The current revelation/crisis/manufactured idiocy for the sake of ratings regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the fixation on the fact that President Obama has repeatedly stated that those who wanted to keep their current insurance could do so, yet people are reporting receiving letters of cancellation from their carriers. The problem with all of this is that most of the news coverage has neglected to actually explain anything.
NBC reported on October 28th that their sources said, “50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law.” Since the story broke, multiple news sources have run with it, conflating the problem. What is so shocking is that it took a conservative blogger at NewsBusters to point out that the reporting was one-sided and missing a very important piece of the puzzle.
What is that piece? As the NBC reporters Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye barely mention, and NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer emphasizes, the real reason people are losing their insurance is because of the insurance companies themselves. Well, Mr. Blumer actually blames regulations, but the fact of the matter is, as he puts it, “the ACA itself in isolation doesn’t force people out of their plans.” Why? What it comes down to is the way the grandfathering clauses are written. Mediaite writer Tommy Christopher goes in to deeper detail in his piece, but here’s what you need to know.
The ACA creates minimum standards for health insurance policies. Essentially stating that insurance companies cannot offer you cheap in value insurance policies that don’t actually cover you. However, there are clauses in the law that state that insurance companies can continue to offer their current policies to their current customers as long as they don’t change the policies. What that means is that if you have an emergency coverage only policy, and they don’t make changes to it, then you can keep it.
What is happening is that the insurance companies want to raise the premiums, or deductibles, or co-pays — or all of the above — to an extent that they no longer qualify to be grandfathered policies. Since they make those changes, your policy now becomes obsolete and you are forced to either get a more expensive policy with them, or look on the exchanges.
Therefore, what everyone in the mainstream media is neglecting to do is point out that the insurance companies could leave the policies as is and people could keep their insurance, but the companies want to, as usual, jack up prices for their bottom lines and as such that is what is causing people to lose their policies. Network news has been the home for ignorantly following ratings instead of the truth for quite some time, but when conservative bloggers have a more balanced take on something they hate, it’s hard to wrap your mind around how bad the news has become.