Hysterical Obamacare misinformation push backfiring
by Kevin Foley
December 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 1903 views | 19 19 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What if the Obamacare roll-out fiasco wasn’t an accident? What if Obama planned it all along?

Think about it, conspiracy theorists. What better way to educate 41 million uninsured Americans about the Affordable Care Act than to lure your political opponents into talking about nothing else?

Ever since the problems at HealthCare.gov surfaced in early October, conservative politicians and their media mouthpieces have launched wave after wave of dishonest or distorted propaganda attacks.

Most of the glitches are now fixed and in the interim the uninsured have had little choice but to learn what Obamacare is and, more important, what it isn’t.

For example, it won’t “destroy everything in America,” as GOP Senate hopeful Rep. Paul Broun continues to insist.

There are no “death panels” and there is no “health care rationing,” nonsense pushed by Sarah Palin and relentlessly repeated by the conservative media.

We know now the law regulates insurers that have gamed America’s health care system for decades. Insurance companies can no longer turn you down if you have a pre-existing condition. They can’t terminate your coverage if you become sick or get injured. And there are no annual or lifetime limits on health insurance coverage.

These egregious practices were standard procedure when the insurance industry called the shots, the “quality health care system” lamented by U.S. Reps. Tom Price and Phil Gingrey.

Thanks to conservatives, we’ve learned uninsured families may get tax credits to help pay for their health insurance the same way big oil companies are subsidized by taxpayers.

They’re going to the tax credit calculator at kff.org to see if they qualify. A middle class Cobb County family of four with an annual household income of $50,000, for example, can purchase an $8,290 Silver Plan at the federal health insurance exchange for just $3,365 after receiving a $4,925 tax credit.

With that quality health insurance, the family can now see a doctor regularly for preventative care. They’ll stop ignoring symptoms until they’re forced into the emergency room for the most expensive health care there is — paid for by you and me through higher local taxes and insurance premiums.

The cost of health insurance would likely be lower except Gov. Nathan Deal is deliberately obstructing the law, refusing to set up a state-run exchange like the successful ones in Kentucky, New York and California.

Conservatives bellowed when companies cancelled the plans of fewer than five percent of all Americans (Obama lied!), which informed us about what Consumer Reports calls “junk insurance.”

CBS News profiled Floridian Dianne Barrette whose $54 per month junk policy was cancelled. “I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have,” said Barrette. Here’s why: it paid $50 for doctor visits — but nothing for hospitalization, tests or labs.

Thus, if Barrette gets cancer she wouldn’t receive any treatment unless somebody else paid for it.

The Affordable Care Act outlaws junk insurance. Barrette, who makes $30,000 annually, can now buy a Bronze Plan at HealthCare.gov for $94 per month after tax credits.

Why should I pay for her health care? Why should you?

Knowing 2014 was coming, my company’s insurance provider jacked up our rates 42 percent in just three years. Now insurers have to justify their rate hikes, something they never had to do before.

But the best thing that’s come out of all the hysterical Obamacare fear-mongering are the millions of uninsured Americans flocking to the federal and state exchanges to sign up for health care plans.

Just as Democrats couldn’t have won the White House in 2014 without conservatives bashing anyone who wasn’t white and wealthy, Obamacare wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it promises to be without their help.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(19)
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mikeholzknecht@yahoo,com
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December 21, 2013
Thanks Mr. Foley. Clarity on this issue or most issues does not occur in this paper or in this county.
OMIPS
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December 15, 2013
Barack Obama sat on a wall,

Barack Obama had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Barack Obama together again.

Our Man in Powder Springs
Kevin Foley
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December 14, 2013
Correction: Both my editors and I missed the typo in the last paragraph. It should read 2012.
Lib in Cobb
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December 14, 2013
Great piece Kevin, thank you.
interested party
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December 13, 2013
Dear CobbCoGuy,

Do you have a life?
sammy2014A
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December 13, 2013
Really? I mean, REALLY? What world do you live in?

The month of January might just open your eyes a bit. Even with the punts pushing for more time the past few days we are going to have MILLIONS more uninsured than we had in December. And some people will try to use the JUNK insurance they have bought on the exchanges and find they can not afford the medications to continue treatment of their medical conditions. And some will die. I hope that wipes the smile off your face. This is not a game. It is real, lives are affected and the advancement of political agendas should take a back seat. If you really want to grow up some day and be a journalist, form your opinion around the facts, not the empty words.
Mike Woodliff
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December 13, 2013
"They’re going to the tax credit calculator at kff.org to see if they qualify. A middle class Cobb County family of four with an annual household income of $50,000, for example, can purchase an $8,290 Silver Plan at the federal health insurance exchange for just $3,365 after receiving a $4,925 tax credit."

Not a chance! A family of four living on $50,000 annual income cannot afford and will not sign up for and pay $280 per month for their coverage.

As an employee benefits consultant for over 30 years, I can tell you in absolute terms that it's too expensive and they won't do it. I've seen employees walk away from coverage that cost only $25 per month.

What is not being taken into account is human nature, let alone the economics of it.

