The myth of the “80% unaffected by Obamacare” meme

posted at 8:01 am on November 21, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

This is one of those “I have a bone to pick” columns in terms of the media’s coverage of the ongoing Obamacare train wreck, so bear with me. Yesterday I was having my coffee and watching Morning Joe (you know… like ya do), when they had economics “expert” Steve Rattner on to explain who is being affected by Obamacare and to what extent. He kicked things off with the following chart – Steve always brings charts… it’s his thing – and his opening explanation of the first line.

WhoPayMore

“This chart basically breaks down all Americans into five groups. We start, of course, with those who are unaffected. These people, this 80%, are people who either get their health insurance through their employer, as probably most of us here do, or they’re on Medicare or they’re on Medicaid and for them, for the most part, life goes on.”

As you’ll see in the video below, he breezes right past that 80%, presenting the assumption that the vast majority of Americans are simply unaffected by Obamacare and goes on to talk about the tiny sliver of people who might be experiencing problems. (That must be a real treat for the literally millions of people who fall into some of those other categories, but that’s a story for another day.) This is a constant theme being pushed by Obamacare supporters in the media these days, and the reason I wanted to highlight it is that it’s complete garbage. For some admittedly anecdotal testimony on this, I present two examples I’ve run into personally.

My wife has been doing some work these last few years through a temp agency here in upstate New York. (Don’t ask.. it works for our schedule.) The company offered a health care plan which I (and this is only in my opinion based on our personal needs) thought was relatively poor quality. The employer contributed nothing to the premium cost (being a temp agency), the deductibles were rather high and it didn’t cover a lot of basic family care needs. It was, in short form, emergency insurance against disaster, and the premiums really weren’t all that high. But a lot of temp workers are young, single, healthy people, so quite a few of them had signed up for it. It wasn’t right for me, but it worked for them.

Earlier this year they were notified that the plan was being cancelled entirely. It didn’t “qualify” under the Affordable Care Act, so it had to go. They sent out a letter saying they would offer a new plan (no details offered) in December, but in the meantime they encouraged everyone to sign up for Obamacare. When the details of the new plan came out, the employer was still not going to contribute to the premiums, but the rates had gone up and the coverage hadn’t improved noticeably in any area. Nobody was happy.

The second story is from the contracting group that I do quite a bit of work through. They held a meeting to explain to everyone the upcoming “changes” in their healthcare plan, with a representative from United Healthcare Services coming in to go over the details. I don’t get my coverage through them, but was invited to the meeting anyway. The woman who arrived handed out fliers detailing all of the wonderful new items which were going to be covered in the revised health plan. They primarily had to do with contraception, pre-natal, well baby coverage and the like. She was also very clear that these benefits were mandated by Obamacare. (Yes, she used the word “Obamacare” in her presentation.) She then went on to brief everyone on the new employee premium contributions which had shot up in some cases by 25% or more, depending on whether or not you had single, single plus one or family coverage.

One woman I know who was at the meeting has four kids and a husband who is now taking part time jobs after being laid off from Lockheed Martin. She is the larger breadwinner of the family as well as being the one getting benefits. She left the meeting stammering to everyone in the hall, “that’s half my paycheck. What am I going to do?”

That was because of Obamacare. Both of the above stories were. And when I told these stories to others I heard similar ones coming right back at me. It may not be everyone, but a lot of people are getting hit hard in the pocketbook as a direct result of mandated changes to the insurance industry by the Affordable Care Act. So… 80% are “unaffected” if they get their health insurance through their employer and “life goes on” for them?

Not by a long shot. This is complete lie and it’s being spoon fed to the public on cable news every week. And those pimping these tales should be called out on it. Here’s the video so you can hear the entire “explanation” for yourself.


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…yes…the squirrel hunting…starts!

KOOLAID2 on November 21, 2013 at 8:03 AM

…Joe Wilson lives!

KOOLAID2 on November 21, 2013 at 8:04 AM

I love the way this guy’s head works–if you put it up to your ear you can hear the ocean!

vityas on November 21, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Figure close to 25% are government employees, and the unions keep saying their members will be unaffected, than you have the Executives of major firms, they won’t be affected, and the military, so you end up with a pretty good % of people immune because the system was designed not to affect them.

What it means is that the “80%” not affected, the 20% has to carry the burden.

Just because a group is not affected, it doesn’t mean that the impact is minimal, it means that the impact is shifted to the 20%…and that “20%” will be the middle class.

