For example, an estimated 15 million Americans are paying more for coverage on the individual market under Obamacare and not getting subsidies. That’s far more than the 6.4 million now receiving taxpayer help on the federal exchanges. Insurance regulations imposed by the healthcare law—age-rating rules, actuarial-value restrictions, and benefit mandates—have made insurance more expensive, and repealing them would dramatically lower the cost of coverage for everyone, subsidized and unsubsidized alike. Likely, millions of Americans now getting subsidized coverage could afford it on their own if these regulations were repealed.
But the media isn’t really interested in informing the debate with such pernicious facts. That’s why coverage of Burwell has focused almost exclusively on those who might lose subsidies and what congressional Republicans will do about it. The law’s defenders in the media and academia don’t want that to happen, so the polls they concoct assume the Burwell challengers are trying to undermine the law and Congress must do something to restore those subsidies.