Why Are So Many Americans Confused About Obamacare? How a Video Produced by CBS’ Washington Bureau Misled Millions –Part 1 Updated
run75441: I have been out and about to Thailand and China again so I have had not had a lot of time to contribute. Just reading the many comments on Robert Waldman and Beverly Mann’s well written articles gives a snapshot of how many people do not understand the PPACA and really do not care if they do understand it or have the complete story. It is akin to a mob mentality amongst the opposition to it with the media and well funded opponents egging them on with more and more supposition, conjecture and innuendo. I have often quoted Maggie on Angry Bear Blog and covered her posts to give them greater exposure as I have yet to see her proven wrong. Lately she has taken up debunking many of the myths, falsehoods, and misconception being put forth by the media, the Republicans, the Tea-baggers, and the manure spreaders such as the Koch Brothers who are attempting to buy an election in Michigan with their funding.
Maggie: For nearly four years, poll after poll has shown that the majority of Americans remain flummoxed by Obamacare. Many are confused; some are afraid. They don’t know what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) says, and they don’t know how it will affect their lives. From the beginning, many in the media have blamed the White House.
Early in 2011, when a CBS poll showed that only 56% of Americans said the bill’s impact had not been explained well—or even “somewhat well”– CBS senior producer Ward Sloane summed up the prevailing view: “To me, that is a Monumental Failure by the Obama Administration. . . . [my emphasis] And it opens up a big hole for the Republicans which they have driven through with, you know, several tanks.”
Because Democrats had botched explaining the legislation, Sloane argued, Republicans “can say whatever they want about the healthcare bill … whether it’s true or not, and . . . it will resonate . . . People are afraid. People are afraid of things that they don’t understand and they don’t know. . . The Republicans are playing to this fear and they’re doing a masterful job.”
Sloane slid over the role that reporters might play in helping the public understand an enormous—and enormously important– piece of legislation. If Republicans were spreading disinformation, shouldn’t news organizations like CBS try to separate fact from fiction?
Network and cable news shows are in our living rooms every evening. President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are not. In speeches and in press conferences Obama and Sebelius can address a handful of questions, but they cannot explain the hundreds of interlocking details that will benefit millions of Americans. The public needs an independent, informed press that will dig into the major provisions of Obamacare and explain them, not once, but again and again.
There was just one problem: As Sloane suggested, the Republicans were doing “a masterful job” of misleading the public. What he didn’t take into account is that journalists are part of “the public.”
The Networks Spread Fear and Confusion
Fast forward two years to the fall of 2013. Little has changed; most Americans still don’t understand the Affordable Care Act, and many are convinced that they have been betrayed by the president they elected. Millions are now receiving letters from their insurers, telling them that they cannot renew their policies. The media blames the White House. According to NBC, CNN, CBS and Fox News, not only did the administration fail to warn the public that under Obamacare, some insurance that didn’t meet the ACA’s standards would have to be replaced, it deliberately concealed this fact.http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/10/29/media-surprised-by-obamacares-effect-on-insuran/196652
NBC broke the story: “The administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans,” yet Fox hissed, “they didn’t say a word.
run75441: To those who insist the administration and the president lied about keeping your policy, here is the rest of the story:
Maggie: This is simply not true. Back in June of 2010, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a press conference to announce that, under Obamacare, millions would be moving to new plans. As I point out in this post, a HHS press release spelled out the numbers: “roughly 42 million people insured through small businesses . . . along with “17 million who are covered in the individual health insurance market.”
Even Fox covered the press conference, complete with a video of Sebelius’ speech. But somehow, by 2013, amnesia had set in.
But what about the president’s promise that “if you like your plan, you can keep it”? Wasn’t this proof that Obama had tried to hide the fact that millions of Americans would lose their insurance?
Obama first made that pledge in 2008, while debating John McCain. The context is crucial: Obama was addressing “the majority” of Americans (roughly 66% ) who worked for large companies that paid 75% to 80% of their premiums –not the minority who purchased their own insurance in the individual marketplace (5%), nor the 17% who were insured by small business owners.
run75441: Actual wording from the 2008 McCain/Obama debate for those too lazy to spend the time to read through the transcript:
“So here’s what my plan does. If you have health insurance, then you don’t have to do anything. If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.”
Maggie: As I have explained, at the time, Obama was trying to reassure Americans who worked for large corporations that they would be able to keep the generous benefits they enjoyed. Reform would not mean dismantling employer-based insurance, and moving everyone into a single-pay system. But over time, Obama made a critical error; he let his pledge become a one-liner, making it easy for his opponents to rip that line out of context.
Meanwhile, few in the media seemed to feel that it was their job to put the president’s words in context, or to help clarify why certain policies could not be renewed.
“Explaining”–that was the administration’s job. The media’s job was to stir emotions and assign blame. Or, at least, that’s what many journalists seemed to think.
