The Following Are Some Common Myths About Obama's Health Care Reform
9/23/2013 8:44:00 AM
New ObamaCare myths are coming out every day. Keep checking back as we fact check the rhetoric.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Creates Health Insurance
ObamaCare does’t create health insurance, it regulates the health insurance industry and helps to increase quality, affordability and availability of private insurance. The law does this by creating new rules for insurers, expanding Medicaid to tens of millions of more Americans and by implementing a Health Insurance Marketplace where Americans can buy subsidized, regulated health insurance in a competitive private market.
ObamaCare doesn’t create a government-run healthcare system. It greatly expands business for the private for-profit health insurance industry, creating about 12 million new customers. In other words ObamaCare regulates the free market, it doesn't replace it.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Takes Sides
"ObamaCare", officially titled the Affordable Care Act, was originally meant as a pejorative term to equate the bill with the current president in order to play politics U.S. health care reform. The truth is the Affordable Care Act is the result of a joint effort between both sides of the isle, health insurance companies and law makers and has been being worked on for decades. The law itself is based on "RomneyCare", The Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, St. 2006, c.58. "RomneyCare" was based on the individual mandate which was proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989. The individual mandate was championed by Republicans as alternative to single payer as it put individual responsibility at the forefront of health care reform.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Only Helps X People
The truth is ObamaCare helps everyone. Some of us might pay more, but everyone will be able to enjoy better quality health insurance and more rights and protections in regards to healthcare. When it comes to cost the rule of thumb is that the less you make the more the law helps you. Those who may pay more include individuals and families making over 400% of the poverty level and businesses with over 50 full-time employees making over $250,000.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Means Higher Premiums
One of the most wide spread ObamaCare myths is that ObamaCare increases insurance premiums. While many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums rise since the passing of the new health care law, blaming "ObamaCare" is an over simplification of the truth.
ObamaCare stops insurance companies from raising premiums or denying coverage based on health status. In other words insurance companies must now cover everyone and can't charge a sick person more than a healthy person. This has led some insurers to inflate everyones insurance premium costs.
Luckily, ObamaCare does a lot to mitigate this affect by creating a number of consumer protections and cost-cutting measures that help to decrease the growing rate of health insurance costs.
One of the ways ObamaCare helps to lower insurance premium costs is through the creation of a Health Insurance Exchange Pool known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting October 1st, 2013 low-to-middle income Americans can shop for subsidized, regulated health insurance from competing health care providers using their State's online marketplace. Cost assistance offered through the marketplace greatly reduces premium costs of those making less than 400% of the Federal poverty level. (400% of the Federal Poverty level equates to individuals making less than $46,021 or a family of four making less than $93,700 a year). Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
A recent CBO report shows that ObamaCare is projected to lower most Americans insurance premiums by 5 - 7%. That being said some Americans, especially families above the 400% FPL mark may pay more for insurance due to the ever increasing growth in premium costs and the new excise tax on high-end insurance plans. Regardless of this, the average cost of health insurance is going down, while the rate at which costs are rising are being curbed by the law.
Despite the best intentions and consumer protections offered by the new health care law (such as insurance companies being required to justify rate hikes of a certain amount to the State for approval), it has not prevented insurance companies are raising rates to compensate for costly aspects of the program such preexisting conditions reform.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Means Higher Taxes
Most Americans will save thousands of dollars a year on medical costs and taxes. In fact ObamaCare includes the biggest middle class tax cut to health insurance in our nation's history by lowering premiums for the average family (primarily low and middle class Americans as mentioned above). While there are a few taxes that may impact Americans above 133% of the poverty level indirectly, the only one that impacts them directly is the "individual mandate". The mandate says: If you don’t obtain coverage or an exemption by January 1st, 2014 you must pay a per-month fee on your federal income tax return for every month you are without health insurance. In 2014 the fee is $95 per adult ($47.50 per child) or 1% of income, whichever is higher. The family max is $285.
An important ancillary effect of the new health care taxes is the mandate that employers with over 50 full-time employees offer health insurance to their employees. This caused some employers to cut workers hours down to part-time to avoid providing coverage. Unfortunately the employer mandate has been suspended until 2015 resulting in needless cuts to worker hours.
The only people who are affected by most of the other taxes you hear about are about are the 3% of businesses and 2% of Americas richest families with incomes of over $250k and capital gains over $250k. - See ObamaCare Taxes for More info and Myth debunking on taxes..
ObamaCare Myth: Lower Wage / Fewer Jobs
The biggest job creators are small businesses with under 10 employees, next is under 20, next is under 30 employees (it goes on from there). These businesses can receive tax credits through the marketplace to help ease the burden of providing health insurance to their employees. Small businesses have historically had the hardest time providing quality coverage to themselves or their employees.
Come 2015 only businesses with over 50 full-time employees who don't already provide health benefits to their full-timers will be affected by the "employer mandate". These businesses account for .2% of all firms in America. While employees of some of those companies may have their hours cut to part time in order for employers to avoid paying a penalty, ObamaCare actually creates millions of jobs, including tens of thousands of new health care jobs, 16,000 new IRS jobs as well as many more private-sector jobs (especially in small businesses with under 25 employees) and other government jobs.
Most of the top 3% of small businesses polled said that the idea that ObamaCare would affect their job growth or hiring process was an "ObamaCare myth".
Although ObamaCare doesn't directly result in job loss, companies are cutting back hours of full-time workers to below 27 hours in order to avoid providing them with healthcare has been one of the nastier side effects of the bill. Ironically the requirement to provide insurance has been pushed back to 2015.
ObamaCare Myth: Death Panels
The concept of death panels, panels that provision health care and decide if you will live or die, is an ObamaCare myth. There is, however, financial advisory panels that study treatments to keep health care costs down. There was a provision in the health care bill that had to be removed due to this rumor. The provision would have paid doctors for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about wills and end-of-life care options. Removing the provision did, ironically, hurt seniors. That fact is, your health care is in the hands of you and your doctor. ObamaCare regulates insurance not health care.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Comfort Care
There has been an ObamaCare myth going around since 2011 when a "brain surgeon" called up the Mark Levin show to let him know that patients over 70 years old could be given "comfort care" instead of brain surgery depending on the decision of a panel. This "neurosurgeon's" claim has since been debunked by both the AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the CNS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons). We have also checked out the ObamaCare bill itself and can confirm this is an ObamaCare myth. The AANS stated that the man was most likely not a neurosurgeon and was rather pretending to be. The bottom line is that ObamaCare doesn't ration health care, it helps protect consumers against the health care rationing insurance companies have been doing for years.
ObamaCare Myth: Standard of Living Will Decrease
Since your taxes probably won't be affected, your health care costs will go down and your health care will improve the chances of it affecting your standard of living negatively is unlikely. ObamaCare ultimately decreases the deficit by over $200 billion dollars helping our collective standard of living as well.
Obamacare cuts premiums for for millions of American Families and Small Businesses resulting in the biggest tax cut for the middle class in history!
ObamaCare Myth: Cheapest ObamaCare Plan Will Be $20,000 per Family / The Obamacare Myths "Average Family Will Pay $20,000 for Insurance"
This ObamaCare myth is a misleading quote from an IRS report that takes a number of case studies on what Americans will pay for a basic plan on the exchanges in 2016. Some plans come in as under 8% of income which is considered "affordable" and some come in over. The media has been reporting on one case study of a family of 5 who makes over $120,000 and misreport it as an "average family". The truly average family is projected to save on their overall premiums. Remember the IRS estimates may be high considering they are the last people in the world who want you to forgo your health insurance and have to pay the penalty tax, as they are in charge of handling this aspect of ObamaCare.
The ObamaCare myths surrounding premiums are part a fault of speculation (after all we can only project future costs, not know them for sure and of course every family is different and will pay rates specific to their financial status, location, age, weights as well as other factors. (Gender and health status are no longer factors in health insurance costs). For instance a recent IRS report released in 2013 gave the average cost of premiums Americans would pay in 2016. It shows that while many individuals will have access to affordable insurance, many families will not.
Most individuals and families will pay less or at least under 8% of their income (the amount considered affordable). However, the report shows families with older heads of the household, located in States with high regional cost, making around and over the 400% FPL mark seem to have the least "affordable" insurance.
Families with higher incomes who have older members of the household, smoke and are over-weight may pay more. Other groups who are estimated to pay more for insurance are those who wish to purchase "Cadillac" plans (there is a 40% excise tax on high cost plans).
The ObamaCare myth is that the "average" family will pay $20,000, however this number is the average cost of what a family of 5 making $120,000 will pay in 2016. Actual costs range from around $7,000 to over $30,000 depending on regional cost factors, age and smoking status. In other words costs range so drastic that an "average" cost is almost useless information, not to mention an average American family makes well under $120,000.
PLEASE NOTE: No one can give you an exact cost estimate of what health insurance premiums will cost for 2014. Until the health insurance providers start competing in the exchanges, until then anything else you hear is a myth.
TRUTH on the IRS ObamaCare Myth: IRS Estimates the Average Family (of 5, making over $120k) is Estimated Pay an average of $20k in 2016 for basic Insurance on the insurance exchanges.
ObamaCare Myth: Medicare / Medicaid is Under Attack
ObamaCare reforms Medicare and expands access of Medicaid to millions. There are a number of reformations to Medicare such as closing the "donut hole" for prescription meds, providing better health services and reforming Medicare Advantage (a private Medicare option that lets Medicare be traded on the market, despite taxpayer funding. It currently costs tax payers more than Medicare and Medicaid combined).
Large portions of ObamaCare address improving and expanding Medicare for seniors and cutting waste. Medicaid is not reformed, but is expanded to 15 million low-income Americans. Supporting Obamacare means supporting Medicare / Medicaid.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare implants a "CHIP" in you when you get health care... The Mark of the Beast.
We have received multiple letters from concerned readers who believe that they will have a mandatory RFID chip planted in them do to ObamaCare. While RFID chips are a real thing and ObamaCare does pave the way to integrate RIFD chips as a way to provide better medical treatment, there is no mandate. The disinformation is causing a panic and taking away the true debate about RFID chips and the implications of their use.
The following is an example of the ObamaCare implant myth (and is left grammatically intact the way we found it):
"I don't think it is right for president to decide to put chips in the citizens of American hands or anybody else we as Americans have the right to decided if we want the chip its the mark of the BEAST People wake up its in the bible"
The idea that ObamaCare will force Americans to be implanted with RFID chips is a myth. We read the bill and did a search for (this part of the chain email):
The Obama Health care bill under Class II (Paragraph 1, Section B) specifically includes ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable." Then on page 1004 it describes what the term "data" means in paragraph 1, section B:
14 ‘‘(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to in 15 formation respecting a device described in paragraph (1), 16 including claims data, patient survey data, standardized 17 analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of 18 data from disparate data environments, electronic health 19 records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the 20 Secretary"
The Facts on the ObamaCare Chip Myth
The quoted part of the law is about better data collecting for medical records, to reform the way which data is collected to better treat patients. The devices described in paragraph (1) are referring to class II devices which include both life support devices as well as RFID chips. There is no mandate about the insertion of any type of class II device.
The only time "CHIP" in mentioned in the 2,000 plus page bill is as an acronym for "Children's Health Insurance Plan". CHIP provides funds to states in order to cover children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid, but still have modest incomes. CHIP provides insurance to more than 5 million kids. It's part of ObamaCare helping to ensure that all Children have health coverage.
The debate about centralized data collection, RFID chips and how it relates to the affordable care act will become more important as we move into the next decade. Learn more about RFID chips and the ObamaCare Micro Chip Implant Rumor.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Forces Abortions and Contraceptives
ObamaCare gives religious institutions an opt-out for providing specific women's health services (it has also granted waivers to some businesses). Also, contraception coverage is not required by health care companies or exchange commissioners. Although federal funding does go towards women's services and education, it doesn't force anyone to do anything in regards to these services.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Rations Health Care
This is an ObamaCare myth. The new health care law doesn't ration health care, but insurance companies do.
ObamaCare actually funds research, establishes committees and enacts a number of provisions that protect consumers from the health care rationing insurance companies have been doing for ages.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare is Socialist
ObamaCare is a program that everyone pays into (taxes) in order to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable quality healthcare (protections and services). Medicare / Medicaid / Social Security are all programs that work like this.
ObamaCare allows us all to purchase our own private insurance in a regulated market place. This embraces the ideas of capitalism, regulated free market and freedom of choice, along with the government's protection of your new health care related rights. It's not a widely known fact, but hospitals are almost exempt from the economy and free market due to their ability to set and control prices. Also many medical device manufactures and drug innovators have such a tight control on necessary drugs and treatments that they, in a way, control their own prices as well.
Simply calling ObamaCare a redistribution of the wealth or socialism is a very broad and inaccurate generalization of the law. Plus, there is a high chance that wealth is being "redistributed" to your family and / or small business providing better coverage, bigger tax breaks and putting money back in your pocket while improving the quality of your health care.
ObamaCare Myth: We Need Less Government
Your preference as to whether or not you appreciate the need for the Government that our founding fathers saw a need for is irrelevant when discussing ObamaCare. This is an issue of "do we need healthcare reform?" not "do we need more government?".
At this point in history, less government would mean undoing hundreds of years of progress and handing our country over to corporations. Regulations, laws and taxes are all very important to our every day lives. There is always room for reform and that is exactly what ObamaCare does.
ObamaCare Myth: Privacy / Freedom Will Be Jeopardized
The idea that ObamaCare takes away your freedom is a myth. It doesn't make you do much of anything in regards to health care. The only example of freedom being restricted is the mandate to purchase insurance or pay a tax.
Despite these facts, at the end of the day, ObamaCare costing you your freedom is a Myth. You will most likely save money and have access to better regulated Affordable Healthcare. We will all have better preventive services and the security in knowing we won't be dropped when we are sick or denied for a preexisting condition.
ObamaCare Fact: 1 in 2 Americans technically has a pre-existing condition.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare is Unconstitutional
Not only is ObamaCare constitutional, it has been a law since 2010. The supreme court upheld the law, reaffirming that that ObamaCare isn't unconstitutional.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare "Culling" Seniors:
ObamaCare does nothing but help seniors, it is certainly not "culling" seniors. In fact much of the new health care law focuses on improving care for Seniors via Medicare reforms.
Didn't find the ObamaCare Myth you are looking for? Check out this official doc from the American Nurses Association on Health Care Reform Myths
Finding Out More About ObamaCare Myths
These are just some of the ObamaCare myths. Is ObamaCare perfect? Probably not, but if you don't like it you need to base your opinion on facts and not the ObamaCare Myths we just debunked. None of them are even remotely true. If you don't believe this article, that's OK.
You can check out our Affordable Care Act Summary or Even the Full Affordable Care Act Bill and do all the research you want. Don't believe the ObamaCare Myths, The Obama Care Facts speak for themselves.