A project of the Galen Institute

Promises vs. Reality

During the year long debate over health care reform, President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders made numerous promises to the American people that the legislation they were pushing toward enactment would deliver certain positive results. Those promises, however, do not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.

Promise #1:

The new health law will not increase the federal budget deficit over the next twenty years, and will in fact cut the budget deficit over that time frame.

Promise 1


The claim of deficit reduction is based on accounting gimmicks, double-counting, budgetary sleight of hand, and implausible assumptions. CBO is required to estimate legislation as it is presented to it, smoke and mirrors and all. But a more careful examination of the legislation shows that it will greatly increase the budgetary exposure of the federal government, and thus almost certainly increase the budget deficit, not reduce it. Read More

Promise #2:

The cost-curve will get bent downward, and families will save $2500 in annual premiums.

Promise 2


All evidence indicates that the new health law will increase overall health care costs, increase premiums, and increase tax burdens for the vast majority of Americans. In short, costs will go up collectively and for most households, not down. Read More

Promise #3:

The new health law lets people keep the coverage they have today if they like it.

Promise 3


The Reality: Millions of Americans will lose the coverage they have today involuntarily. Read More

Promise #4:

It's not a government takeover.

Promise 4


The new health law hands over to the federal government immense new powers, powers that will, over time, mean all important decisions about the organization and financing of American health care will need to meet the approval of federal agencies and bureaucrats. Read More

Promise #5:

The new health law will improve, not hurt, the quality of American health care.


The new health law finances a massive health entitlement expansion with deeper price controls in federally-run insurance.  The result will be a surge in demand coupled with much a more restricted number of willing suppliers of medical services. Read More

Promise #6:

The new health law will not raise taxes on the middle class.

Promise 6


The new health law includes at least a dozen new taxes that will directly or indirectly hit middle class families. Read More

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