Before long, the news about “policies cancelled” inspired portraits of “Obamacare’s victims,” people like Debra Fishericks, a Virginia Beach grandmother who was losing her insurance.
CBS Airs Debra Fishericks’ Story
After a CBS reporter interviewed Fishericks, the network’s Washington Bureau put together a video, headlined “Woman Battling Kidney Cancer Losing Company Health Plan Due To Obamacare.” The Bureau then sent it to CBS affiliates nationwide. WDBJ7, a CBS station in Roanoke, Virginia was among the first to run the video on November 24, 2013.
“We’ve heard about the computer glitches associated with the Affordable Care Act website.” observed WDBJ anchor Susan Bahorich. “Now, some are saying, you can add broken promises to the list of problems.
“CBS reporter Susan McGinnis visited a Virginia Beach woman who says her work insurance was fine –until ACA came along.”
McGinnis, a CBS Washington Bureau correspondent, narrates the tale:
“At her office in Virginia Beach, Debra Fishericks often sneaks a peek at her 3 year old grandson.”
“That’s my guy,” says Fishericks.
McGinnis sets up the story: “Debra is battling kidney cancer. During the 10 years she’s worked at Atkinson Realty, the company has provided group health insurance with manageable premiums.”
Betsy Atkinson, the owner of the real estate business, appears on the screen: “We had great insurance. We had continuing care for our employees.”
“’Great’” McGinnis adds, “until owner Betsy Atkinson learned the policy would be terminated because it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.”
“On June 30, 2014, I will probably not be offering company insurance to my employees. I just can’t afford it’.
“Debra has scoured the website looking for a new policy,” McGinnis reports, referring to Healthcare.gov. “So far,” she adds, “she cannot afford the premiums. They just keep going up higher and higher when there is a pre-existing condition,” Fishericks explains
McGinnis wraps up the piece: “Debra hopes that eventually she will find a plan that fits her budget so that she can still makes trips to Indiana –to visit her grandson.”
“If I can’t go to see him—that’s the worst,” says Fishericks.
She begins to cry.
Watching the video, I thought: “Oh no, not again.”
A month ago I wrote about Whitney Johnson, a 26-year old suffering from MS who claimed that under Obamacare, she would have to pay $1,000 a month—or more—for insurance. http://www.cwalac.org/cwblog/
When I read her story in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, I knew it couldn’t be true. Under the Affordable Care Act) insurers can no longer charge more because a customer suffers from a chronic disease. I had thought that this was one part of the ACA that everyone understood.
Apparently not. In Fishericks’ video, the CBS correspondent tells viewers that a cancer patient who “has scoured the website . . . cannot afford the premiums” because, as the patient explains, “they just keep going up higher and higher when there is a pre-existing condition.”
I was stunned. The reporter, Susan McGinnis, who later told me that she oversaw the piece, has been a Washington Correspondent at CBS News for three years–following an eight-year stint as an anchor on CBS Morning News. She is a seasoned journalist; yet she didn’t flag the fact that what Fishericks said couldn’t possibly be true.
Granted, McGinnis didn’t actually interview Fishericks; she just did the “stand up” narration in D.C. Another CBS reporter from the Washington Bureau went down to Virginia Beach. And apparently that reporter didn’t realize that under the ACA, insurers cannot jack up premiums because the customer has been diagnosed the cancer.
Finally, someone at CBS’ Washington Bureau must have edited the video.
I can understand why any one person might not have spotted the problem. We all make mistakes. But no one?
Let me be clear: Fishericks had shopped the Exchange and honestly believed what she was saying. The problem is that no one at CBS corrected her.
Perhaps this was because after four years, the debate over health care reform had dissolved into sound bites, creating what Nancy Pelosi rightly called a “fog of controversy,” obscuring the facts about health care reform. Reporters were printing and parroting the fictions and half-truths that conservatives fed to the media. And in an era of cut-and-paste journalism, the myths became memes, iterated over and over again. Little wonder that many people—including journalists—didn’t know what to believe. This, I think, is one reason why no one at CBS caught the glaring error in Fisherwicks’s story.
Thus the network left viewers with the false impression that under the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” a cancer patient may not be able to afford care.
CBS “Packages” the Piece, Millions See It
In late November, 50 CBS stations aired Fishericks story. (Hat tip to the Franklin Forum for this information) Within 48 hours, it began showing up in newspapers like Investors’ Business Daily and The Weekly Standard . Fishericks’ tale then was picked up by thousands of blogs. “Living Under Obamacare” (paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee) and “republicansenate.gov” both featured it.
Google “Debra Fishericks,” and you will get over 13,000 results. In other words, the story got around. Trouble is, it wasn’t true. As Fishericks herself would tell me: “they got the whole story wrong.”
CBS Responds: “Nowhere Did We Report that She Would Be Denied Insurance”
When I began fact-checking this story, I wanted to talk to the CBS reporter who went down to Virginia Beach and interviewed Fishericks. Only she would know what questions she asked, and exactly what her source said. I phoned McGinnis and asked for the name and phone number of the reporter who actually interviewed
McGinnis explained that while several reporters were involved in the project, she had been in charge. She wanted to take a look at the transcript, “talk to my bosses,” and look into the problem herself.
I asked if I could see the transcript of the full interview.
No, that wouldn’t be possible.
McGinnis and I then exchanged e-mails, and I spelled out what I found misleading:
McGinnis’ reply was cordial:
“I understand your point regarding the ACA and pre-existing conditions.”
“Our piece was aimed at illustrating a small business’ experience with the law . . . We were trying to illustrate what Debra was going through, what she understood, and how she felt. She was having trouble with the website, was getting no help, and her impression was that having a pre-existing condition could make insurance more costly for her.
“Nowhere did we report that she would be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, she was only worried about it. [my emphasis]
McGinnis was right– CBS didn’t say that Fishericks was denied coverage. But that was not my complaint.
Fishericks had suggested that, in the Exchange, she would have to pay far more than she could afford because she was a cancer patient.
McGinnis still didn’t seem to understand that by leaving Fisherwick’s comment in the piece CBS was misleading its audience. Viewers would believe that, under Obamacare, if you’re sick, insurers can gouge you.
In her e-mail McGinnis also insisted that reporters still have time to fact-check. Yet no one checked this piece. If they had, someone would have discovered another error: Fishericks was not “battling”cancer.
But I wouldn’t find that out until I talked to Fishericks for a third time at the end of the week.
Under Obamacare, Will Cancer Patients Receive the Care They Need?
On January 8, I received a final email from McGinnis, conceding that: “the Affordable Care Act does indeed specify, in Section 1201, that . . . a health plan cannot deny enrollment, or the plan’s benefits, to someone based on that person’s preexisting condition.
run75441: Another misconception as read in the Angry Bear Blog comments section.
Maggie: “However,” McGinnis argued, “that certainly does not mean a plan has to include coverage for ongoing treatment that a patient started before obtaining coverage in an exchange plan on January 1, 2014.”
“Key to understanding this distinction” she added, “is that having ‘health coverage’ is not the same as actually obtaining ‘health care.’ The insurance plan has to take anyone who wants to enroll, regardless of their health status or health history – but they don’t have to provide the same treatments, the same doctors, or the same medications that a patient has been receiving.”
McGinnis seemed to have swallowed a rumor spread by so many “concerned trolls,” Just because a carrier sells insurance to someone who is sick, that doesn’t mean that the insurer must continue the treatment the patient needs.
I understand that few reporters had time to actually read the 2000-page law. But ideally, reporters would have dug into the in-depth briefs published by groups such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Concise and well-researched, these briefs corrected most of the misinformation about Obamacare floating around in what had become an increasingly toxic atmosphere.
But rather than concentrating on the policy, reporters tended to focus on the politics of health care reform.
I responded to McGinnis with the facts:
The ACA stipulates that insures must cover all “essential benefits.” As the American Cancer Society (ACS) explains, this includes “cancer treatment and follow-up.” The ACS also points out that the law bans “dollar limits on how much the insurer will pay out for care,” and “gives patients “new rights to appeal claims that are denied by the insurer.”
That last point is important.
While the law does not guarantee that a patient can continue to see the same provider, if a patient or her doctor believe that only a particular hospital or specialist can provide the needed care, Obamacare strengthens the patient’s right to appeal. Under the ACA, if the case is urgent, the insurer must respond to the appeal within 72 hours. If the carrier says “No,” the patient then has a right to an “external review” by an independent reviewer, and once again, the law calls for a speedy decision. Similar regulations apply if an insurer doesn’t cover a needed medication.. How likely is it that a patient will win an appeal? A 2011 GAO study shows that even before Obamacare “between 39 and 59 percent of denials were reversed on internal appeal and an additional 23 to 54 percent were reversed or revised on external appeal.” Today, a patient’s odds are significantly better. ht
McGinnis probably wasn’t aware of the new rules and, even if she has heard about them, she may have had doubts as to whether they would be effective. Fear-mongers on both the left and the right had planted seeds of suspicion, and by the fall of 2013, mainstream journalists were increasingly skeptical as to whether Obamacare would force insurers to do the right thing.
Fishericks: “They Got the Whole Story Wrong”
After swapping e-mails with McGinnnis, I wanted to talk to Fishericks. I called her at the Atkinson Real Estate Agency where she works as a receptionist. No surprise, she wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about talking to me. She was at work, she explained, covering seven phone lines. But in a brief conversation she did convey a critical piece of information: the story that CBS aired was wrong—form beginning to end.
“I wrote them a letter” Fishericks told me. “And do you know what I got in return? Two words: ‘Thank you.’”
Clearly she was angry.
But I could tell she didn’t want to continue the conversation. And I didn’t want to press my luck. I thanked her, and hung up.
