TPM has a post up entitled, “The 5 Biggest Fibs Republicans Used To Pass The House Obamacare Repeal Bill“. Let’s take a look at these 5 “fibs”.
1.“Everyone” with a pre-existing condition will keep coverage.
That there is a big ol’ LIE. We even have video of Republicans admitting that people with pre-existing conditions will not keep their coverage. Sure, they may have “access” to coverage, but not coverage they can begin to afford. And when pressed, Republicans admit this.
Here’s the truth:
The bill, however, will allow states to apply for waivers to Obamacare’s community rating rule, which limits how much insurers can charge people with pre-existing conditions. If they get a waiver—which the text of the bill indicates will be very easy—people with anything in their medical file from a C-section to congenital heart disease could be priced out of the market altogether.
Some lawmakers were more honest about this possibility, telling reporters states should have the right to gut these protections, and people should just move to another state if they have to.
2. “Nobody” on Medicaid will lose coverage.
Gutting Medicaid is a feature, not a bug of this bill.
But the math speaks for itself: the bill will slash $880 billion in funding to Medicaid over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office found.
How those cuts will affect enrollees is multifaceted. The CBO predicted that 14 million fewer Americans would be receiving Medicaid under the law, a decrease of enrollment of 17 percent. This finding was partly because the American Health Care Act will phase out the match rate for the expansion program—which raised the eligibility cut-off to those making as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty line—by imposing a “freeze” on enrollment in 2020.
The cuts grow more devastating in the long-term, with the transformation of the Medicaid program from an unlimited match rate to a per capita cap system, meaning that states would get a fixed amount of funding per enrollee. In theory, this means that federal funding would rise with every additional enrollee participating in the program. But because the metric that the bill uses to increase the capped amounts rises more slowly than average Medicaid spending, over time states will be taking on a bigger share of the burden and are anticipated to turn to premium sharing, copays or other obstacles that shrink costs while impeding access to the program.
And with removing schools as medicaid-funded providers the GOP has made our special education needs children more vulnerable.
3. People will have “much lower” deductibles.
According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation done for Axios, deductibles for a typical health insurance plan under the GOP legislation would raise by $1,550 — from $2,550 under Obamacare to $4,100 — in 2017.
That is because the Republican bill incentivizes a shift to stingier — albeit cheaper, premium-wise — plans. The CBO said that insurance plans under the Republican legislation would cover an average of 65 percent of person’s medical costs, versus an Obamacare plan’s average actuarial value of 72 percent.
Welcome back, junk insurance!
4. The bill will only impact a “very narrow band” of people.
Republicans have repeatedly played down the number of people their bill would affect, by stressing that many of the changes would apply only to the a relatively small number of people.
But Americans who receive their insurance through their employer — nearly 156 million people, or about half of the country — are also vulnerable to seeing the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections rolled back for them.
For instance, it is possible the annual and lifetime caps in employer plans could be brought back under the GOP bill because the ACA’s ban on them is based on a state’s essential health benefits standards. If a state received a waiver to eliminate, say maternity coverage, from the essential health benefits, then employer plans could reintroduce caps on that coverage.
Not to mention how dropping the employer mandate will result in some employers dropping coverage all together.
5. Obamacare is in “crisis.”
“This is not a choice. This is a crisis,” Ryan practically shouted, pointing to news last week that the majority of Iowa’s counties would be left without any insurer on the individual market.
Yet the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found in its March report that “the nongroup market would probably be stable in most areas” if Obamacare remains in place. Another report by S&P Global late last year predicted that: “For 2017, we expect continued improvement, with more insurers reporting close to break-even or better results for this segment.”
In short, the administration is saying “Obamacare will explode” while taking steps to make that happen.
These are not fibs. These are lies. Really big lies.