Being forced to switch plans under the ACA will still save people money in the long run
The Latest half true Obamacare story is here already. It’s only been a month since the new healthcare exchanges have been set up, and already the right-wing are digging up stories to try and create the narrative that the Affordable Care Act is a failure.
The media, Fox News in particular, is going all out to try and find people who fit the middle class mold to speak against the ACA. The narrative now being used as it turns out, is the fact that not everyone will be able to keep the plans they had before the passage of the ACA. This is true, not everyone will keep their old plans and in some cases the premium might be higher than the previous plan.
However, there are important aspects to what I just said that the right-wing are not bothering to tell you. Once you look into the details of why the plans are changing and what you are ultimately going to get with a new plan, you see that the Republican narrative about the ACA is not entirely true.
For starters, yes, plans will change and in some cases will cost more. However, what needs to be discussed is what you were getting for your buck on your old plan compared to what you will be getting on your new one. The differences in care per dollar is much greater.
Think Progress wrote a piece outlining the discrepancies in the right-wing attacks on the changing of healthcare plans. One example they used is that Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent who was paying roughly $300 a month for an individual plan. She was informed her plan was changing, and that she would be paying $400 a month instead of $300.
At face value, it seems to be healthcare reform failure. However, what Cavallaro is not saying is that her new coverage for $100 more is far broader in its coverage scope. Cavallaro was paying $300 for, by ACA standards, very minimal care. Her old plan was riddled with low benefits and out of pocket costs, which in the long run made her old plan more expensive than the new one. Her new plan will give her more benefits, without heavy out-of pocket expenses, which will make her burden cheaper to deal with.
For example, Cavallaro could purchase a top-notch plan which could cost her $2000 a month, but due to ACA rules this plan would cover all of her hospital/doctor visits rather than the average of two from what her old plan had. The same is also true with many smaller plans. In some instances you will pay a higher premium, but overall costs are much lower than before when all aspects are taken into account.
Another aspect Cavallaro and others don’t realize is that there are other parts to the healthcare law aside from mandating coverage. The healthcare exchanges have been set up to allow her to competitively shop for better plans, ones that might suit her specific needs better than in the past. She might also qualify for a tax subsidy from the government, and qualify for certain exemptions if she desires.
It is unfortunate that it took someone from Fox News of all places to point out the flaws in the healthcare plan argument being set up by the right. My hat goes off to Greta Van Susteren for her honesty and use of journalistic questioning. If someone from Fox can be honest and point out what is really going on, why can’t the rest of the media?