Of all the people out there to debunk some of the propaganda myths out there on Obamacare, I didn’t expect Jane Hamsher from Firedoglake to be one of them. And I especially didn’t expect her list to be found on the Huffington Post, of all places.
Maybe miracles are real.
Of course, Hamsher opposed Obamacare because it isn’t liberal enough, but that doesn’t lessen her criticism of the propaganda and claims that surrounded Obamacare.
The first five:
Myth 1: This is a universal health care bill.
Fact: The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office:
- Total uninsured in 2019 with no bill: 54 million
- Total uninsured in 2019 with Senate bill: 24 million
Myth 2: Insurance companies hate this bill.
Fact: This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.
The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint vice president. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.
Myth 3: The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.
Fact: The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that President Obama promised during his campaign.
Annual premiums in 2016: status quo / with bill:
Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800
Small group market, family: $19,3oo / $19,200
Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300
Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300
Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800
Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200
(The cost of premiums in the individual market goes up somewhat due to subsidies and mandates of better coverage. The CBO assumes that cost of individual policies goes down 7-10%, and that people will buy more generous policies.)
Myth 4: The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
Fact: The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.
A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.
Myth 5: This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.
Fact: Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it. A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:
- 21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children
- 18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it