I planned to call her again—when I had more information.
In part 2 of this post, I will discuss how and why the media wasn’t able to do a better job of lifting “the fog” of disinformation.
For one, our sound-bite culture makes it difficult to explain something as complicated as the ACA to the public. As one observer notes: “Americans aren’t into nuance.”,
In the second part of this post, I’ll also report what CBS’ producers (including Ward Sloane, who now is Deputy Director of CBS’s Washington Bureau) had to say about Fishericks’ story, why the Bureau ultimately removed the video from its server, and most importantly, what Debra Fishericks revealed in our final interview.
Maggie Mahar, The Health Beat Blog; “Why Are So Many Americans Confused About Obamacare? How a Video Produced by CBS’ Washington Bureau Misled Millions –Part 1 “
“If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” Barack Obama, Jun 28, 2012. Rabid, hyper-partisans can call that a “critical error” but most Americans, especially those that understand English, now consider it a lie. As Jack commented on an earlier post, isn’t this against the law? If a corporation made such an outright misrepresentation of their product wouldn’t there be some type of civil or criminal punishment?
Why does Maggie link to MediaMatters instead of the actual HHS press release? She would have more credibility if she linked to the actual document instead of a partisan explanation of the document. It’s like Rush Limbaugh linking to the Heritage Foundation web-site to explain a recent IRS regulation.
run-I have a question for your particular situation. I don’t know what state you live in but prior to the ACA did that state have a state run health insurance pool for the uninsurable?
You are shortening the statement made by Barrack Obama from: “If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.” to this: “If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” It was said in the context of employer insurance. What was impacted was individual insurance and when the companies changed the policies.
english, like all languages, is inherently ambiguous. i don’t like obamacare, but i can’t see that obama was “lying” in a statement that is as arguably true as any single statement ever is.
on the other hand, the representation by the media that they only were telling the story about what someone feared, as opposed to what the actual facts were about what she feared, sounds to me like the sort of damned lie that professional liars rely upon so they can claim to have been telling the “exact” truth when they are caught misleading people to their harm.
sadly, you sound like the sort of person who is so invested in some political ideology that you swallow whole any lie you want to believe, and are ready to prosecute to the limit of the law any mis-statement or approximately true in the letter, and wholly true as to “substance,” that you can pare down to “look like a lie.”
i don’t expect you or anyone else to change this fact about yourself.
May I point out that Pelosi is one of the “FOG” producers.—-PUBLIC OPTION!!!
So Pelosi is a politician? So what. How many times do the Repubs, the tea-baggers, and the media have to lie before you get just as angry? Obama can be controlled as evidenced by SS. These guys are in it for themselves.
Coberly/little john: Obama GENERATED ACA. He had to have known that one couldn’t keep the same policy. I CONTEND that ACA was MEANT to make null&void ALL policies in existent before Jan. 1, 2014. Thus a give-away to the insurance corporations mainly the Govt.-owned AIG.
A LIE IS A LIE.
A lie to enrich insurance corporations is a corporate lie.
Thinking Obama didn’t know, is self delusion OR lying to one’s self.
Transcript: “If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.” Look it up and quit drinking the Kool-Aid the Repubs and Obama – haters keep doling out. It was said in the context of employer insurance.
like i said, commitment to an ideology makes us strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. i do not know how much obama knew about the games the providers would come up with to make (extra) money off obamacare, but the “lie” cited by little john does not by itself convince me that deception was intended. a much more comprehensive case would have to be made.
on the other hand a whole tv show showing the anguish of someone who “thought” she would be denied coverage, without bothering to tell that in fact she would not be denied coverage, has all the earmarks of classic Big LIe propaganda. but it is also consistent with tabloid journalism which doesnt’ give a damn about truth, it’s “anguish” that sells papers.
now… i really know nothing about obamacare. i do know something about social security, but i have had to witness one mike meyer say things about SS that I KNOW are not true. so how do you think I am going to react to his very similar language about obamacare?
run-please see whitehouse.gov and search June 28,2012. The quote is accurate and in context. There was no qualifier about having your coverage thru your employer.
Dale- I’d like to think I’m a pragmatist and not beholden to any particular ideology or party line. Please go read the President’s remarks I referenced and then let me know what you think about the English language and what is true and what is a lie.
The thing that drives me crazy is the ideologues that defend the ACA even in the light of the major flaws. It reminds me of the Gang of Four who had a favorite saying, “Better red than expert.” In a context you may enjoy it’s similar to showing someone the NW Plan and having them respond that it is all a lie. Then they roll out some Peterson argument. I think you can relate to that scenario.
Mike-I don’t think AIG is in the health insurance market.
Even if you do not what to acknowledge Sebulius HHS statement, look at the transcript from the McCain and Obama debates from which that statement is pulled. The website is within the post, read it. The statement Obama makes refers to employer insurance and keeping your insurance.
