for Democrats, and something you could expect to see in a Republican attack ad.
But that passage doesn’t tell the whole picture, says Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “This report is the latest instance of House Republicans attempting to peddle half-truths and incomplete data to justify their blind obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Hammill said in a statement. “The Actuary notes in the report that the findings are incomplete, but Republicans are only interested in what they can use to mislead and deceive Americans about the ACA and its effect on what small businesses will pay for health coverage.”
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