Last week Sean Hannity had six guests on his show telling his viewers of the ‘damage’ they had suffered due to the monster that is Obamacare. After watching the show, Eric Stern, one time senior counsel to Brian Schweitzer, former governor of Montana, did the unthinkable, at least to Hannity, he called the six and questioned them himself. What he learned tells a very different story than was told on the Hannity show.
It turns out that none of the stories stand up to scrutiny. Not one of them were based on actual facts, but on what they perceived the facts to be or what was told to them by detractors of the law.
Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. who appeared with his wife Michelle claimed that they are unable to grow their construction business due to the requirements of the law and that they have been forced to cut the hours of all of their employees, making them part timers to avoid the added expense created by the law.
It turns out that they have only four employees which exempts them from the requirement to provide health insurance for them, only businesses with 50 or more employees are subject to that requirement.
When Stern asked him what forced him to cut back he replied, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” When Stern asked what costs he was referring to and how Obamacare had caused those increases Cox said that he would have to call him back on that. He never called back.
Of course the only requirement under the law for a business of this size is that they must make their employees aware of the “healthcare.gov”website and with only four employees the cost, at most would be a few pennies to print out a short memo to distribute to them advising them of its existence.
He then called Allison Denijs, who said on the Hannity show that she currently pays $13,000 a year in premiums and had recently received a letter from Blue Cross notifying her that her policy was being discontinued as it does not meet the requirements set down by the new law. She points to this as proof that the President lied when he said that those who wish to can keep their current policy.
When Allison’s husband left his job a few years ago with a large corporation and lost the benefits it provided they began to buy their insurance from the private market and paid $1,100 per month with a $2,500 deductible for each family member. One of her children is not covered under the policy because she has a pre-existing condition and it would cost an additional $600 per month for a separate policy to cover her.
When asked if she had shopped on the government site for insurance she said that she hadn’t because she had heard that it was not working properly. Asked if she would do so after the bugs were ironed out she was non committal saying that she has opposed the law from the start and thinks that costs could be brought down by tort reform instead.
Stern used the Kaiser calculator to get an estimate of what they might find in the health exchanges and, assuming that neither she nor her husband Kurt smoke, they could find a policy for around $7,600 per year that would also cover her currently uninsured daughter.
Allison also said that the letter from Blue Cross told her that the new ACA compliant policy she could replace her current one with may not include all of the doctors participating under the old policy, this however has nothing to do with Obamacare, it is a practice long employed by insurance providers to reduce costs.
If, in fact, she had to change doctors under a new policy then she could say that the law had not lived up to the claims made by the President, but in the process she will have saved thousands of dollars per year.
Robbie and Tina Robison from Franklin, Tennessee, were also told that their policy would be discontinued due to non-compliance with the new law and that the replacement plans being offered by Blue Cross would cost 50 to 75% more and would contain coverage for all sorts of things that they do not need, such as maternity and pediatric care.
When Stern asked if they had checked the exchanges to see what was available they said that they hadn’t and would not do so since they are opposed to the law. He checked for them using the Kaiser calculator and found that they could obtain a plan through the exchange for around $3,700, about 63% less than the $10,000 per year that they are currently paying.
What it all boils down to is that Hannity went out and found people who were willing to back up his claim that the law is going to raise rates and cost jobs whether it was true or not. He had no difficulty doing so since all of the detractors are willing to flat-out lie if that is what it takes to ‘prove’ that this is a bad law.
There are flaws in the law and it will probably require some tweaking to make it work as it should, but it is a start. If nothing had been done nothing would change and costs would continue to soar with nothing to slow or stop it. The law must be given a chance to work before anyone can honestly say that it does not work.
Watch Sean Hannity’s shoutfest with Dem Rep. Bill Pascrell Over Obamacare: