AP fact check: No, you can’t keep your plan, and other things we should have already reported

posted at 2:01 pm on September 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

With just one day left to go before the federal government makes health insurance mandatory through its glitchy and unsecured exchanges, the Associated Press decided to do a fact check on recent claims by politicians on both sides of the issue. Among the fact checks is one on Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who pointed out last week that one of the biggest promises Barack Obama made was that the reforms wouldn’t disrupt existing health-insurance plans — “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”  Republicans have been debunking that for four years, but the AP finally gets around to fact-checking McCarthy (via Twitchy):

THE FACTS: McCarthy is correct, Obama said exactly that. It was an empty promise, made repeatedly. Sebelius picks her words more carefully but still offers misleading assurances.

Nothing in the health care law guarantees that people can keep the health insurance they already have. Costs can rise, benefits can change and employers can drop coverage.

Insurance policies that are offered must now meet minimum standards, covering more preventive services, for example, and larger employers that don’t offer insurance to workers will face penalties when that provision of the law, delayed by Obama, comes into effect. But that doesn’t mean the status quo goes on for those who like what they’ve got now.

This was one of the biggest falsehoods proferred by ObamaCare advocates all along.  In the US before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 85% of Americans had existing health-care coverage — and 87% were happy with it.  In fact, half of the uninsured were happy with their health care.  Overhauling the system that satisfied 85% of Americans in order to do something with half of the 15% unhappy with their situation only made sense if the 85% could be assured that their situation would remain the same.

Of course, that was nonsense all along.  Too bad the AP couldn’t have done more fact-checking along those lines before now.  They could have easily dispensed with this canard, too:

OBAMA: “Premiums are going to be different in different parts of the country depending on how much coverage you buy, but 95 percent of uninsured Americans will see their premiums cost less than was expected.” — Largo, Md., speech.

THE FACTS: Less than who expected? Obama is referring to an administration analysis that finds premiums are coming in 16 percent lower than had been estimated by experts at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Independent analysts find similar results. But it’s a stretch to suggest that numbers crunched by CBO’s experts would reflect the expectations of regular consumers.

The AP doesn’t even bother to report the biggest part of this lie, which is the “less than expected” calculation used by HHS.  Instead of calculating the announced 2014 premiums to 2014 projections, they compared them to projections for 2016. The actual expectation set by the Obama administration and Democratic leadership was that premiums would decline across the board after the implementation of ObamaCare, but instead they have skyrocketed.

Now Democrats like Nancy Pelosi argue that they never made that promise, but John Boehner’s office has a new video that makes it pretty clear:

There is one new frontier in this fact-check, however, which is the new White House talking point about cell-phone bills.  Obama and his supporters claim that health care will be about as expensive as a cell-phone bill under the new exchanges, but that’s leaving out a lot of out-of-pocket expenses:

He is referring to the cheapest of four major options offered by the new markets, the “bronze” plan. But, just like with auto insurance, premiums aren’t the only potential expense for a consumer. Those who choose bronze will have to pay 40 percent of their medical bills out of pocket through deductibles and copayments. A family’s share of medical costs could go as high as $12,700 a year, or $6,350 for individuals, on top of those cell-phone-like premiums.

Plans that cost more in premiums have the same caps on annual out-of-pocket expenses, but they cover more of the bills along the way. The platinum plan, which is the best, pays 90 percent of medical bills, for example.

They’re just like your cell-phone bills … if your phone gets stolen and used to make a lot of calls to Japan or France.


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Redglen on September 30, 2013 at 3:36 PM

What about medical tests? I got huge discounts for self pay on my chest xray, cat scan and pet scan at 2 different imaging centers.

BeachBum on September 30, 2013 at 3:59 PM

“If you’re like, a gullible idiot, you can keep your gullibility and your idiocy.” -Buck Ofama (R-Pennsyltucky)

Akzed on September 30, 2013 at 4:00 PM

About as much as a cell phone bill, yeah, that’s the ticket, a cell phone bill.. that’s one hell of a cell phone bill Barry….

As of tonight my United Health Care Policy 10/01/2013 to 10/01/2014 is $1000 a month. (okay I rounded up, it’s $11,954.40 a year with is only $996.20 per month)

2 years ago it was $4111.38 a year (same policy).

I don’t qualify for a subsidy (make a fuzz too much) so if my wife’s employer dumps us (which they will of course) the new ObumbleCare exchange premium is $16,549 a year.

Hope and Change….

Tim Zank on September 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Tim Zank on September 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

People like me and you are very common now, and more so when the exchange opens. When the normal every day dont care people have to get insurance now they are gonna see the nice big middle finger by the gov exchanges.

watertown on September 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

As of tonight my United Health Care Policy 10/01/2013 to 10/01/2014 is $1000 a month. (okay I rounded up, it’s $11,954.40 a year with is only $996.20 per month)

Tim Zank on September 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Mine’s about $1100/mo to $1500/mo (~2x what I pay now). And that’s assuming they don’t charge more for the 3 extra kids (right now they just say “3 or more” – so I suspect I will have to pay more).

besser tot als rot on September 30, 2013 at 5:14 PM

So, you are eligible for tax credits up to 400% the poverty level? With a family of 8 (like me), that’s about $160K ($200K in Alaska). That seems absurd – I’m still not eligible, but maybe I’ll go part-time.

besser tot als rot on September 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

No, you can’t keep your current plan if you like your current plan.

No, you can’t keep your doctor if you like your doctor.

No, your family’s health insurance premiums won’t be reduced by an average of $2,500 a year; in fact, they’ll likely increase by much more than that.

No, your family’s health insurance premiums won’t go down 3,000% (that’s not even possible).

No, it’s not true that Obamacare won’t add one dime to the deficit; in fact, Obamacare will add many hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit.

No, the exchanges won’t be up and running on time.

No, your personal financial and medical information won’t be secure on the exchanges (many of which are staffed by criminals who will have access to your personal information).

No, if you’re on Medicare your options won’t be better with Obamacare. Obamacare cuts $760 billion from Medicare spending, so your Medicare coverages will be reduced, and many of your current doctors will no longer accept you as a patient.

And that’s the good news about Obamacare.

Now for the bad news . . . .

AZCoyote on September 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

They lied. They knew it was untrue.

CW on September 30, 2013 at 5:48 PM

With a family of 8 (like me)
besser tot als rot on September 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Bless you.

CW on September 30, 2013 at 5:49 PM

They lied. They knew it was untrue.

CW on September 30, 2013 at 5:48 PM

In other news: Water is wet.

More at 11

NapaConservative on September 30, 2013 at 5:54 PM

This was one of the biggest falsehoods proferred by ObamaCare advocates all along. In the US before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 85% of Americans had existing health-care coverage — and 87% were happy with it.

ObamaCare has always primarily been about Obama providing “his people” (lifetime welfare recipients) Cadillac coverage financed by the middle class.

bw222 on September 30, 2013 at 5:58 PM

The AP doesn’t even bother to report the biggest part of this lie, which is the “less than expected” calculation used by HHS. Instead of calculating the announced 2014 premiums to 2014 projections, they compared them to projections for 2016. The actual expectation set by the Obama administration and Democratic leadership was that premiums would decline across the board after the implementation of ObamaCare, but instead they have skyrocketed.

The U.S. media is likely the most dishonest group of people in the world.

bw222 on September 30, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Top 10 OBOZO excuses for doing NOTHING to help the budget impasse:
1. “It’s above my pay grade.”
2. “MOOCH insists that I take care of the kids.”
3. “Golfing, golfing, and more golfing.”
4. “America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists – yeah, I read that Reagan said that once.”
5. “I’ve got a can’t-miss appoint for another hair dye job from my barber.”
6.”There’s no way I’ll get more endless campaign money if I do that.”
7. “I’m trying to keep my White House clean, and if I don’t let visitors in, I’m certainly not going to let those dirty Repubs in.”
8. “When I see Boehner cry, it makes my want to cry – and THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN.”
9. “My dogs ate my negotiating information.”
10. “I’m resting up for the next White House party.”

TeaPartyNation on September 30, 2013 at 6:53 PM

No, it’s not true that Obamacare won’t add one dime to the deficit; in fact, Obamacare will add many hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit.

AZCoyote on September 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

dd one dime to

Well, it is strictly literally true that it won’t add one dime to the deficit. It’s adding billions of dimes, which is technically “not one”.

LibraryGryffon on September 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Whatever good points there are to the law there are just too many unfair and bad ones, especially for the elderly. According to McCaughey’s book “Beating Obamacare” this law awards points to hospitals that spend the least on seniors. Doctors will be paid less to treat seniors than any other group. Medicare seniors take a hit in every way. If you’re young this still affects you if you have elderly to help support and if you don’t plan suicide before you yourself get old.

About a third of Employers are considering dropping health insurance for employees. You will have to tell your employer how much your spouse makes. A great many entry level workers will be priced out of full-time jobs.

All you young, healthy & employed must sign up in order for it to pay for the medical care of all the millions of unemployable. Don’t let them tell you that’s you’re moral responsibility.

This monstrously complicated law WAS BORN ON A BIG LIE (not a tax) and it was quickly rammed down our throats as a huge tax with more lies. It happened because words don’t matter to Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8R5GvwUFU8

It needs to be killed like the ugly mutant offspring of big lies that it is.

Chessplayer on October 1, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Now Pelosi knows what’s in it. (At least on a couple of pages.)

NoPain on October 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Love the picture of Pelosi. But after all she DID say we had to pass the bill to know what’s in it. Now we know, huh Nancy.

kjatexas on October 1, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Comment pages: 1 2