My View: Shameless, deceptive ads flood Colorado
April 11, 2014
Indeed, an anti-Sen. Mark Udall ad running in our market says Obamacare (ACA) is "about people," but the" people" referenced in the ad are not about the 7.1 million who signed up for private insurance through federal and state ACA exchange — or in Colorado 277,149 — who signed up as of March 31 for either commercial health insurance or Medicaid's expanded version.
This anti-Udall ad shamelessly exaggerates the numbers who could not sign up after their insurance policies were cancelled. Shamelss, too, is the message of the ads: "repeal Obamacare," which means that coverage would be taken away from those people for whom it worked to get covered, especially nasty for those who never had health insurance before.
The ads running in Colorado, tying Udall to Obamacare (ACA), attempt to bring attention to the fewer who drew the short stick instead of the more who benefitted. One sponsored by the Koch Brothers was truly misleading. That one featured an angry woman who lost her individual insurance and was suffering, though alternatives were never suggested or tried, and fact-checkers blew holes in that ad.
The "about people ad" was about those who got cancellation notices. It a good example of hyping the ACA shortcomings, claiming "millions and millions" lost their insurance and could not get a replacement. Per a recent survey by the Rand Corporation, fewer than a million people who had health plans cancellations in 2013 are now uninsured. "We are talking about a very small fraction of the country" who lost coverage, said Katherine Carman, a Rand economist who oversaw the survey.
While certainly a negative for those in that predicament, they are not the "millions and millions" the ad claims. Most deceptive in that 'about people ad" was that Obamacare forced persons to pay more for less coverage. The reason those who had individually purchased catastrophic policies got the discontinue notices was because it did not offer enough coverage Obamacare deemed basic.
It is such a shame hospitals will see cuts to government subsidies, whines another ad, implying reduction in Medicare services to your parents and grandparents. Here is why that line is so deceptive: so many more will now have health insurance, uncompensated charity-care hospitals must cover less, and hospitals will be held to higher standards. In fact, The Congressional Budget Office projects that a decade has been added to the life of Medicare due to the cost-saving measures. Even Medicare Advantage serving 28 percent of seniors is projected to continue.
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Expect future ads to claim Obamacare "is" not working now because "in the future" premiums will soar as insurance companies drop out for lack of customers or not enough healthy sign up, causing a "death spiral." Those are scare tactics. The Congressional Budget office estimates it will take three years for all qualified to sign up. Even if young, invincibles fail to constitute 40 percent of the sign-ups, there should be enough for the "death spiral" not to happen, per the Kaiser Family Foundation.
For links to sources on which the column was based, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com