Who said it was perfect? And yes AIG was in the insurance market. It was sold after AIG was bailed out. The money was used to (I believe) to pay back the gov as this portion of AIG it was still profitable.
little john: THANK YOU SIR!!!
Read the transcript from the McCain-Obama debates. Its there.
Run75441: But I TRUSTED Pelosi!
Then you are naïve to trust any politician especially a rich in income one. This is not the time of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” neither is it time of Gideon who could pencil a letter to SCOTUS provoking a hearing before the highest court of the nation on the right to have legal representation. Things have changed and trust is sparingly. I would place your energy in moving the PPACA to single payer in the future leaving insurance companies in the dust.
Mandate of PPACA: The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for…
In plain English Congress claims the power to regulate each person’s decisions.
Owners (private and public) telling people they have to sit in the back of the bus is not commercial or economic regulation and is ok? Owners telling gay people they can not be served in a restaurant because they are gay is not commercial or economic regulation and is ok? Owners of insurance companies telling people they can not have insurance because of a pre-existing condition leaving them little and/or lesser alternative than the majority is not commercial or economic regulation and is ok? What is the difference between private and public drawing a line of what it will accept and what it will not accept? There is a line of demarcation where the majority imposing its will upon the minority excluding them from the social and economic well being of the country is not acceptable. The government is bound by its election to represent the people as a whole even if the majority decides differently.
i don’t think i am an ideologue of any stripe, and as i said i don’t like obamacare, and i don’t like obama. whatever the context… yours or “run’s” the statement does not seem to me to be what i could call a “lie.” it may be that the whole argument for obamacare is a lie… i don’t know. but the point i am, was, trying to make is that in general you need to be careful about calling something a iie that may only be a limitation of language… or language competence.
i probably say this because i know that i frequently say things that are “not true” because i am not smart enough to summarize something complex in the few words that people will listen to. it takes a whole conversation before i get the feeling that someone is lying… as i get the feeling that the lady from CBS is.
and yes I can relate to the peterson v nw scenario you refer to.
ideally, you (a person) says, “x,Y, and Z”. and someone else says… oh, but “not X”. then you get to say, “not X, but x” and so on until you either begin to understand each other, or begin to understand that the other guy really is lying or just doesn’t know what he is talking about. but you need to at least try to develop the “that’s not what i meant… i meant this other…” on both sides.
welcome to the real world. at least we don’t have the draft any more.
if obamacare or medicare for all or straight socialism or, frankly, the thing we call private enterprise, can do the job without ugly side effects, i am willing to put up with the limits on my pfree choice. i still stop at red lights and drive at the speed limit, even though that interferes with my god given rights to do whatever i damn please and the hell with everyone else.
I’ve spent perhaps 600 hours of my life with Obamacare, worked with people much more expert that me, dealt with providers in perhaps 40 states, published dozens of newsletter columns and journal articles, and I can’t tell you exactly what the outcomes of Obamacare will be.
I can tell you it is massively disruptive, and either
1) the Obama administration does not understand the degree of disruption they have set loose, or’
2) the administration simply will not tell the truth.
How disruptive do you believe the insurance company you work for as well as the many others who denied people healthcare insurance or demanded an exorbitant insurance rate? 20 years have passed since Hillarycare and what have insurance companies done to resolve the issues cited or to reconcile the lack of insurance for the uninsured Rusty? Zip, nada, nothing, etc. Your complaint is a joke. $billions of dollars have gone into hidden costs to cover the uninsured, $billions of dollars have gone into bankruptcy court, etc. How many have died because of a lack of care due to no insurance? How many have been denied care other than stabilization at a hospital and shipped off. And you talk of Newsletter columns, journal articles, meetings over coffee which in the end provide nothing. The healthcare insurance and healthcare industry as a part of the private sector had more than 20 years to resolve the issue and in the end did nothing other than to provide some small subsidies to buy drugs. it really is time to ease the healthcare insurance industry out of the healthcare industry and move hospitals/clincs to common carrier status to let the FTC deal with their consolidation and potential monopolization.
run-Are you talking about the ROMNEY and Obama debate? And, will you acknowledge the Obama quote I cited on whitehouse.gov is accurate?
Nope, McCain -Obama 2008
i don’t know anybody who thinks the obama administration is competent. and i don’t know anybody who thinks anybody in politics is honest.
the people… in the administration… should have expected disruption. when you turn the ship of state on a dime you’ve got to expect things to fall off the shelves. it seems that they failed to plan for or deal with that disruption, and like everybody in a similar situation now seek to limit the political damage while picking up the stuff that fell on the floor and keeping the ship on course.
i am not entirely happy about the course, or entirely forgiving about the clumsy steering, but you… even you… and mostly “the right” are not entirely honest in the kind and degree of criticism you offer. your preferred course was/is always “status quo” because that’s where you make your money. and you don’t really give a damn about the disruption much less anybody who gets hurt (still not proven), except as it can be used or distorted to aid your political cause.
February 26, 2014 10:17 am
STR: How disruptive do you believe the insurance company you work for as well as the many others who denied people healthcare insurance or demanded an exorbitant insurance rate? 20 years have passed since Hillarycare and what have insurance companies done to resolve the issues cited or to reconcile the lack of insurance for the uninsured Rusty? Zip, nada, nothing, etc. Your complaint is a joke.”
But, but, but Run I have been doing this for over three decades. Just because the system is worse now then when I started does not mean I should not be able to attack any attempt at progress.
The degree of “care” you get is going to be bad, ACA, or no ACA. Repeal it, health care costs will sky higher than ever. It doesn’t matter. The system is dead and has been dying for 30 years.
The ACA is irrelevant.
That is another fight
What is your argument against forced labor?
Tucked neatly within your 6 or 7 wrongs make a right argument, was this little gem: “What is the difference between private and public drawing a line of what it will accept and what it will not accept”?
It is the age old question of who decides, the individual or the state?
Those who worship the state cannot see the monstrosity which is Congress’s claim of authority to regulate each person’s decisions.
Mandate of PPACA: The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for…
So you believe in Jim Crow laws, discrimination against gays, paying women less than men? So you believe in the tyranny of the majority to enforce its will upon minorities? Are you really that silly?
i guess i don’t understand your question.
but i’ll take a guess that you are complaining about “the government” forcing you to work to pay for something they “mandate.” I don’t like being forced to do stuff any more than you do. but the “age old” question is not between the government and the individual. there never has been an “individual” in the Randian sense, except in the romances and fantasies and wishes of two-year olds and fourteen year olds who want the car keys.
your only choice is what kind of governement will you have (if you can get it) and what will they “force” you to do. so far, i prefer my chances with the democracy we have and not the criminal thugs you call pffree enterprise.
you have lost more money to the criminal bankers and gangster health care than you have paid in taxes in your whole life, and the harm done by “business” has been at least equal to that done by “government” though sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.
but if you ever find that place where “the individual” can live free of “force,” let me know.
Coberly: Its called Wyoming. One can live free here because one is mostly alone here. Then again my cousin up in Northern Montana sez the same thing about where he lives.
ALONE—that’s about as “individual” as it gets.
it’s “alone” there because the federal government killed all the indians for you.
somehow i doubt you are growing your own groceries, or invented your own internet.
Run75441: Sadly I missed the McCain-Obama debates, BUT I did see The President on several occasions making the statement without the employment qualifier. So I’m FORCED to agree that on some occasions Obama tells the TRUTH. On other occasions, not so much, unless of course, AFTER the Small Business extension is over things change. Its a process, I know.
Coberly: Yes, I grow or hunt for my food. Not all of it of course, I love Mickey D’s.
Just because its unpopulated out here doesn’t mean there’s no cellphones or internet. Free is a state of mind, I FEEL FREE.
There’s Native Americans everywhere around here, many I associate with.
I AGREE Their land was STOLEN from them, but so was the land YOU live on. Since YOU’ ve mentioned it, do ya plan on giving it back, I mean give it ALL back.
I am stunned by the lack of evidence on this thread.
Mike Meyer writes: “I CONTEND that ACA was MEANT to make null&void ALL policies in existent before Jan. 1, 2014.”-
Mike–Do you have any idea of what % of policies that existed before Jan 2014 are still valid?? ) Please give us numbers.
Coberly writes: “I do not know how much obama knew about the games the providers would come up with to make (extra) money off obamacare, –
Coberly–How, exactly, do you think that providers are making more money ujnder Obamacare?
Are you at all aware that since the ACA passed, hospitals have been making less money and that most economists think that is because of Obmacare? (hopsitals have been reducing unnecessary re-admissions and paying more attention to preventable erros.)
Maggie Mahar: YOU have me there! Still its just a contention a personal belief, if YOU will. MY quarrel with ACA. I see ACA as a wholesale gift to big insurance. Unlike Coberly I believe those actually giving healthcare will be on the losing side also. Just to make sure I am diving deep enough, I see ACA as nothing more than another leg up for those that pander financial products.
Your nescient personal belief in concert with others expressing their nescient personal beliefs has an impact on the overall well being of the country when taken in concert. The basis for much of the discussion in the past is outrageous and based upon beliefs having little if any factual basis. It is stunning to me when there is factual evidence presented refuting those personal beliefs and people still wish to continue down the same Soylent Green road. This has some serious consequents when people prefer to go backwards to a time when roughly 40 percent of the country lacked economic or legislative access to healthcare.
As I explained somewhere below, insurance companies can no longer take a percentage larger than 20% for individual insurance and 15% for group insurance as mandated by the MLR in the PPACA. Within the PPACA are percentages based upon the lowest cost of the insured. 150% of the lowest cost for as a premium for smokers and 300% of the lowest cost as a premium for the elderly. Insurance companies have been complaining about percentages being too low for the elderly and should be 500 – 600% for the elderly. To my point, in manufacturing (which I am a part of); Overhead (much of it solely administrative) is 30 – 40%. The 15% – 20% for Healthcare Insurance companies is not a gift and is adequate for them to maintain. You have more to fear with hospitals and doctors clinics consolidating to greater size and commanding market pricing defeating the group negotiation which is a prime purpose on insurance companies. In some cases today, branded hospitals (such as U of M Healthcare already can dictate to insurance companies pricing as they are a must-have within insurance company polices as coverage. The consolidation is happening more frequently today than ever before which will thwart the efforts of group coverage.
Banks, Wall Street and Insurance Companies have some pretty big divides with the last be far weaker.
As to living in Wyoming, you were never alone even when the first settlers trekked into Wyoming invading the Plains Indian lands. There was always the long arm of the government reaching out there with its troops. It may have come later than necessary; but it still existed. You in the Black Hills? As for me, I like the wood lands of northern Wisconsin.
For the record, I have never worked for an insurance company in my life.
I have negotiated provider contracts with insurance companies, and collected hundreds of thousands of claims from insurance companies, but have never ever not for one minute worked for an insurance company, not even in a consulting role.
I have never implied I have worked for an insurance company.
So where do you get the idea I somehow represent insurance companies?
Now I will pick a fight with Maggie.
To be technical some insurance policies in existence before before 1/1/2014 are still in effect.
However, due to ACA requirements I cannot find a single instance of a policy that has not been substantially restructured in order to meet the 62 “free” services (actually no co-payment services) and various other ACA requirements.
Beyond that, insurers and employers have restructured the economics of many policies, often increasing premium shares, co-pays and deductibles. This is the “tax” on the middle class no one wants to talk about.
So effectively, any policy in effect when Obama made his famous “you can keep it” statement has at the least been substantially overhauled.
Mike was, in substance, correct.
“Beyond that, insurers and employers have restructured the economics of many policies, often increasing premium shares, co-pays and deductibles. This is the “tax” on the middle class no one wants to talk about.”
More bs. From Mike it is understandable, from you it is depressing. You think the ACA caused this? You say you have been doing this for decades and somehow did not notice this has been ongoing for that same period?
Don’t you even want to try to be honest?
PPACA was passed to disrupt private insurance markets, and with some good cause.
Now you deny private insurance markets are disrupted.
Question my integrity? Look in the mirror.
(At least you haven’t accused me of working for an insurance company!)
See especially Subtitles A – C (C Parts I and II) and D
A massive disruption and overhaul of the private health insurance industry and markets. In black and white.
Read your quote I commented on.
I am not saying there has been no change to the employer provided insurance market, I am saying your quote ignores history and attempts to blame the ACA for “increasing premium shares, co-pays and deductibles”
That is bs.
BTW, the MLR effect on that market is a huge deal. And a good one.
Coberly said: “i guess i don’t understand your question”
Sure you do. You just don’t have an answer.
Do you? This thread is supposedly concerned with the confusion regarding AMA, yet supporters don’t seem to know they are supporting the state’s claim of authority to regulate each person’s decisions.
When the majority claims to have the authority to regulate each persons decisions, is that not a prime example of the tyranny of the majority?
You brought it up and I answered it. Please answer the question.
“So you believe in Jim Crow laws, discrimination against gays, paying women less than men? So you believe in the tyranny of the majority to enforce its will upon minorities?”
you won’t find evidence in anything i wrote because i was not making any claims. you appear to misunderstand what i wrote because you are projecting your own concerns into it. i specifically said i “did not know.” my basic comment was to suggest to another reader that he was calling something a “lie” that looked to me like the ordinary use of language to “sum up” or “point at” a “truth” without being “the whole truth” or even “exactly true”… both of which await subsequent clarification.
which is something you might do, at least from time to time, for your own peace of mind.
i have been a writer here who tries to make a case about something I DO know. it doesn’t help. everyone reads what i say in terms of their own prior convictions… generally for felonious assault on language and logic.
No it is not. Not if the majority you talk about is financially responsible for the minority. In healthcare, that is a fact.
How is it possible you have been in this field for decades but somehow missed this?
” In 1970, total health care spending was about $75 billion, or only $356 per person (Figure 1). In less than 40 years these costs have grown to $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person.
As a result, the share of economic activity devoted to health care grew from 7.2% in 1970 to 17.9% in 2010, though this level was unchanged from 2009. ”
Of course you didn’t.
in your zeal to say something cute you failed to notice that i DID answer your question, best as i could tell what it was given that it looked to me like you got the grammar backwards.
run-A comment made by a candidate for President is a little bit different than a supposed statement of fact by a sitting President. In addition at the time of the McCain-Obama debate the PPACA wasn’t even a bill in Congress much less a law. But the June 28, 1012 statement was made nearly two years after the PPACA bill had been codified into law and was made the same day the SCOTUS pronounced the constitutionality of said law. Additionally I would have gone to the HHS document Maggie should have linked to but instead the link took me to MediaMatters. It’s a similar tactic that you used in a previous post when discussing a supposed stand your ground case in which instead of linking to the Orlando Sentinel you linked to digby. That kind of “log-rolling” is a pretty cheap (or maybe lazy) tactic which ultimately damages the posters credibility. Especially since the primary source is so easily retrieved. My reference was to whitehouse.gov. which I think we can all safely assume is a primary source.
LJ – I did the search you suggested. Is this the result you found?
“…If you’re one of the 250 million Americans who already have health care – whether through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid – the Affordable Care Act is already making your coverage more secure.” (and it goes on to list the ways).
That’s the closest I could come to your claim.
On the issue of citing secondary rather than primary sources, since the internet lives off of traffic (site visits), it seems natural to me that blogs link to each other. I would agree it might be helpful to also link to the primary source, although to the extent this would be helpful it also works against the desire to extend traffic. I guess on the whole I support the standing linking system – as long as the post linked to does itself link to a primary source.
I am about to write a lot of computer code. It’s a kind that I have done a lot of previously, so I shouldn’t make a lot of mistakes, but I know I will, and probably spend more time fixing bugs than in the original coding. Creatures made by evolution tend to work using the evolutionary algorithm, is my general conclusion. So anything that is new and complex is going to have problems, in my opinion. Which isn’t to say that all or any of the problems couldn’t have been prevented, but also doesn’t mean we should never try anything new.
Jim, thanks for the computer coding evolution analogy. All conversation is subject to the same need for further refinement. The statement LJ wants to call a “lie” does not look like a lie to me, even under his interpretation, but a statement subject to further refinement. of course for his own agenda LJ needs to call it a lie.
Jim V-Go to whitehouse.gov and in the search space type in June 28 2012. A umber of items will pop up but go to the one labeled, “Presidents Remarks following Supreme Court ruling on ACA” There is the text of the President’s remarks. The quote is different than the one you cite. The President specifically says, verbatim, what I wrote in my original comment to this post. It’s kind of funny that the Press Office bastardized the President’s comment.
In terms of primary sources, it’s real simple and it adds to the poster’s credibility. When I see links to hyper-partisan sources…I begin to wonder.
dale-So I guess Bruce Krasting, or shit, Pete Peterson, just need to refine their statements a bit?
your point re krasting/peterson is well taken. thing is though that krasting has had hundreds, and peterson billions, of chances to refine what they mean. that’s how i know they are liars.
i did not think the obama quote amounted to a material lie. maybe i don’t see it from the perspective of someone who relied on it.
but see, you and i are refining our statements as we speak.
if you want my opinion as to whether Obama is a liar
or Obamacare built on lies
that may seem to be a contradiction
thing is, i was originally talking about language. in the last comment i was talking about my opinion about a politician and his policy.
other thing however is that the anti obamacare forces are bigger liars.
Dale- I understand.
Run75441: Say, didn’t The Red Man also own Wisconsin before The Army and Scott Walker stole it?
Big Horns BTW.
Anywhere near Rib Lake? I had a really close friend from there when I was in The Army. (Trying to steal Viet Nam)
Further north and into Superior, Madeline Island which is a great place to camp and be alone.
“Cute” is “I don’t understand your question” and then going on to answer something not asked.
When I asked, “What is your argument against forced labor”, I assumed you were against forced labor, and that you would say that an act of Congress attempting to force persons into labor would be unconstitutional. But perhaps I was wrong and you believe it is within Congress’ power to force persons into labor.
Mandate of PPACA: The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for…
LJ – thanks for the clarification. I did not find the written text but I did find a video of President Obama’s speech in which he said that the ~250 million people who already had health insurance would still have health insurance under the ACA. I’ll agree he should have said “could” instead of “would” but I don’t see a big lie there. He did not say they would keep the same insurance policy but that they would have health insurance. I am unaware of anyone being prevented to have health insurance under the ACA, which I believe was the point he was trying to make. If you have a different quote in mind it would help if you would link directly to it – not that you’re obliged to, just as other internet posters don’t always link directly to their sources.
MH: in several wars the Congress has passed conscription laws which force people to serve in the armed forces, which I would characterize as work, so yes, it seems to be constitutional for the Congress to force citizens to work, under some circumstances.
I could be wrong, but I think you are being stupid now in order to be annoying because you get a secret pleasure out of being annoying.
“Stupid” is equating my objection to Congress’ claim of authority to regulate each persons decisions with an objection to having to “stop at red lights and drive at the speed limit, even though that interferes with my god given rights to do whatever i damn please and the hell with everyone else”.
I take it from your reply that any objection to forced labor would be met with the same inane response you gave above.
i guess i was wrong: you aren’t pretending to be stupid.