Tonight President Bush references the Lewin Report, a non-partisan analysis of the candidates’ health plans. They do suggest Senator Kerry’s health plan cost estimates are lowballed: Kerry says it’ll cost $860 billion over the life of the plan, while Thorpe says it’ll cost more like $1.2 trillion. Let’s not quibble on the details — let’s assume Kerry’s low-balling the figures somewhat.
Business Week reported a couple weeks ago:
The Lewin report is by no means all bad for Kerry. It confirms that he would indeed cover a big chunk of the uninsured. Thorpe figured the Democrat would pick up 28 million of the 45 million who are now without coverage, AEI estimated 27.3 million, and Lewin projects 25 million. Bush would cover between 2 million and 8 million, depending on whose estimate you believe. The Lewin study also credits Kerry with lowering average family health-care costs by $450 a year, while Bush’s plan would actually raise costs slightly.
And while the consulting firm figures the cost of Kerry’s plan is twice what the Democrat claims, it also calculates that Bush has, umm, misunderestimated the cost of his plan as well. Lewin figures its price tag would be $227 billion instead of $90 billion that the President claims. (emphasis mine)
So let’s net this out: families would see their health care costs decrease slightly under Senator Kerry. Under President Bush, their health care costs would rise slightly. Senator Kerry’s plan would cover 15-20 million more Americans than President Bush.
Which is better for the American middle class?