09 02 2014
  7:11 am  
     •     
Healthy youth

Major provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect on Tuesday and, like all new programs, there is a certain amount of uncertainty and confusion.  But making things worse are the deliberate lies that have been told about what some call Obamacare.

To shift through the various charges, I turned to our friends at FactCheck.org for an independent, nonpartisan analysis. Here, in their words, is what they found:

Claim: 8.2 million Americans can't find full-time work partly due to Obamacare.

FactCheck.org says: False.

This assertion from the Republican National Committee echoes other conservative claims that the law is hindering part-timers from finding full-time jobs. But the RNC's 8.2 million figure was the total number in June of part-time workers in the U.S. seeking full-time work — what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls 'part-time for economic reasons' — and there's no evidence from BLS numbers that the law has had an impact on such workers. There were more in this "part-time for economic reasons" category in March 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law (9.1 million). The latest figure, from August, is 7.9 million.

Claim: The law is a job-killer.

FactCheck.org says: Overblown.

It's true nonpartisan economic analyses have estimated a "small" loss of mainly low-wage jobs because of the law. But as one expert told us, there hasn't been much analysis of this impact of the law because, he believes, economists think the impact will be minimal. Still, Republicans have continued to push the idea that the law will have a significant effect on jobs. This claim made our "Whoppers of 2011" list, and it has continued to be pushed in various forms — with the latest being the claims about part-time work.

Claim: Premiums are going up because of the law. Premiums are going down because of the law.

FactCheck.org says: It depends.

Our short answer — "it depends" — may be unsatisfactory to readers, but whether you'll pay more or less than you would have without the law depends on your circumstances. Are you uninsured and have a preexisting condition? You'll likely pay less than you would have otherwise. Are you uninsured but young and healthy? You'll likely pay more (without accounting for any subsidies you may receive). Are you insured through your employer? You likely won't see much change either way.

Claim: All of the uninsured will pay less on the exchanges than they could now on the individual market, even without federal subsidies.

FactCheck.org says: False.

President Obama made this claim at an Aug. 9 press conference, saying that beginning Oct. 1, the 15 percent of the population that's uninsured would be able to "sign up for affordable quality health insurance at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market." Obama went on to emphasize that that was before including federal subsidies. "And if even with lower premiums they still can't afford it, we're going to be able to provide them with a tax credit to help them buy it," he added. But even Obama's secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, has acknowledged that young persons would likely pay more and older Americans would likely pay less on the insurance exchanges.

Claim: You won't be able to choose your own doctor.

Claim: The government will be between you and your doctor.

FactCheck.org says: False.

These claims are variations on the fear that the government will be taking over health care — choosing your doctor, telling him or her what treatment to administer, etc. But the law doesn't create a government-run system, as we've said many times. It actually greatly expands business for private insurance, by about 12 million new customers, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. And individuals will choose their own doctors, just as they do now.

Claim: If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

FactCheck.org: Misleading.

Obama has repeatedly made this claim, and the White House continues to use the line on its website. The law doesn't force Americans to pick new plans or new doctors, but the president simply can't make this promise to everyone. There's no guarantee that your employer won't switch plans, just as companies could have done before the law. And if you switch jobs, your new work-based coverage might not have your doctor as an in-network provider, either.

Claim: Congress is exempt from the law.

FactCheck.org says: False.

Congress isn't exempt from the law. In fact, members and their staffs face additional requirements that other Americans don't. Beginning in 2014, they can no longer get insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, as they and other federal employees have done. Instead, they are required to get insurance through the insurance exchanges.

For the complete report, go to: http://www.factcheck.org/2013/09/obamacare-myths/

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook.

 

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