NY Times peddles Obamacare fiction

By 17 Comments 1,227 views

Obama-NYT-Media-Bias-Corruption

The NY Times today runs an article that tries vainly to rescue Obama and Obamacare:

After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows. But it has also fallen short in some ways and given rise to a powerful conservative backlash.

Here at the arguments:

1. Has the percentage of uninsured people been reduced? Yes, the number of uninsured has fallen significantly.

2. Has insurance under the law been affordable? For many, yes, but not for all.

3. Did the Affordable Care Act improve health outcomes? Data remains sparse except for one group, the young.

4. Will the online exchanges work better this year than last? Most experts expect they will, but they will be tested by new challenges.

5. Has the health care industry been helped or hurt by the law? The law mostly helped, by providing new paying patients and insurance customers.

6. How has the expansion of Medicaid fared? Twenty-three states have opposed expansion, though several of them are reconsidering.

7. Has the law contributed to a slowdown in health care spending? Perhaps, but mainly around the edges.

Let’s analyze some of this. The number of uninsured has fallen, but it is still higher than when Obama took office.

The CBO predicts that the number of uninsured will never fall below 30 million. The number of Obamacare enrollments is cooked:

Of the Obamacare sign-ups, only 27 percent had been previously uninsured in 2013. And of the 27 percent, nearly half had yet to pay a premium. (By contrast, among the 73 percent who had been previously insured, 86 percent had paid.) Put all those percentages together, and you get two key stats. Only 19 percent of those who have paid a premium were previously uninsured. Among those that the administration is touting as sign-ups, only 14 percent are previously uninsured enrollees: approximately 472,000 people as of February 1.

In other words, the claims for Obamacare enrollees includes those who lost their plans due to Obamacare.

Keep in mind another fact: According to the Associated Press, at least 4.7 million Americans who shop for coverage on their own have had their plans canceled because they don’t conform to Obamacare’s regulations. So Obamacare has disrupted the coverage of millions of Americans, requiring many to purchase costlier policies with higher deductibles and narrower doctor networks, for a fairly modest expansion of coverage. According to the administration, total sign-ups now exceed 4 million. But on a recent HHS conference call, Obamacare implementation point man Gary Cohen was asked the key question: how many of the people who have signed up for Obamacare were previously insured? His response: “That’s not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way.” So. The whole point of Obamacare was to expand coverage to the uninsured. But for the tens of thousands of regulations that the law has imposed on the country, its authors never bothered to try to measure the one thing that they were actually trying to achieve. That about sums it all up.

Has Obamacare made health care affordable? Not really. Premiums might appear to be lower but 1. they’re going up:

However, a new study from the well-respected and non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research (and published by Brookings Institution), overcomes the limitations of these prior studies by examining what happened to premiums in the entire non-group market. The bottom line? In 2014, premiums in the non-group market grew by 24.4% compared to what they would have been without Obamacare. Of equal importance, this careful state-by-state assessment showed that premiums rose in all but 6 states (including Washington DC).

and 2. the deductibles are onerous. A great number of people are simply unable to afford health care.

Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs monitoring. But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this year’s brain scan and hoping for the best. “To spend thousands of dollars just making sure it hasn’t grown?” said Ms. Wanderlich, 61. “I don’t have that money.”

Has Obamacare reduced the overall cost of health care? No.  But let’s go back to the false premise of this article:

“After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows.”

A team of reporters no doubt from the news outlets that roll over for Obama. The above were NOT the main promises about Obamacare. To assert that they are is a bald face lie.

There were three principal guarantees for Obamacare:

1. “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

2. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period”

Not only can you not keep your plan and your doctor, people are growing increasingly angry when they discover their networks are narrowed. Many will not be able to get the best care for themselves and their loved ones.

3. You’ll save $2500 per year.

Those were the main promises of Obamacare. They were all lies. No amount of bullshit from the NY Times is going to change it. The NY Times has exhibited a persistent pattern of dishonesty recently and it appears nothing is going to change soon. At least, not until after the election. And we haven’t even seen the effects of the employer mandate yet but that one has been put on ice until after Obama is out of office.

Image courtesy of Frontiers of Freedom

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

17 Responses to “NY Times peddles Obamacare fiction”

  1. 1

    MOS+#8541

    In NYC the Times is called the Slime.
    The average office visit paid by the gov is $28.00. These patients get paid to show up for an office appt. The gov. even pays for their cabs to and from the office on your dime.
    Keep your doctor is a lie, your doctor can not afford to keep you.

  2. 2

    Greg

    What needs rescuing is the GOP’s claim that Obamacare was doomed to be a dismal failure. They’ve devoted over 5 years of time and energy to their propaganda campaign to convince America of the truth of that, only to find themselves with so little evidence for the assertion that they can’t even use it effectively as a midterm election issue.

    If they take control of the Senate they’ll quickly discover that their credibility problems are only just beginning. Their supporters will expect them to actually do something about all the problems they’ve been claiming they’ll fix, and they’ll be all out of excuses.

  3. 3

    Pete

    Ezekiel.Emmanuel has stated that 80% of people who get their insurance through their employers will lose their insurance once the employer mandate kicks in. The hell this is going to create is beyond evil. With narrowed networks and lower reimbursement rates to doctors than even medicare and medicaid pay resulting in over 2/3rds of doctors in California refusing to accept obamacare covered individuals, just imagine the shrieks coming from the left. They will be demanding first that doctors be forced to accept obamacare insurance, and when that fails, they will demand what the ultimate goal has always been, the complete government takeover of healthcare.

    This abomination needs to be completely scrapped. The level of contemptible government incompetency with the healthcare.gov website, and the CDC response to Ebola should be all anyone needs to see that giving the government more control over healthcare is suicidal stupidity. The dems have lied about everything related to obamacare. Remember the idiot Stupak? He alledgedly agreed to vote for obamacare only after he got assurances that obamacare would never cover abortion. California state health regulators have forced every policy in the state to cover surgical abortions with taxpayer funding. There is no exemption for religious organizations.

    Obamacare is inherently evil, and must be repealed.

  4. 4

    Nanny

    What did the NYTimes mean when it wrote:

    “After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows.”


    ???
    ACA (ObamaCare) has NEVER been anywhere near ”fully in place.”
    To the contrary, I’ve lost count of the many exemptions Obama unilaterally carved out from ObamaCare because they wouldn’t work, they would lead to bad press or optics, or they were politically inexpedient.
    Last time I had a count the number of these was 24.
    Some of these make it impossible for ObamaCare’s numbers to ever work out.

    Remember:
    Medicare Advantage patch: Obama ordered an advance draw on funds from a Medicare bonus program in order to provide extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans, in an effort to temporarily forestall cuts in benefits and therefore delay early exodus of MA plans from the program. (April 19, 2011)
    Employee reporting: Obama, contrary to the Obamacare legislation, instituted a one-year delay of the requirement that employers must report to their employees on their W-2 forms the full cost of their employer-provided health insurance. (January 1, 2012)
    Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: Obama’s IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law only specified that they would be available “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.” (May 23, 2012)
    Closing the high-risk pool: Obama decided to halt enrollment in transitional federal high-risk pools created by the law, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants, citing a lack of funds. The administration had money from a fund under Secretary Sebelius’s control to extend the pools, but instead used the money to pay for advertising for Obamacare. (February 15, 2013)
    Small businesses on hold: Obama said that the federal exchanges for small businesses will not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline, and instead delayed until 2015 the provision of SHOP (Small-Employer Health Option Program) that requires the exchanges to offer a choice of qualified health plans. (March 11, 2013)
    Employer-mandate delay: By an administrative action that’s contrary to statutory language in the ACA, the reporting requirements for employers were delayed by one year. (July 2, 2013)
    Self-attestation: Because of the difficulty of verifying income after the employer-reporting requirement was delayed, the administration decided it would allow “self-attestation” of income by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. (July 15, 2013)
    Delaying the individual mandate: Obama changed the deadline for the individual mandate, by declaring that customers who have purchased insurance by March 31, 2014 will avoid the tax penalty. Previously, they would have had to purchase a plan by mid-February. (October 23, 2013)
    Insurance companies may offer canceled plans: Obama announced that insurance companies may reoffer plans that previous regulations forced them to cancel. (November 14, 2013)
    Exempting unions from reinsurance fee: Obama gave unions an exemption from the reinsurance fee (one of ObamaCare’s many new taxes). To make up for this exemption, non-exempt plans will have to pay a higher fee, which will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and deductibles. (December 2, 2013)
    Equal employer coverage delayed: Tax officials will not be enforcing in 2014 the mandate requiring employers to offer equal coverage to all their employees. This provision of the law was supposed to go into effect in 2010, but IRS officials have “yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.” (January 18, 2013)
    Delaying the sign-up deadline: Obama delayed until mid-April the March 31 deadline to sign up for insurance. Applicants simply need to check a box on their application to qualify for this extended sign-up period. (March 26, 2014)
    Canceling Medicare Advantage cuts: Obama canceled scheduled cuts to Medicare Advantage. The ACA calls for $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage over 10 years. (April 7, 2014)

  5. 5

    Bill

    @Greg: Keep repeating the mantra, Greg:

    “Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies. Only Fox lies.”

