Department of "Huh?!": Health Care Reform Edition
Outsourced to Jonathan Zasloff:
Health Care: The FT Gets Spun... ...so badly that it might not know east from west. Obviously someone from the right wing noise machine has gotten through to FT reporters Jeremy Lemer and Ed Crooks, and given them just the right talking points. For example, when discussing state insurance exchanges, they write:
Where they have been used at state level, their record has been mixed; they have failed in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and California.
I literally don’t know what they are talking about: Schwarzenegger signed California’s legislation to create its exchange just a few weeks before leaving office. Maybe it’s those high-risk pools that Harold has often criticized: but those are not the same as the insurance exchanges that the ACA will set up in 2014.
Then Lemer and Crooks say that the ACA’s promised cost savings might not materialize, which why “business opposition” has materialized. And what might that opposition be? Why, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Federation of Independent Business, essentially groups that are allied with the Republican Party. This, of course, is never mentioned by the FT — and neither is the fact that had it not been for such groups, ACA implementation would have occurred earlier, and states would not have to rely on the high-risk pools that they earlier criticize.
Pat Felder, who runs a car parts distributor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says her employee insurance premiums went up by 17 per cent last year, and she has been warned to expect a 20 per cent-plus rise this year. She says the insurance companies blame the rise on the new legislation.
Well, yes, they would, wouldn’t they? Earlier, Lemer and Crooks noted that for years, rates have been increasing at more than 20%. So why blame this latest one on the ACA?
And finally, we get the pure GOP talking points:
Critics are offering alternative proposals. Republicans in Congress want to curb medical litigation, which encourages unnecessary tests and procedures to avoid lawsuits. Many businesses favour abolishing regulations that prevent health insurance being sold across state lines, limiting choice.
Except that, you know, neither of these things will do anything significant to reduce costs, and just give more power to insurers. Lemer and Crooks never mention this.
Funny, I thought Rupert Murdoch had bought The Times, not the FT….