It will not work, no matter how hard we'd like it to.

What year was this??
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December 13, 2013


"Just as Democrats couldn’t have won the White House in 2014 without conservatives bashing anyone who wasn’t white and wealthy,"

The future - already in place. (Was that election not in 2012?)

CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
The votes are in. PolitiFact's Lie of the Year goes to...Obama's 'if you like it, you can keep it' promise.
George MIddleton
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December 13, 2013
Well now, Kevin! You are just the living personification of the phrase, “There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” aren’t you?

You tout the cheap rates people are getting on their insurance because of the subsidies. Then you try to create the impression that this is somehow better than the current system. Sure, the taxpayers pick up the tab when people use the ER’s for their routine medical needs, but at least we are paying of a service which has been actually rendered. With the subsidies, we pay whether there is service rendered or not. Further, we pay for a lot of services they are forced to buy which anybody in their right minds knows they would NEVER use.

Of course you fail to say why the Obamacare premium is so damned high that a family making 50 grand a year needs $5,000.00 of my money to pay the premiums.

Saying that an insurance policy is “junk policy” just because it does not meet the “one size fits all” standard establish by the government is just plain ignorant. Let’s not forget the mentality which came up with the standards. You know, the one who said “Men often need maternity care…….” Single men have to buy maternity coverage? Gay men have to buy maternity coverage? Priests and nuns have to buy maternity coverage?

Premiums are high because people are being forced to buy coverage they neither want or need. The plan is forcing citizens to buy a product, under threat of a fine if they do not, and, as such is unconstitutional. High pressuring the Supreme Court to call the fine a tax is criminal.

Please direct me to your source of empirical evidence of the “millions of uninsured Americans flocking to the federal and state exchanges to sign up for health care plans.”

Oh, by the way, you really don’t want to get into a discussion about conspiracy theorists. You liberals hold the all round championship on that practice. In fact it can be summed up in the one accusation you always fall back on when you are losing an argument. “RACIST”

CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
"Most of the glitches are now fixed..."

Not even close, but you're speaking of the website. What about the "glitches" of the economics of O'care?

"...the millions of uninsured Americans FLOCKING [emphasis added] to the federal and state exchanges to SIGN UP [emphasis added] for health care plans."

What does "flock" mean? Looked at the site? Tried to register? Tried to compare plans? Tried to obtain coverage? Tried to pay the premium?

How many have successfully enrolled, meaning, they have their insurance card?

How many do they need to enroll for the economics to work?

For those who enrolled, how many enrolled in medicare vs. private coverage?

The devil's in the details.

It's not going well, and you know it.
anonymous
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December 13, 2013
Why don't you tell people that on top of the family can get covered for $3365, they will have to pay over $12,000 in deductibles before it really starts kicking in and only covers 60% of the costs other than essential services. So one trip to the hospital for a surgery could still wipe out the families savings. So if things are not good, they will pay at least $15,000/year. Start advertising that angle Mr Foley and see how popular things are.
CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
As you stated previously, your employees will go onto the exchange for their healthcare and you will provide subsidies. That's good; or, it sounds good.

How many have now enrolled, meaning, they have an insurance card and paid their premium? How do their deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance under O'care compare to the insurance you provided?

The devil's in the details.
CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
"...my company’s insurance provider jacked up our rates 42 percent in just three years."

WHY...did the rates increase?

You often pat yourself on the back about how you present the "facts", and I'm sure this nugget is true. What is missing are the details. We need the details to determine if you're presenting a valid observation or are misleading to make your point.

What do you mean by "rates?" The premium for an employee only, employee plus spouse, employee plus family (or whatever tiers you offer); or, are you speaking of the total premium paid by your company?

Has your headcount and distribution among tiers remained exactly the same for the past three years?

Were the plan provisions exactly the same for the past three years? Could it be because certain O'care mandates went into effect in 2010?

The devil's in the detail, KF.
CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
So yesterday the White House tweeted "#GET COVERED because it'll give your mom piece of mind."

???

I guess we've had it all wrong:

All we are saaayyyinggg, is give piece a chance...,

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing piece with honour,

The Nobel Piece Prize,

The Piece Corps,

May he rest in piece.

interested party
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December 13, 2013
I have long thought about the uninsured using the hospital emergency room for their healthcare, and who has to pay for it.

Right on Kevin!
Guido Sarducci
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December 13, 2013
Think about this. Who do you think is goig to pay the subsidies on Obamacar? We have to come up with $5,000 in subsidies so a familhy earning $50,000 per annum can afford an insurance policy with a $ 12,000 deductible and 60% coverage thereafter.
CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
A few RCP Averages as reported today on Real Clear Politics...

Obama's Job Approval 10.4 disapprove,

Obama's Job Approval (Economy) 18.5 disapprove,

Direction of Country 34.3 wrong track,

Approval of healthcare law 15.6 oppose.

Is it me or does there seem to be a disparity between these numbers and KF's rosy picture?
CobbCoGuy
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December 13, 2013
Clarification for the low info readers, the numbers are the spreads.
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