DNC - FACT CHECK: GREGG on Government Expansion

Please see below for a fact check on false claims made by Senator Gregg on the Senate floor today on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

RHETORIC: Gregg Called Health Insurance Reform The "Largest Expansion In Government In The History Of The Government" And Would Be Paid For By Reducing The Money In Medicare. Sen. Judd Gregg: "The Senator from Wyoming is always first as a doctor and second as a senator, raises a very important point. And that is that this is the largest expansion in government in the history of the government. Let's begin right there. 5 Trillion the size of the government, massive growth in the size of government. Most that have growth comes from the expansion of government in the expansion and creation of a brand-new entitlement and the expansion and creation -- and the expansion of Medicaid as was alluded to by the Senator from Tennessee. How's that paid for? How's this huge explosion in the size of government paid for? Well, a large part of that is paid for by reducing the money in medicare." [Senate Floor, 12/7/09]

WSJ: CBO’s Estimate Of Senate Bill Is $848 Billion, Cuts Deficit By $130 Billion.
The Wall Street Journal reported that, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set the stage for a climactic debate in the Senate over health care by unveiling a 10-year, $848 billion bill that would extend insurance to 31 million Americans without coverage…In a boost for the bill's prospects, the CBO estimated the Senate measure would reduce the federal budget deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and additional amounts over the second 10 years of the program. It achieves that in part through a new Medicare payroll tax and a tax on high-value insurance plans, which has aroused strong opposition…To help ease the financial burden on workers, Mr. Reid lowered the maximum amount the bill would require them to spend on premiums, capping premiums at 9.8% of income, down from 12%.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/19/09]
Roll Call On CBo Score: Senate Bill “Slash[es] The Deficit By A Whopping $777 Billion Over The Next 20 Years,” Sen. Kent Conrad Said Sen. Reid Did “An Exceptionally Good Job.” Roll Call reported that, “[a]t first blush, Reid scored a coup with his $849 billion bill, because Democrats said the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would slash the deficit by a whopping $777 billion over the next 20 years while providing insurance for an additional 31 million Americans. The price tag is also less than the $900 billion President Barack Obama had called for and the $1.2 trillion cost of the House-passed version… ‘He was applauded. His staff was applauded,’ said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a deficit hawk who said Reid did ‘an exceptionally good job.’” [Roll Call, 11/18/09]

FactCheck.org: “We Never Have Said That Seniors Would Suffer ‘Massive Cuts To Medicare Benefits’ Under [Health Reform Legislation], And In Fact Have Done Our Best To Debunk [Those] Claims.” FactCheck.org wrote: “We never have said that seniors would suffer ‘massive cuts to Medicare benefits’ under the pending House or Senate overhaul bills, and in fact have done our best to debunk claims to that effect.” [FactCheck.org, 11/3/09]
AARP Applauded The Senate For Bill: “Makes Progress Towards Achieving Meaningful Relief For Millions Of Older Americans…Makes Improvements To The Medicare Program.”
AARP said in a press release: “We applaud the Senate for merging the Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees’ bills and taking another important step toward fixing what’s wrong with our health care system. Under the leadership of Majority Leader Reid and Senators Baucus, Harkin and Dodd, the legislation announced today makes progress toward achieving meaningful relief for millions of older Americans who still face challenges accessing affordable, quality health care services. The new Senate bill makes improvements to the Medicare program by creating a new annual wellness benefit, providing free preventive benefits, and—most notably for AARP members—reducing drug costs for seniors who fall into the dreaded Medicare doughnut hole, a costly gap in prescription drug coverage.” [AARP, 11/18/09]
AARP Warned Seniors Against “Myths and Scare Tactics” In Health Reform Debate, Said
“None Of The Health Care Reform Proposals Being Considered By Congress Would Cut Medicare Benefits.” AARP wrote in a myth-vs.-fact health reform website that, “There are special interest groups trying to block progress on health care reform by using myths and scare tactics. Like the notion that health care reform would ration your care, hurt Medicare or be a government takeover. Actually, these are false statements.” AARP concluded about the Medicare claim that, “[n]one of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase your out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services.” [AARP, Myths Vs. Facts]


Politifact: “Obama Health Plan Does Not Call For Government-Run Health Care.” “Obama health plan does not call for government-run health care.” [Politifact, 3/5/09]
Factcheck.org: "President Obama Hasn’t Proposed A Government-Run [Health Care] Plan And, In Fact, Has Rejected The Idea." FactCheck.org: "President Obama hasn’t proposed a government-run [health care] plan and, in fact, has rejected the idea." [FactCheck.org, 5/6/09]

Factcheck.org: President Obama Hasn’t Proposed Government-Run Health Care. FactCheck.org: "We’ve written before about conservatives claiming that Congress, or Obama, or Washington, or Democrats in general want the U.S. to have a Canadian-style, government-run health care system. The truth of the matter is that the president has repeatedly said he doesn’t." [FactCheck.org, 8/10/09]
AMA President-Elect Reassured: Physicians And Patients Don’t Need To Fear The Rise Of A Monolithic Health System With No Choice From President Obama. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that “American Medical Association president-elect Dr. James Rohack told Mississippi doctors Friday…Physicians and patients don't need to fear the rise of a monolithic health system with no choice, because it's not something the American people would accept, Rohack said. The president didn't advocate a single-payer system for the United States at the meeting, Rohack said. Obama said he believes in access to health care for all with a system that is a mix of public and private sources with patients still able to see the physicians of their choice.” [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 5/30/09]