By that guys chart, he is saying anyone with insurance, at least 97.5% of the people will not be affected…and that stat is already been disproved.

right2bright on November 21, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Amongst the mandated coverages of Obamcare should be some sort of vaccination that inures one to a constant, viral barrage of lies.

M240H on November 21, 2013 at 8:09 AM

This is piddly stuff, obviously. In fact, there’s only one reason you could possibly even bring this up.

You’re a gay-hating racist, and you don’t care at all about women’s reproductive health or the plight of undocumented workers, do you?

I bet you’re a climate change denier too.

And don’t even get me started on GOP obstructionism in the Senate, not allowing Our Dear Leader to pack the DC appellate court.

Show support for Trayvon!

Chris of Rights on November 21, 2013 at 8:10 AM

These cancellations are the reason Obama unilaterally and illegally delayed the Employer Mandate for a year. I’m surprised that so few people make the connection.

Mord on November 21, 2013 at 8:11 AM

And these same networks that lie profusely in the name of a political agenda just can’t figure out why Fox News has more viewers than all of them combined. Nobody except the progs and the low information types have any confidence whatsoever in MSNBC’s reporting.

HotAirian on November 21, 2013 at 8:11 AM

MSNBC “facts”…..are like a hog with a case of the runs….it stinks, it’s messy and you think “I gotta change his feed.”

Just change the channel Jazz.

PappyD61 on November 21, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Yesterday I was having my coffee and watching Morning Joe (you know… like ya do),

Never seen the show. The fact tha Joe didn’t kick this guy off right away over the 80% LIE (and it is a lie, a straight out intentional, knowing untruth) tells me that Scarborough is not to be trusted either.

rbj on November 21, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Everyone will be impacted negatively by Obamacare. Period. It will kill people. Rationing, service shortages, stifled R&D, getting canned or cut to part time at work, getting priced out, getting fined for doing nothing wrong…

Life under Obamacare: Poorer, Shorter, Less Free.

forest on November 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

She left the meeting stammering to everyone in the hall, “that’s half my paycheck. What am I going to do?”

Welcome to the expanding underclass…The Working Poor.

Here’s the legal definition for those unfamiliar with the term:

Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who remain as poor even though they have regular employment. The working poor are distinct from paupers, poor who are supported by government aid or charity.

In the U.S., a person is recognized as being working poor depending on their revenues compared to an absolute poverty level. In the U.S working poor are defined as persons who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force during the year but whose incomes falls below the official poverty level. Often, those defined as “working poor” have debts and they lack the ability to escape personal and economic contingencies.

http://definitions.uslegal.com/w/working-poor/

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Rattner looks like the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones, as does that effeminate Wolffe who appears on MSNBC as a commentator.

BuckeyeSam on November 21, 2013 at 8:19 AM

hey Jazz – I also went through about a ten year stage where I did temp work. The money was not great, but it helped with the extra money and gave us flexibility needed while raising a family.

Plus it was challenging to periodically, like every couple of months, walk into a new work situation and immediately adjust to their needs and expectations.

esr1951 on November 21, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Everyone will be impacted negatively by Obamacare. Period. It will kill people. Rationing, service shortages, stifled R&D, getting canned or cut to part time at work, getting priced out, getting fined for doing nothing wrong…

Life under Obamacare: Poorer, Shorter, Less Free.

forest on November 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

And demoralized.

A Demoralized nation is ripe for Totalitarianism.

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Three Twenty percent? That’s it. What’s the hullabaloo about.

libfreeordie on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

But if it’s a particular group comprising 2% of the population…well, that’s different.

Marxist socialists don’t really care about the percentages. It’s all about creating their ideological version of a socialist utopia and forcing people to submit to their will. About forcing them to speak, behave, and think politically correctly.

If twenty percent of the population must starve to death, or be liquidated, or spend the rest of their life in the Gulag, as happened in the Soviet Union in the 1920′s and 30′s, then so be it. The glorious socialist paradise end justifies any means.

farsighted on November 21, 2013 at 8:21 AM

It’s not insurance anymore. For anyone. This is the really big lie. And it affects everyone.

If it can’t be priced for actual risk, and you can’t choose your coverage and premium, it isn’t insurance.

The entire market has been transformed into a privately administered redistributive welfare program, with benefits prescribed by bureaucrats in Washington and all of us forced to pay for them whether we want them or not.

And the $500 billion that has been robbed from Medicare to pay for this monstrosity means that ALL Medicare recipients are going to be affected too, it will just take a while for them to realize it as their preferred doctors and hospitals drop out of the program.

rockmom on November 21, 2013 at 8:23 AM

One woman I know who was at the meeting has four kids and a husband who is now taking part time jobs after being laid off from Lockheed Martin. She is the larger breadwinner of the family as well as being the one getting benefits. She left the meeting stammering to everyone in the hall, “that’s half my paycheck. What am I going to do?”

Her best option will be to divorce her husband, put him on Medicaid and the kids on a state CHIP plan, and find a cheap policy for herself or just self-insure and adjust her tax withholding so she does not pay the penalty.

Yes, this is really going to happen in America.

rockmom on November 21, 2013 at 8:27 AM

…were mandated by Obamacare. (Yes, she used the word “Obamacare” in her presentation.)

Of course she did. The ACA, as passed, is not what is being enacted. Not with the waivers, executive orders, and fiat during press conferences.

The ACA had even morphed between it’s passage and the SCOTUS ruling ‘it’s a tax’. But, Roberts could never have considered that.

socalcon on November 21, 2013 at 8:27 AM

There may be subsidies but they are often as small as a buck or two.

Blake on November 21, 2013 at 8:28 AM

What I don’t get is why they continue to push this lie? Ok, I get the short-term motivation. But if this is going to eventually hit up to 100 million people within the next 11 months, why not fess up now? Why allow this to drop like an atomic bomb on the political landscape right before the midterms?

Doughboy on November 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

“Jazz, but they’re getting better coverage”~ Obama

socalcon on November 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Rattner won’t be called out on it…..sad to say unless he went on fox……otherwise…. its all good for them

cmsinaz on November 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Rattner was Obama’s car czar. So, of course, you’re going to get the lying White House spin from him.

They can keep pimping the “80%” are unaffected, but just about everyone will know a number of people who are affected by OCare one way or another. It won’t really matter what the blather on cable news is.

Bitter Clinger on November 21, 2013 at 8:32 AM

The myth of the “80% unaffected by Obamacare” meme

That was yesterday’s meme.

Today’s MSM Meme Of The Day seems to be: “The Obamacare crisis is just politics”

GOP seeks a groundswell of opposition to Obamacare
By Tom Cohen, CNN
November 21, 2013 — Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)

G.O.P. Maps Out Waves of Attacks Over Health Law
A version of this article appears in print on November 21, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: G.O.P. Maps Out Waves of Attacks Over Health Law.

kcewa on November 21, 2013 at 8:33 AM

That’s a pretty poor chart to make the point he’s trying to make. However it’s truthful, total them all up and it’s 100%.

According to the question at the top of the chart, 80% of the “unaffected” will be paying more for Obamacare.

Notwithstanding that the 80% is a lie, like taxes on corporations are passed on, the true cost of Obamacare is borne by all of the citizens whether they realize it or not, including the “unaffected”.

moo on November 21, 2013 at 8:33 AM

“Myth”

I’m gonna tell my grand kids, when you are caught lying (at home or in school) just tell them you were creating a myth.

The Libs will eat it up.

socalcon on November 21, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Once this Obamacare cancer is fully implemented, as a nation we will be poorer, sicker and less free…

There is only one solution and everybody knows what it is…

PatriotRider on November 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

The employers are going to begin avoiding or complying with the Obamacare disaster long before January 1 2015 the official start date of the Obamacare employers mandate… Beginning as early as June 2014 if not earlier many employers will have to fire some of their employees, or reduce their weekly hours below 30, or reduce their benefits, in order to avoid massive losses to their businesses due to Obamacare… Tens of millions of employees will suffer greatly because of this…

mnjg on November 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

You’re all lying.

I believe that is called cognitive dissonance. Wait. Who am I kidding, it’s either ignorance or blatant lies, most likely both.

Fallon on November 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Well I tried to post a CNS link twice and nuthin’

Obamacare incentivizes divorce with marriage penalties and employment penalties…Just like Welfare expansion did.

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:40 AM

moo on November 21, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Raised Medicare enrollment: higher FICA payroll deductions
Corporate tax increase: higher consumer prices on goods/services (soft tax)
Reduced employee count/greater unemployment: higher unemployment insurance/ raising business costs and prices

socalcon on November 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM

The employers are going to begin avoiding or complying with the Obamacare disaster long before January 1 2015 the official start date of the Obamacare employers mandate… Beginning as early as June 2014 if not earlier many employers will have to fire some of their employees, or reduce their weekly hours below 30, or reduce their benefits, in order to avoid massive losses to their businesses due to Obamacare… Tens of millions of employees will suffer greatly because of this…

mnjg on November 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Some small businesses will closeup shop…domino effect.

