Republicans are mostly breathless with glee at the faux news “exposé” to the effect that the insurance policies of some folks in the individual health care market will be changed by their providers in such a way that they can no longer be offered under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Of course, this is not really news – it was known, debated and covered in the news when the issue first arose in 2010.
Nevertheless, our Republican friends are nearly convulsing with false concern. What they’re saying:
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4) thinks the news offers “more proof that the President’s health care law is unworkable and hurts Americans. ”
Rep. Billy Long (R-7) thinks that this problem is so serious that he needs to offer legislation to delay the individual mandate because “portions of the president’s health care law are harming consumers nationwide.”
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-3) has made ample use of the generic GOP boilerplate on the topic of roll-out glitches on his Website, adding that his constituents are suffering because of the President’s “empty” promises that are belied by the fact that “currently available plans are cancelled.” He even offers a vague, unverifiable constituent horror story about the havoc wreaked by the cancelled policies – though he doesn’t answer lots of questions that spring to mind about the actual situation of his annecdotal constituents.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-2) breathlessly tweeted that “White House finally admits, ‘It’s True’ some Americans won’t be able to keep their health care plan under Obamacare. #MoreBrokenPromises.” Finally? Sheesh! Too hard for her to remember what was going on three years ago? About an issue she putatively cares so much about she was willing to shut down the government down over it? She ought to be able to do better.
Senator Roy Blunt, for his part, is “committed to fighting for Missourians who are being crushed by ObamaCare,” which includes those who are having their policies cancelled among other individuals in situations that have elicited his misplaced concern trolling.
So what’s the story? Here, via TPM, is a chart that puts these dire claims into a slightly different perspective:
To summarize, 80% of the people who like their current, employer-provided plan will see no change, just as the President promised; 3% will change policies but see little difference in cost or coverage; another 3% will probably have to pay more for better policies; while 14% who were previously uninsured will get affordable insurance and access to healthcare. I don’t know about you, but government can “crush” me like this any time it wants.
Slightly edited for clarity. Inadvertently garbled content restored in last paragraph.