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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Dubious Health Savings Claim

Obama said that his health care plan would cut costs, saving $2,500 a year per family. When we asked health care experts about this claim earlier this year, they were quite skeptical. M.I.T.’s Jonathan Gruber told us, “I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion.” Obama has also said on the campaign trail that more than half of the savings would come from the use of electronic health records, a major part of his plan to cut health costs. When we looked into that claim, experts told us it was wishful thinking. We found the statement to be overly optimistic and misleading. One of his advisers told us that the $2,500 figure included savings that would go directly to government and employers and that could, theoretically, result in lower taxes or higher wages for Americans. So, as we wrote before, “we shouldn’t necessarily expect insurance premiums that are ‘lower’ by that amount.”