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Rattner…the same scum that put legitimate GM bond holders at the back of the line behind the unions and other Dem favorites during it’s bankruptcy…

PatriotRider on November 21, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Life under Obamacare: Poorer, Shorter, Less Free.

forest on November 21, 2013 at 8:16 AM

.
And demoralized.

A Demoralized nation is ripe for Totalitarianism.

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:20 AM

.
Also, ripe for this.

(I haven’t posted this link for a while, so I was over-due)

listens2glenn on November 21, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Obamacare incentivizes divorce with marriage penalties and employment penalties…Just like Welfare expansion did.
workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:40 AM

What is it with progressives and marriage anyway? Unhappy childhoods or something?

kcewa on November 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

What’s interesting to me, is that the two tiny slivers of people forced to buy “better” plans (again, why I would trade away dental and vision for maternity and substance abuse treatment is beyond me) represents a greater portion of the population than the entire gay community.

And yet, for the latter all governments must concede to their every whim, and the former can go suck an egg if they don’t like the change in their insurance (which, as an aside, already covers “domestic couples” in a lot of states, even where The Gay Marriage is not an enshrined right).

The Schaef on November 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Why allow this to drop like an atomic bomb on the political landscape right before the midterms?

Doughboy on November 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Because that’s never going to happen. Obama and the Dims can’t afford to let it happen. So Obama will exercise some of his non-existent and illegal powers to grant waivers, exemptions, delays, or whatever else it takes to stall the damage until safely past the 2014 elections.

AZCoyote on November 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Why do guys with high foreheads insist on wearing Pince Nez glasses.

Bishop on November 21, 2013 at 8:48 AM

PatriotRider on November 21, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Does it involve a lamppost and a rope or just tar, feathers, a rail, and a road out of town?

Cleombrotus on November 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM

“Unaffected.” I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

LASue on November 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Because that’s never going to happen. Obama and the Dims can’t afford to let it happen. So Obama will exercise some of his non-existent and illegal powers to grant waivers, exemptions, delays, or whatever else it takes to stall the damage until safely past the 2014 elections.

AZCoyote on November 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

It is too late… There is no way the voters are going to change the opinion regarding this Obamacare disaster… A majority of voters hate it and will remain to do so regardless of Obama lies and executive orders regarding Obamacare…

mnjg on November 21, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I hope they do continue the head-in-sand, lie to viewer, cover for Obama meme.

Next year at this time …. it all blows up in there face.

Carnac on November 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Don’t tell us. Put together a docket and email MSNBC. And any outlet that repeats this fictitious Obamacrat bullsh*t.

You’re preaching to the choir.

Good Lt on November 21, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Obamacare incentivizes divorce with marriage penalties and employment penalties…Just like Welfare expansion did.
workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 8:40 AM

What is it with progressives and marriage anyway? Unhappy childhoods or something?

kcewa on November 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Marriage binds families and traditional institutions that support marriages bind communities.

Bound communities tend to fight government coercion until they become divided through the breakdown of those community bonds.

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Well…Yeah…

Does ObamaCare Redistribute from Whites to Blacks?

“…The Affordable Care Act can be construed as a transfer of benefits from Medicare, which serves an overwhelmingly white population of the elderly — 77 percent of recipients are white — to ObamaCare, which will serve a population that is 54.7 percent minority. Over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act cuts $455 billion from the Medicare budget in order to help pay for ObamaCare.

Those who think that a critical mass of white voters has moved past its resistance to programs shifting tax dollars and other resources from the middle class to poorer minorities merely need to look at the election of 2010, which demonstrated how readily this resistance can be used politically…”

http://healthblog.ncpa.org/does-obamacare-redistribute-from-whites-to-blacks/

workingclass artist on November 21, 2013 at 9:29 AM

These people, this 80%, are people who either get their health insurance through their employer, as probably most of us here do,..

So, this makes Rattner’s chart accurate for how many more months?

DaveDief on November 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM

More than a year ago my company had to change healthcare plans. I was told it was a “Cadillac” plan and the company would pay a 45% tax because it was too rich according to ObamaCare standards. My deductible went from $2000 to $6000 overnight so please don’t tell me I’m this horrible ACA does not have an impact on me!

thetriguy on November 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

LoFo types won’t start to understand the lies until their reality hits them in the paycheck. That fact everyone understands. Rattner lies just like the Census lies about unemployment figures. Being incompetent and lying go hand in hand for govt workers.

Kissmygrits on November 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Open enrollment for my company started last week. It’s a company that provides outsourced customer service for large companies. Most of my co-workers are younger, most can’t find a job elsewhere because of the “great” Obama economy. Yet the majority of them voted for Obama in large part for the “free” health care. For the last 10 days, the talk of the lunchroom and hallway and call floor has been the new health plan our employer is offering. An example – a guy I work with has a wife and 3 kids. He has chronic bronchitis and one of the kids is autistic, so they do use the doctor fairly frequently. His premiums are going to be about $5200 a year. Then, before a penny of the benefit is paid by the insurance, he has to cough up another $4000 in deductible payments. So he has to come up with almost TEN GRAND (on a $30,000 a year salary) before the insurance even starts. Welcome to Obamacare kids.

LL

Lady Logician on November 21, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I’m beginning to think Joe Scarborough is some sort of parole officer or counselor for white collar criminals and otherwise professional frauds… Rattner is a total sleaze (he and his wife are BFFs with Hillary and the quintessential Manhattan elitists/phonies) whose funny business with pension money got him into a little trouble…. then you have “journalist” Mike Barnicle (noted plagiarist). Quite a group there.

dpduq on November 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Was Baghdad Bob not available?

cat-scratch on November 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM

If Joe was a conservative he’d say, “We’ll save this chart and revisit it every month to see how it’s going.”

forest on November 21, 2013 at 10:04 AM

As you’ll see in the video below, he breezes right past that 80%, presenting the assumption that the vast majority of Americans are simply unaffected by Obamacare and goes on to talk about the tiny sliver of people who might be experiencing problems.

Really brilliant politics, -tell the people crushed by the outrageous Obamacare premiums that they are insignificant.

Keep that up proggies, we’ll se ya in November.

slickwillie2001 on November 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Note: all figures are approximate.

When did ‘approximate’ become a synonym for ‘made up’?

agmartin on November 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

The other facet of this mess that is seldom mentioned is the destructive effect it will have on the economy as a whole. A lot of people are going to be out of business and out of a job. And they in turn will be purchasing less. The impact of this law will not be limited to 1/6th of the economy. Not even close.

And what you are seeing in employer plans is just among those employers who for whatever reason are canceling their policies now. Wait a year, when they all will have to.

No need to apologize for part time employment, Jazz. You need to do what you need to do. And as with health care, one size does not fit all.

paul1149 on November 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM

80% huh? Malarkey. I am currently covered under the wife’s employer’s policy. She works for a major US company. Because of the individual mandate, we were notified of policy changes such as rate increase, deductible increase and my favorite, if I see any doctor other than my family doctor (like a specialist) I will pay 100% I can’t wait to see what goodies are in store for me when the employer mandate kicks in.

Rest assured that when I am forced to enroll in Zerocare, I intend to show up at my doctor’s office and demand my mammogram, pre-natal care and birth control. If I’m paying for it, I want it.

ghostwalker1 on November 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM

“Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy your bag of coal gift. If you don’t like it, you will be beaten with it until you do.”

The Dear Leader

MichaelGabriel on November 21, 2013 at 11:45 AM

“What difference does it make”. There’s only 5 (five) people who watch this channel. And it’s not a news channel, it’s the mouth of Obama.

tmgrant on November 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

And it’s not a news channel, it’s the mouth of Obama.

tmgrant on November 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Nope. Wrong end.

SubmarineDoc on November 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

This lie is particularly infuriating to me, as someone who lost good health care coverage when my spouse was dropped from his company’s benefits because he was considered a contract worker, then had to go on my company’s much more expensive plan and see those already high premiums and deductibles skyrocket the past 2 years. I’m being pushed into the ranks of the uninsured by this craptastic law, but the Democrats are trying to sneak past the public this next round of lies. That’s why the employer mandate was delayed a year, so they could get another year of lying to people before the media and everyone else caught on.

I’m of two minds, though. Let them make their promises (80% unaffected!!!) so that in another year or so, their duplicity is further exposed. My premiums aren’t going down, so why not.

evergreen on November 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM