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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Health, Media, Politics | 6 comments

Bogus GOP Report On Insurance Premiums Paid Shows How Conservative Misinformation Is Spread

On Wednesday the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a bogus report which claimed that only 67 percent of those who purchased health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act have paid their first month’s premium. This is despite numerous reports from insurance companies showing that over 90 percent have paid, providing a good example of how Republican misinformation gets spread.

Several sources have already debunked the Republican misinformation, such as here,  here ,and here. The Republicans appear to have come up with their falsely low number by taking the number of people who paid their premiums before the premiums were due for those who signed up in March and April. At most the reports shows that people are unlikely to pay their health insurance premiums before they are billed for them.

Needless to say, serial liars such as Rush Limbaugh and many conservative blogs have simply repeated this false information. Limbaugh even claimed that “the premiums were to have been paid by January 1st, which was the beginning of the coverage year.” This is true of policies purchased early enough in December to take effect in January, not policies purchased later in the open enrollment period. This is a perfect example of how Limbaugh and other conservative talking heads twists the facts to make their points.

Others conservative blogs such as Hot Air have questioned the misinformation spread by the House Republicans. The mainstream media has actually done worse than portions of the conservative blogosphere, repeating their usual practice of showing a false objectivity by quoting what each side says, as if the truth is always somewhere in the middle. Even The New York Times helped promote this Republican talking point in the manner in which they reported the story. Of course, unlike Fox and much of the conservative media in which the news reports echo the editorial bias, the supposedly liberal media more typically presents objective news reporting separate from the views of the editorial pages. Unfortunately in a case such as this, using false measures of objectivity in quoting both sides gives undeserved attention to totally bogus numbers presented by Republicans.

More reliable sources than House Republicans expect that over 90 percent will wind up paying their premiums, with the Obama administration wisely being conservative with predictions until the data is actually in, citing numbers between 80 and 90 percent. This will most likely allow them to ultimately show that, as in other areas where we have data, the Affordable Care Act is surpassing expectations. It is also notable that many of those who have not paid their premium have not paid because they wound up qualifying for other coverage and not needing coverage through the exchanges.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

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Copyright 2014 The Moderate Voice
  • Another great post Ron, so glad to have you here at TMV. Misinformation is about all the Republicans have going for them. The only question is how long will feeding their Neanderthal base (that infamous 27%) be a winning strategy.

  • It is not only a matter of how long their misinformation tactics will work but when. It increasingly looks like we have two electorates–those who vote every two years and those who primarily only vote in presidential elections. The large electorate which votes in presidential elections doesn’t buy the GOP line giving the Democrats a growing edge in those years. However the Republicans still appear to have the edge in midterm elections with their rabid base turning out to vote more reliably based upon false GOP claims.

    It also helps Democrats looking to the future that the 2020 election, which will determine the next big round of redistricting, takes place in a presidential election year (as opposed to 2010). Unfortunately the Republicans have a good shot in 2014 and might also do well in 2018.

  • It increasingly looks like we have two electorates–those who vote every two years and those who primarily only vote in presidential elections.

    So true Ron. The Republicans have a rabid base the Democrats don’t. The GOTV effort is very important for the Democrats this year.

  • slamfu

    It is telling that so many people so wholeheartedly believe such easily disproved misinformation. I’m shocked at this point that anyone paying any attention can give any credibility to GOP talking points regarding the ACA as they have been wrong at just about every turn, and in many cases proven to be blatantly misrepresenting facts like this one. I mean, how bad do you have to screw up for people to sit up and take notice?

  • The misinformation is for their base who don’t really care about the facts. They will recite the Republican talking points without thinking, and turn out to vote based upon what they hear.

  • sheknows

    ” Unfortunately in a case such as this, using false measures of objectivity in quoting both sides gives undeserved attention to totally bogus numbers presented by Republicans”

    Thanks Ron, it is a crying shame that the media repeats unproven trash. They no longer have to research any of their reporting, they just have to quote the source and their butt is covered.
    It is completely irresponsible of course, but that is not why they are in that business. There are in business to sell news and keep the powers that be greasing the wheel so everyone cam get a paycheck.

    If they were there to actually report researched facts, we would probably not have a daily news source for the people in this country because of all the story”kills” by big money owners.

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