President Obama took to praising his health care law in his weekly radio address—presumably because no one else will. But like his glowing assessments about the economy, his green energy spending and foreign policies, most of his claims are misleading if not downright false.
“More than 90 percent of Americans are covered.” This may be the closest thing to a true statement in the speech, but it comes with a huge caveat—one that he conveniently ignores.
The Census Bureau put the uninsured rate at about 10.7 percent last fall, about 5 to 6 percentage points below the historical average.
However, Obama is touting his 10 percent uninsured number at the beginning of the year, when the number of enrollees is at its highest point. As the year progresses millions of individuals in the health insurance exchanges will drop their coverage—a common occurrence in the individual market.
By December the number is likely to be a percentage point higher. Oh, and remember: Obama promised he would have everyone covered.
“Up to 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied coverage or be charged more just because they’ve been sick.” This statement is so misleading that it should be counted as false.
Even before the passage of Obamacare, employees with employer-provided health insurance—about 165 million Americans and their dependents—could not be denied coverage. That’s been federal law for decades. Another 110 million Americans are in Medicare or Medicaid, and they cannot be denied coverage.
About 15 million bought their own coverage in the individual market, and while they could be charged more for a pre-existing condition in most states, they had coverage so they hadn’t been denied it. That’s about 290 million Americans with coverage out of a total of 330 million.
A small percentage of the 40 million or so people who were uninsured might have been denied coverage, but the vast majority was uninsured because they couldn’t afford it or they were young or healthy and just didn’t want to spend the money.
There were uninsured Americans who developed a medical condition and couldn’t buy coverage in the individual market, but most states had a process to help them get coverage.
“137 million Americans with private coverage are now guaranteed preventive care coverage.” Actually, private insurance always covered many types of preventive care prior to Obamacare, but it was subject to the standard deductibles and copays. What Obamacare did was make that preventive coverage “free.”
But, of course, it’s not free; everyone pays higher premiums to cover the cost of “free care.”
“Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they [Heather Bragg and her husband] found better coverage that actually saved them hundreds of dollars a month.” Obama makes it sound like health insurance is less expensive in the exchanges; it isn’t. The Braggs—who had been covered under the husband’s employer’s plan, but he left that job to work with her—saved money ONLY because taxpayers subsidize it. Previously, the employer was financing most of the cost.
Heather Bragg, um, brags that her family now has enough money left over after paying for insurance to save a little. To be clear, she is saving money because the government is taking money away from someone else, who no longer has the option to save as much.
“This is health care in America today. Affordable, portable security for you and your loved ones.” If you are one of the large majority of Americans who don’t get Obamacare subsidies and have seen your health insurance and doctor options shrink even as your premiums have exploded, you know this is a lie.