    The evidence is pretty clear and has been stated repeatedly. Most of those who signed up were those who Obama kicked off the insurance they already had. Further, don’t forget most of the mandates have been delayed until after this election, so that is not even the full impact. The Democrats lied extensively to get the worst piece of legislation ever conceived passed into law, then it proved so bad that Obama has been unilaterally changing it ever since.

  6. 6

    Nathan+Blue

    @Greg: Such was the case with the Democrat Party in 2007, if you’ve forgotten.

    Again, a giant piece of legislature was slammed through without the consensus of the American people. Every time that happens, a battle ensures for years. You should have expected it.

  7. 7

    Nanny

    The Times says the uninsured rate has gone down, attributing that to ObamaCare.
    BUT most people who got coverage didn’t get it from a private insurance company.
    They went on Medicaid.
    That isn’t what Obama or anyone else pushing ObamaCare had promised.
    So, OOPS!

    The Times also claims that ObamaCare made medical insurance more affordable.
    BUT only people subsidized by tax dollars can say that.
    ALL those people who lost their plans saw big price rises and lower quality of care under ObamaCare.
    So, OOPS again.

    I noticed the Times also left out the fact that ObamaCare is NOT ”fully implemented,” although they claim it is.
    Obama made 24 unilateral changes to ObamaCare.
    Some of those changes were costly to ObamaCare’s ability to ay for itself.
    Some of those changes were to help get Dems elected.
    Some of those changes were to protect Obama’s friends.
    Some of those changes were to hide increased taxes and other costs until after elections or his own time in office.
    HUGE OOPS!

    Lastly I noticed the Times considers the ObamaCare exchange (and website) to be ”working.”
    But that is not true, either.
    At a $2 billion price tag around the country for a website that sells one thing, the web sites are utter failures.
    The exchanges were one of those things Obama tried to work around and get subsidies to non-exchange users.
    Courts have over-ruled him.
    So many OOPSIES, so little time.

  8. 8

    This one

    Face it teabaggers, Obamacare is here and it works. The GOP is apoplectic that this will be Obama’s crown jewel accomplishment and his legacy.

  9. 9

    Pete

    @This one:

    Right…70% of California physicians refuse to accept obamacare, and a report came out today showing 25% of physicians nationally plan on refusing to accept obamacare insurance. 6 million people are expected to get insurance cancellation notices conveniently after the election – and before the employer mandate kicks in after Obama leaves office.

    It is working SOOOO well….

  10. 11

    Greg

    Right…70% of California physicians refuse to accept obamacare, and a report came out today showing 25% of physicians nationally plan on refusing to accept obamacare insurance.

    People keep making claims that this or that percentage of doctors are refusing to accept Obamacare.

    Such statements might sound as if they mean something, but in fact they make no sense at all. “Obamacare” isn’t any particular insurance company, or any particular insurance plan. Nobody is going into a doctor’s office and stating that they have “Obamacare” or displaying an “Obamacare” card. “Obamacare” isn’t even an accurate descriptive category for plans having some particular range of coverage options. The “Obamacare” marketplace includes many different plans offering a wide range of options for a wide range of prices, from basic coverage at lower prices to very generous ranges of coverage at much higher prices. No one is refusing accept them as a category.

    If you have a doctor who’s making such a blanket statement, maybe you need to find a doctor who’s either more honest or better informed.

  11. 12

    Pete

    @Greg:

    LOL. If you think doctors aren’t informed as to which insurance plans are obamacare plans, you are the one who is misinformed. Doctors who run the business of their clinics know exactly which plans are obamacare plans, and which are medicare and medicaid plans, even though they are being run by a branch of a private insurance company. It is the compensation amount, the paperwork requirements for a plan, and how long it takes the insurance plan to actually pay the bill that makes the physician aware of whether or not it is an obamacare plan. When a plan pays less than it costs the doctor to treat the patient, the doctor is not going to accept that insurance plan, if said physician wants to be able to keep his clinic open.

  12. 13

    Greg

    If it were really as bad as republicans claim it is, they wouldn’t need to waste their breath trying to convince people of the fact. People would quickly figure it out for themselves when doctors turn them away.

    Of course this sort of b.s. isn’t actually about reality. It’s about winning elections and attempting to derail the Affordable Care Act before the truth becomes apparent to a majority of American voters. There’s going to be a “Wait a minute—there’s really nothing so bad about this” moment. At which point people will start thinking what it would be like to revert to the former state of affairs: Lifetime maximums, coverage suddenly dropped on technicalities, denial of coverage for preexisting conditions, etc.

  13. 17

    Pete

    @Greg:

    Your delusional opinion of obamacare only puts your desperation on display.

    If obamacare was going to be so wonderful, why did Obama delay the employer mandate until.after he leaves office? Why are 2015 premiums going up nationally by 14%, and why are the premium rate hikes being delayed until.after the election, when they usually come out in October?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *